Healthy Masculinity Summit Press Release

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HUNDREDS GATHER IN WASHINGTON, D.C.,  TO LAUNCH NATIONAL EFFORT TO MOBILIZE YOUNG MEN TO  END  VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND PROMOTE HEALTHY MASCULINITY

Leading violence prevention organizations join forces to challenge what society teaches boys about being “real men”

October 17, 2012 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - Every day young people are exposed to violence in news stories and the media, but rarely, if ever, is the violence linked to masculinity. It is time to make the connection between the epidemic of male violence in America and what society is teaching boys about masculinity. Men Can Stop Rape and some of the nation’s leading violence prevention organizations are coming together today in Washington, D.C., to launch the Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP), a new effort to educate young men and boys, promote healthy, non-violent masculinity and curb male violence.

The Healthy Masculinity Summit, a three-day meeting taking place in D.C., is the first component of the national initiative to train advocates and ambassadors to promote healthy, non-violent masculinity in their communities. At the summit, leading experts from across professional fields will come together to identify concrete steps for increasing awareness of how healthy masculinity can positively impact society. Following the summit, HMAP will launch a new grassroots effort to mobilize men and boys to educate others and to promote healthy, non-violent masculinity in order to activate change in their communities around the country.

“The Healthy Masculinity Action Project is our collective way of galvanizing efforts to build a new generation of male leaders who will model strength without violence and be positive change makers,” said Neil Irvin, executive director of Men Can Stop Rape.

The HMAP is being hosted by Men Can Stop Rape, a pioneering national organization mobilizing men and boys nationwide to prevent violence against women, and supported by the Verizon Foundation, a corporate leader in domestic violence prevention. In this effort to engage men, the Verizon Foundation will also announce a new action guide with straightforward ways for men to speak out against domestic violence. The guide is part of Your Voice Counts, the Foundation’s campaign to empower men and women to speak out against domestic violence. The Your Voice Counts public service announcement and resources are available at www.Verizonfoundation.org/yourvoicecounts.

Numerous national and regional violence prevention organizations are behind HMAP, including the organizing partners: the National Resource Center on Domestic ViolenceMen Stopping ViolenceCoach for AmericaWomen of Color Network, and A CALL TO MEN.

“Men and women need to work together if we want to stop the violence. And that is why the Verizon Foundation is pleased to support HMAP and to launch a new awareness campaign, Your Voice Counts, that encourages men and women to start speaking up against domestic violence,” said Anthony Llompart, Verizon Foundation Director of Healthcare. “We need to start looking at domestic violence as a public health issue that impacts all of us.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetimes. The U.S. Department of Justice has also reported that on average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States.

The Healthy Masculinity Action Project (HMAP) aims to eradicate the harmful expectations and stereotypes about what it means to be a man by spreading a new movement to educate boys and men of all ages. The two-year initiative will mobilize men, women and teens nationwide to educate their communities and take action by training ambassadors and advocates to promote healthy, non-violent masculinity in their communities. This will also include developing new resources, such as a collection of best practices and a documentary on the HMAP ambassadors and their efforts on the ground.

For more information, visit www.healthymasculinity.org or www.mencanstoprape.org.

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About Men Can Stop Rape

Men Can Stop Rape is the leading national organization mobilizing boys and men to prevent violence against women. The program has reached over 2 million boys and men in the past 10 years with a message of “strength without violence.” Men Can Stop Rape’s cutting-edge prevention programs are grounded in the social ecological model which recognizes that individual actions profoundly affect entire communities and ultimately all of society. Utilizing a proven curriculum, awareness campaigns, prevention and intervention trainings and programming, Men Can Stop Rape is engaging men and boys to build safer and healthier communities. For more information about Men Can Stop Rape, visit www.mencanstoprape.org.