Grand County Advocates sponsors ‘Strong Men Essay Contest’ |

Grand County Advocates sponsors ‘Strong Men Essay Contest’

Ending domestic violence has long been a crusade led by women.

The movement was born out of early feminism, but according to Grand County’s Advocates Assistance Team Program Coordinator Marissa Lorenz, an “exciting trend” is that men are becoming allies in the work to stop the violence.

The nonprofit Advocates, with a seven-member board of directors and two staff members, answers 340 victims’ calls a year on average, 93 percent from Grand County residents. Greater than half of the calls involve an incident of physical abuse.

Even with more education available to violators in today’s world, statistics show that the social forces and regrettable choices behind battering continue.

According to national statistics, one in three women are abused within an intimate relationship in their lifetimes, and one in four women are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.

About 90 percent of the domestic abuse is by men against women

“The majority of men are not abusive, but many of them are silent about it,” Lorenz said. Coalitions against domestic violence aim to change that.

Many victim assistance groups in the country are being founded by men, Lorenz said, being run by men and performing outreach to men in a partnership with women to end relationship intimidation and violence.

For that, Advocates is setting out to recognize the many men in Grand County “who act with empathy and connectivity and who work to advance gender equality and safety in their everyday lives,” states Advocates’ fall newsletter.

A writing contest called the “Strong Men Essay Contest” is being launched to draw attention to positive male role models in the community.

“We’re highlighting men who use their strength and their masculinity in a non-violent manner and use it to empower and protect women in their communities rather than harm them.” Lorenz said.

According to Advocates, “the traditional idea of ‘masculinity equals dominance’ is in flux.”

To take part in the Advocates’ essay contest, participants are invited to write 300 to 500 words on a male nominee who represents a positive story of masculinity.

“We want to know about your spouse, partner, parent, son, friend, co-worker… who is an example of healthy masculine strength without violence,” the Advocates team states.

Winning essays will be considered for publication in the Sky-Hi Daily Newspaper. The first place nominee will receive a professional Bumper-Pool Table and second place will be awarded a 13-in-1 Game Table.

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