Our view: ‘A Call to Men’ overdue on domestic violence | TheUnion.com

Our view: ‘A Call to Men’ overdue on domestic violence

The Union Editorial Board

Throughout the month of April, The Union is publishing Other Voices submissions each Saturday from community organizations in hopes of helping their ongoing efforts while recognizing both National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Today, you'll find a piece penned by Lynn Woerner of KARE Crisis Nursery. Earlier this month, we've published op-eds from Lindsay Dunckel, director of First 5 of Nevada County and the chair for the Child Abuse Prevention Council, and from Gayle Guest-Brown, director of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition. Next week, Pamela McGirr of the Nevada County Victim Witness Program will share her thoughts with the community at TheUnion.com and on The Union's Ideas & Opinions pages.

The fact that western Nevada County has such organizations offering help to those in need and resources to help educate and raise awareness on these issues is to be commended. But it also indicates we have a great need for such services in our community — often evident in daily police blotter items published in The Union.

According to the DVSAC, there were 897 unduplicated calls to its Crisis Line in 2012. A total of 1,616 bed nights of Emergency Shelter for women and their children provided peace and safety; 505 new domestic violence victims received counseling and 101 new victims received assistance with temporary restraining orders and/or custody orders.

At a time of sputtering economy, with many people remaining unemployed, creating financial stress — often coupled with substance abuse — the propensity for domestic violence is only heightened.

Although each of this month's featured Other Voices is informative in shedding light on real-life issues often relegated to the shadows of a community, these have all been the voices of women.

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It's time to hear from another voice on these issues, as well on domestic violence, in general. And this week offers that opportunity.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, April 25, "A Call to Men" is calling all fathers, coaches, educators and leaders in our community to "Get in the game!"

A community discussion will be held at DVSAC, (960 McCourtney Road, Suite E, in Grass Valley), geared to get men engaged in ending violence against women by presenting both the situation and solutions. Domestic violence and sexual assault is not a "women's issue." Violence against women and girls will not end until everyone understands this is a community issue — each of us has a role.

It's time for men to start talking to men about bringing an end to domestic violence, by breaking the cycles that persist through generations often in the models provided by parents. Boys who grow up seeing their fathers abuse their mothers are more likely to behave in a similar way. And girls who watch their mothers tolerate such abuse are more likely to view it as a normal and accepted behavior.

Just as we encourage our children to speak up in anti-bullying efforts on school campuses, it's time for those on the sidelines — this time, the adults — to step in and firmly say this is not OK.

For more information and to RSVP call (530) 272-2046.

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