Posted by: joshjasper | March 19, 2009

Connect the Dots

I returned from Sioux Falls, South Dakota last night and feel rejuvenated. I was asked to speak to speak to their community about Men’s Violence Against Women, and how we as a community, can do better (prevention).  It was a great audience in that I felt they received the message very well and that I also learned a great deal about their community and the specific needs that must be addressed concerning violence against women and children.  The training was especially relevant that day because the night prior a Sheriff’s Deputy was shot and killed by a 19 year old man who had beaten his girlfriend.  A number of law enforcement officers were unable to attend the training due to the services being held for this heroic officer.

As I met with and heard the tales of rape, incest, domestic violence, and child abuse that takes place in Sioux Falls, I was reminded that we really are all in this together.  The storyline plays out the same in Iowa as it does in South Dakota.  Young men learn from an early age specific gender roles about how to be a man, and how by being that stereotypical man, violence often follows.  It is imperative that we as a collective community make every effort to change these learned behaviors now, before it is too late.

It occurred to me that I have an opportunity when traveling to communities to present on understanding violence and violence prevention.  The opportunity is that I should be making every effort to share resources with these communities.  I by no means am the expert in this matter but have been fortunate to learn from many and have been provided with a number of resources to institute change.  A member of the audience yesterday asked me for a specific violence prevention program titled “Healthy Relationships.”  Imagine when she begins to share these resources with her community and when disclosures of abuse occur.  She will not be able to effectively provide or refer services to those in need while teaching life saving skills.

Thank you members of the Sioux Falls community for the opportunity yesterday.  I applaud you for your efforts to change the world.


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