Heymann & Fletcher

Coalition hopes to educate men and prevent domestic violence

Advocates for survivors of domestic violence are always searching for new ways to help those who have been abused or witnessed abuse. One study conducted by New Jersey State Police says that officers report over 60,000 domestic violence incidents each year. In the past, most efforts have focused on the victims, offering support and other help. Though these are admirable, some advocates decided that to stop domestic violence, the best course of action may be to go after those who may become abusers. A new state-wide program hopes to address that exact issue.

The program is the joint effort of the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, the state Department of Children and Families and a group known as A Call to Men. They are working together to develop training sessions that they hope will stop domestic violence. The sessions will center around masculinity and healthy expressions of being a man. They believe that domestic violence often stems from incorrect assumptions of what it means to be a man. They hope to show men that women are equals to men and that there are healthy ways to show one's manhood without resorting to violence.

Supporters of the program want to assemble groups of men from many different backgrounds with different life experiences. These groups will undergo a two-day training that will teach them about preventing domestic violence. The men involved will then use this experience to teach others in their own communities.

Hopefully, the day will come when no person, whether man, woman or child, will be a victim of domestic violence. Until that happens, those confronting these issues may want to consider enlisting the help of an attorney here in New Jersey who can advise them of their legal rights and what steps to take. Filing a restraining order or pursuing a temporary custody order may be the beginning of a new life for a survivor.

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