Saturday, October 07, 2006

MCSR Press Release - School Safety Requires Solution to Violence that Addresses the Attitudes and Behaviour of Men

Recently, conversations surrounding the solutions to atrocities such as the school shootings in Colorado and Pennsylvania have centered on traditional preventive measures such as gun control and improved surveillance.

In response to these conversations, MCSR released a press release offering it's own solution to eliminating violence from our schools and communities. Patrick Lemmon, MCSR Executive Director says, "In order to fully rid our schools, and communities as a whole, of this kind of crime, we must influence men's attitudes and behavior towards women. That's what our Strength Campaign does."

Read more below and tell us what you think!
(Our official press release is also available for viewing and download on our website)

The recent tragedies in Colorado and Pennsylvania schools have more in common than their unfortunate settings. In both cases, a male carried out acts of violence against girls and young women. In both cases, actual or intended sexual assault has been an aggravating factor to murder. And, in both cases, the perpetrators made their intentions known to others before the attacks. Yet in conversations about how such atrocities could have been prevented, the focus quickly shifts to security patrols and gun control. Experts in Washington, DC, however, are redirecting the national dialogue and effecting change where locks and legislation fall short.

“Traditional preventive measures, such as increased surveillance and metal detectors, do nothing to address the root cause of violence,” says Patrick Lemmon, executive director of the Washington, DC-based organization Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR). “They are not the most effective solution. In order to fully rid our schools, and communities as a whole, of this kind of crime, we must influence men's attitudes and behavior towards women. That's what our Strength Campaign does.”

The Strength Campaign is MCSR's comprehensive, multi-faceted public education and community outreach program. With its school-based Men of Strength Club, the Campaign appeals to teen males with peer interaction and positive mentors. Club members meet weekly during or after school to examine cultural norms and expectations of manhood and masculinity, and the connections between those social mores and violence against women. In the course of building relationships with each other and Club leaders, members define their own manhood and identities based on responsibility and respect. By seeing men as the solution, and linking unhealthy attitudes and behaviors with the problem, the Clubs have garnered popularity among young men and earned acclaim from the National Crime Prevention Council. A three-year impact evaluation project with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lends scientific credence to the Club's already-established
reputation as a national model that achieves results.

Lemmon adds, “October is Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Now is the time to highlight effective, replicable programs like the Men of Strength Club. The success of our Clubs shows a possibility that exists in every city or small town in America. That possibility is an added degree of safety and freedom for every woman and man, girl and boy who call those places home.”

For more information about Men Can Stop Rape and The Strength Campaign, visit http://www.strengthcampaign.org/.
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