Inspiration for Action
On Sunday, October 9th, a group of men went to the Tucson Meet Yourself event downtown dressed in purple shirts and carrying flyers. The goal was to engage men in conversations about what we can do in our community to end violence against women. The following is one of the men’s reflection of the afternoon:
We know that a lot of men see violence against women as a major problem that needs to be addressed, but also that most men don’t identify that they have a role in ending it. Our hope was simply that through having these conversations with other men that were downtown for the event, more and more men in Tucson would begin to consider the fact that we all have a role in answering the call to end domestic violence in our community.
Together, the group of men comprise the Community Restoration Project, which is a group for men who have gone through and completed the Men’s Education Program that Emerge! facilitates. The group was created as a vehicle for men that want to engage in changing our community and organizing other men to take leadership on issues of respect and safety for women and children.
For 3 hours, we simply had discussions with any men that were willing to have discussions with us. We talked about the importance of men finding a way to get involved, to make this ‘our’ issue. Some of the men thanked us because they have many concerns for the safety and wellbeing of the women in their life, but have never known how to do something about the issue. Others committed to take action and to do something. Many men also took the time to bravely open up about their own childhood, what they had learned about manhood growing up and how it impacted their relationships as adults. The general response was one of positivity and relief that people were finally talking about men’s role in ending domestic violence.