One of our priorities here at OVW is engaging men in the effort to stop domestic and sexual violence.
While it is often men who commit acts of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, males can also be victims of these crimes so engaging men is not a stereotypical activity at OVW.
We seek to engage men as part of the solution not just in terms of educating them about their personal actions in intimate relationships, but also in their roles as fathers, friends and community leaders.
The key to engaging men in our effort to end violence is to provide them with the information they need to make a difference and to invite them to be partners from a place of compassion and understanding.
In the new episode of Patchwork, titled Engaging Men as Allies to End Domestic Violence, Tony Lowden exemplifies what this effort looks like at OVW.
Tony is the executive director of President Trump’s Interagency Council on Crime Prevention where he leads 17 agencies, including the Department of Justice, to find ways to prevent crime. As you will hear, Tony shares his personal experience growing up exposed to domestic violence and he describes how that motivates him today, and every day to help men to engage and address an issue that causes so much pain and destroys families.
In his travels across our nation, Tony works not only with people who have been convicted of domestic violence, but also families who have been torn apart by domestic violence homicides, and others who want to bring change to our communities.
We recorded our discussion with Tony during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and as he points out, every month could be devoted to the issue because domestic violence is as widespread and cross-cutting a problem for all communities as the pandemic or drug addiction. It is an issue we are committed to every day at OVW and we proudly support countless others nationwide who share this purposeful work.
As Tony says, domestic violence is a cycle that can be broken – especially if we engage men through awareness and give men tools to help.
I hope you find Tony’s insight valuable and the experiences he shares meaningful and useful.
As Tony shares his personal experience with domestic violence, it is a vivid reminder that in cities, towns and villages across this country there are people who need help right now. If you know someone who may be at risk, please encourage them to take action. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-SAFE or 800-799-7233. It can also be reached online at www.thehotline.org. As always, the number to call in an emergency is 911.
Thank you to Tony and to all men who are willing to lead and engage with all of us who seek to put an end to domestic and sexual violence.