In October of 2013 I wrote a letter to the Loop. You may have read it, or perhaps you missed that week’s edition and subsequently missed the letter too. The subject of that letter was domestic violence and how this frightful situation has no boundaries regarding sex, age, ethnicity, or religion.
The focus of that letter was how domestic violence is everyone’s problem but not everyone has support or assistance when they find themselves reaching out for help. Until a few years ago our community had no resources available to assist those who sought help when domestic violence was present in their lives. That changed in April of 2011 when the DoVE project was founded. Now our community has a program in place to assist anyone who needs assistance with overcoming domestic violence. DoVE offers and provides safety planning, support, access to resources, referrals for housing, legal advice, and assistance in filing a protection order.
The only downside as I discovered was that if you are a male, there was little DoVE could do for you. There was no program for support if you are of the male gender. Moreover, I found there was no program available at the state level. The lack of services is not the fault of DoVE or other DV organizations.
Rather, I believe the fault lies with our society’s unbalanced views of the roles and power of men and women, and acceptance of this as the cultural norm.
My opinion stated that men do not reach out for support as a result of this societal conditioning, and that when they do they are often belittled and judged as having some part in bringing on the violence.
I went on to request that if you are a male who has experienced or is currently experiencing domestic violence to contact DoVE. Let DoVE know that you are aware of the lack of assistance for men and that if you have a desire to help change this that you would be willing to take part in that. Apparently people did contact DoVE and as a result that change is now taking place. Thank you for your response.
Beginning in March DoVE will start offering the ability to provide assistance to men through advocacy and support sessions. It is because of your action that we are seeing this change take place.
If you are a male who has been through or is experiencing domestic violence I urge you to contact DoVE and be a part of this advocacy group for men. Contact DoVE either through email, email@example.com, or by phone by calling the hotline number at 206-462-0911.
In doing this we can establish the best day and time for advocacy group sessions and begin the healing process. Share your story with others if you have one, as it is helpful to understand that if one is experiencing domestic violence as a man that he is not alone. Together we can bring M.A.N about, and change how domestic violence is currently viewed.
A special thank you to the DoVE Project!
Men’s Advocacy Network,
Founder and supporter,