THA residents and the public at large will have the opportunity to learn how to prevent violence against women through the Mentors In Violence Prevention program (MVP) later this month at Griswold Heights. MVP aims to educate, inspire and empower men & women to prevent, interrupt and respond to sexist abuse.
The free program teaches bystander intervention skills from a social justice perspective. The heart of the MVP model is interactive discussion, in single-sex and mixed-gender workshops, using real-life scenarios that speak to the experiences of young men and women in college, high school, and other areas of social life.
It is important in an educational context to be honest and realistic, especially when we are challenging participants to be proactive bystanders in the face of difficult social and work situations. People often do not act because they fear the loss of their job, or even career, if they challenge a powerful man.
Unlike prevention efforts that target men as perpetrators or potential perpetrators, MVP uses a philosophy of working with men as empowered bystanders — not against them as potential perpetrators. This positive approach has the effect of reducing men’s defensiveness around the discussion of these issues, which provides the basis for the emergence of more proactive and preventive responses.
Mike Fonda, Prevention Educator with the Sexual Assault & Crime Victims Program at Samaritan Hospital has been involved in MVP for 4 years. He has worked with high school students, college athletes, college student leaders, members of the community and various levels of Major League Baseball.
The four-week program will begin Tuesday, April 26, 2016 and will be held on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. To register please call 273-3600 ext. 239 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MVP Training Goals
- Raise awareness of underlying issues and unique dynamics of all forms of men’s violence against women
- Challenge participants to think critically and personally (empathize) about these issues
- Open dialogue amongst participants about the dynamics and context of all forms of men’s violence against women
- Inspire participants to be proactive leaders around these issues by challenging them to develop concrete options for intervention in potentially dangerous situations involving peers