Discussing domestic violence is never comfortable. For men, the topic can be really uncomfortable, because they are usually discussed only in the role of abuser. On April 10, over 200 Tarrant County men gathered together at the Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth, not to talk about how they are the problem, but to hear how they are the solution to ending domestic violence.
“For a long time violence against women and girls has really been thought of as a women’s issue,” said SafHaven CEO Mary Lee Hafley. “But what we know, and what we’ve known for a long time, is that the only way we can reduce and end domestic violence is by engaging and mobilizing men.”
SafeHaven’s Legacy of Men Award’s Dinner seeks to do just that. On April 10, 2014, men heard three very specific ways they could commit to helping SafeHaven realize its mission of ending domestic violence.
Three ways that men can get in the game
- A pilot mentoring program for young men in SafeHaven’s Transitional Living Program. This program is currently in development
- A Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, which will be held in the fall
- Donating to a fund to repair the damage done when the Fort Worth Shelter was flooded in March.
Emcee Scott Murray put it this way, “We want each of you to look at your time, talents, and salary cap and determine which one of these three positions best suits you.”
Guest speaker three time Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl XXX MVP Larry Brown had a similar message.
“Men are the cause of domestic violence. I know it sounds tough, but it’s the truth.
These are our mothers, these are our daughters, these are the people that are raising our children, these are the people that are taking care of your home, and it’s just flat our wrong to harm anyone.
I think the more men the merrier and I think it’s about time that men stood up and held other men accountable for their actions.
A lot of times men don’t get involved because they don’t know what to expect. It doesn’t mean that it has to become a job for you. Everyone can do something. If it is just being present, or the words of encouragement. Being present makes a statement and I want to encourage everyone to show up.”
Bill Bowie was honored with this year’s Legacy of Men Award. Bill is the Co-Founder and C.O.O. of Resin Technology, Inc., a packaging and plastics consultancy to Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies worldwide. In his remarks, Bill recalled being one of only a handful of men who attended the first World Conference on Domestic Violence, which is where he really began to understand the importance of engaging men in this issue. After thanking men for taking time to attend last night, he challenged each of them to do at least one thing in 2014 to support SafeHaven’s mission.
To find out more about how you can get involved, visit www.safehaventc.org.