Monday, April 13, 2015

This Happened To Me, Too

I'm over at this week with a guest column entitled, "This Happened To Me, Too". The column is part of Stephanie Wright's "52 Mondays" - if you care at all about stopping DV as well as sexual violence, you need to check out her work EVERY WEEK. Week after week she has consistently raised her voice and increased the level of dialogue on the subject - Stephanie Wright is one of those true heroes who makes a difference in her words and actions.  I'm flattered and honored to add my voice to hers'.

Please take a moment to read "52 Mondays" then take a stand.

Make a difference at stopping DV and sexual violence.

You can read "52 Mondays" here

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2 College Students Charged in Sexual Attack on Florida Beach

I’ve talked and written at length about DV and sexual violence – I’m fortunate to have a guest post at later this week (part of Stephanie Wright’s excellent 52 Mondays series) where I’ll be writing about sexual violence on college campuses.  Within that post I’ll deal specifically with the “It’s On Us” campaign.

For those unfamiliar with “It’s On Us”, the campaign encourages bystander intervention – students stepping into bad situations to help potential victims.  From the “It’s On Us” website:

“The campaign reflects the belief that sexual assault isn’t just an issue involving a crime committed by a perpetrator against a victim, but one in which the rest of us also have a role to play. We are committed to creating an environment - be it a dorm room, a party, a bar or club, or the greater college campus - where sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. This effort will support student-led efforts already underway across the country, and will focus particularly on motivating college men to get involved……. By getting men involved, we can change this way of thinking (violence against women) and create new social norms..”

So imagine my horror this morning when I came across this article in the NY Times while drinking my coffee:

Obviously those students on the beach in Panama City, Florida are not only clueless about “It’s On Us”, but lack the moral fiber to do what’s right in a situation that is clearly wrong.  "This is happening in broad daylight with hundreds of people seeing and hearing what is happening, and they are more concerned about spilling their beer than somebody being raped," Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen said.

We need to do more than getting men involved.

We need to teach boys to respect all women. 

We need to teach men not to rape. 

And apparently we need to teach other men to put down their beers and get involved when they see something wrong happening.

More more info on "It's On Us", check out their PSA:
"It's On Us" PSA

Friday, March 27, 2015

Sarah Silverman On Ten Rape Prevention Tips

Last week Sarah Silverman posted Ten Rape Prevention Tips (a tongue-in-cheek list that has been around since 2011) and immediately came under fire from a vocal segment of men who haven’t yet figured out how satire works. 

When discussing rape, responsibility is too often put on women/girls to do more to “prevent” their own sexual assaults…..the way we as a society address rape prevention has been ineffective for a very long time, especially because it demands victims to shoulder the responsibility of preventing rapes and then proving those same rapes when they happen.

And once again, the #NotAll Men faction of the male population seems to have missed the point completely.  The bottom line: Every parent has a responsibility to teach their sons not to rape, and every man has a responsibility to take a stand against sexual violence- that means taking steps to change the behavior of other men who haven't figured that part out yet.

Check out the Ten Rape Prevention Tips below:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

52 Mondays

Readers of this space (as well as other social media sites I pass through on occasion) know of the respect and admiration I have for Stephanie Wright and the work she has done to eradicate DV from the lives of women (and men).  Dr. Wright has undertaken a weekly challenge/focus of writing about DV at,  and I encourage everyone to read her 52 Mondays.  She is well-spoken, thoughtful, and constantly insightful with her POV – calling attention to DV issues with strength and an eloquence that is often lacking in my own posts.
If you care at all about ending DV you really need to be reading 52 Mondays. Then be bold and speak out against it in any/every way you can.  Every step you take makes a difference.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Dave Navarro Talks About DV and His Mother's Murder

In case you missed it:

Jane's Addiction founder and guitarist Dave Navarro talked about his very personal connection to domestic violence. In 1983, his mother Connie Navarro was murdered by a vengeful ex-boyfriend, when Dave was just 15 years old.

"My mother was in a relationship, the relationship ended," Navarro said.  "She wanted to go a different way, and her then-ex-boyfriend murdered her and my aunt."

He justified why he would call his mother's murder a form of domestic violence. "Sometimes it's hard to link domestic violence with murder because it's such a broad jump," Navarro reflected. "Except it is a domestically violent situation and probably the worst-case scenario in a domestically violent world."

You can watch it here

And if you're interested, you can learn about No More by clicking on the following:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Into The Fire

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends”.
                                                                                    Dr. Martin Luther King  11/17/1957

This quote by Dr. King always resonated with me – eighteen words I carried with me wherever I went, no matter what I did (or didn’t do).

In recent months much of my writing has focused on the issues of domestic violence and sexual violence.  Part of that stems from a new work in progress; a book that is markedly different in style, tone, and message than anything I’ve ever written before and that has taken me on a totally unexpected and eye-opening journey.  More comes from watching and admiring Stephanie Wright tackle domestic violence and related issues at – boldly raising her voice and making a difference week after week.  A larger reason comes out of those eighteen words by Dr. King – to stand quietly on domestic and sexual violence is impossible.

Here’s the thing:
Domestic violence (and sexual violence) is not just an issue between two people, even though it’s been treated that way by too many people for too long.  Too many people who might have made a difference in changing the hearts and minds of those who were content to pretend they didn’t know ……. Too many people who could have made a difference.

If at least three women die every day at the hands of their partners, that’s over one thousand lives that have been lost by silence every year.

No matter who you are, chances are that sooner or later it will be someone you know.

Full disclosure: I am the child of an abusive father.  One of my earliest memories is of my father running out the kitchen door as a pot flew at his head and crashed against the wall.  I was two years old when he left and he didn’t return until I was seventeen, so in some ways I was one of the lucky ones - male children who witness the abuse of mothers by fathers are more likely to become men who batter in adulthood than those male children from homes free of violence.  Like many children from fatherless families, I wondered sometimes what life might have been like if my father had been around while I was growing up, but I’ve learned that not having him around wasn’t such a bad thing.

Some have questioned what I can bring to a discussion about domestic and sexual violence because after all, I’m a man, but who better to help lead this fight than other men?  And let’s be clear about that too – not about being a man - but the sad fact that the only voices questioning me are coming from other men.  What too many guys haven’t figured out or refuse to accept is that domestic violence is a public health issue.  Every man has a responsibility to join women in the fight against domestic and sexual violence.  The first step in that solution starts with the way we view women.  Any attitude that devalues women is wrong and needs to change…. It’s time for all men to stand up, take responsibility for our thoughts, our words, and the things we do.  I plan to spend the rest of this year focusing on these two topics and doing whatever I can to raise awareness, open dialogue, and make a difference in this fight.

My only regret: I should have spoken out years earlier.  And I should have been louder because I can be very loud.

“Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world”.
                                                                                             Robert Kennedy  4/4/1968