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An End to Domestic Violence Starts with Men

Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, according to the website, “is the largest provider of domestic abuse prevention services and programs in Southern Arizona.” The organization provides many services and programs for people experiencing domestic abuse, such as emergency shelter and food services in immediate situations of people trying to escape domestic abuse.

The main mission of Emerge! is to provide “the opportunity to create, sustain, and celebrate a life free from abuse.” Emerge! has launched a new program that offers an opportunity to create that life. The program, called Answer the Call to End Domestic Violence, believes that men should be held responsible for helping to end domestic abuse.

According to Inside Tucson Business, “Answering the Call is a men’s education program that includes a 26-week curriculum in which men can deconstruct negative patterns and unhealthy behaviors.” Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, the CEO of Emerge!, believes that all men need to know that they cannot be abusive or violent toward their partners.

“One of the greatest opportunities within this call to action is for men to step into the prevention of domestic abuse in ways that women cannot,” according to Emerge! One of the major ways that the program seeks to engage men in the call to end domestic violence is by “recognizing destructive social norms,” breaking away from them, and leading by example.

According to Inside Tucson Business, Syndric Steptoe, from the Commitment to an Athlete’s Total Success life-skills program at the University of Arizona, agrees that there must be a change to “hyper-masculine culture.” Part of what this means is to never be a bystander to abusive situations.

“I’m challenging right now to buck that system, to step up and say something when you know in your gut it’s wrong. When you see something, when you see your teammates doing something that you know that’s not right, for you to say something and do something,” he said.

Overall, one of the best ways to end domestic violence is by asking men who are not abusers to speak out against domestic violence and inform others that “masculinity is not synonymous with being controlling or abusive,” according to Mercurio-Sakwa.

Still, Emerge! recognizes that not all cases of domestic abuse are caused by men. According to the organization, “While domestic abuse is an issue that can affect anyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or income level, Emerge! recognizes that the majority of survivors are women who have suffered abuse at the hands of men.”

Many families and women suffer from domestic abuse and violence. While organizations like Emerge! are doing their part, there are things anybody can do to help, like volunteering, donating, or simply speaking up against domestic violence. How will you answer the call?

Featured Image by LMAP on Flickr

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