WMU News

WMU athletes take role in violence prevention

Jan. 12, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's athletic department is taking a stand against domestic violence.

The University's athletic medical services and male student-athletes will join the Men to Men community organization for an informative workshop titled "Mentors in Violence Prevention" (MVP) on Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Bernhard Center. The session is free and open to the public.

The goal of the Mentors in Violence Prevention program is to raise community awareness of the Men to Men organization and its efforts to prevent all forms of male abuse against women. More than 95 percent of domestic and relationship violence incidents are attributable to men, yet men are rarely involved in the solution to this problem. The MVP discussions empower men to identify and to act as leaders in opposing attitudes that encourage sexist, violent behavior. The program presents different role-playing scenarios and provides open discussion on violence against women.

While the event is intended for collegiate male athletes, the Men to Men program has adapted the curriculum for discussions with area service groups, juvenile detention homes, area middle and high schools, and several student and faculty groups at Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College.

"We are always looking for a way to connect Western Michigan University athletics to the community," said Dennis Corbin, assistant athletic director for medical services. "This is a great way to make that connection. It is really a partnership with the athletic department, the campus, and the community."

"We have found that through guided discussions using the MVP curriculum, men of all ages and all backgrounds begin to recognize the personal and societal costs for supporting old, stereotypical definitions of manhood," Corbin said. "As a society we need to redefine what it means to be a man. Men to Men is making that happen."

A follow-up facilitator's training session is scheduled for Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in room 213 of the Bernhard Center.

Men to Men is a part of the Healthy Futures organization. Healthy Futures is a nonprofit group that connects people and resources to improve health and well being in Kalamazoo County. Call (616) 337-4440 for more information on programs sponsored by Healthy Futures.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu


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