CHALLENGING a culture that supports violence against women and CULTIVATING healthy masculinity!
The General Commission on United Methodist Men has partnered with AMEND Together to create an eight-week group series in which men will learn to recognize, respond to, and prevent violence against women.
AMEND Together is an innovative, primary prevention initiative dedicated to ending violence against women and girls by engaging and educating men. It was started by YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, operators of the largest domestic violence shelter in the state. Motivated by the fact that the shelter was consistently at capacity, and in response to the constant need for more shelter beds, AMEND Together was developed to prevent violence against women before it occurs.
How does it end?
“Good men” must play a critical role in creating a community where all women and girls are valued and safe. Extensive work by experts in gender violence prevention reveals that this is accomplished through education and mobilization. Only with the support and involvement of men and boys can the cycle of gender violence be eventually stop.
Responses to the ‘Amending through Faith’ project
As I sit at my computer to write this article, I am reflecting on the many responses we have received about the “Amending through Faith” project since it was launched throughout The United Methodist Church connection.
- “‘Amending through Faith’ helped me realize the way I was talking to my wife was hurting her and destroying our marriage.”
- “This program gave me language to talk about a problem facing the church.”
- “I’m excited about ‘Amending through Faith’ but disappointed that my annual conference will not allow me to show the promo video.”
- “We are not going to use the materials at our annual conference, because we are a rural area that does not have a problem with domestic/gender-based violence.”
“Amending through Faith” is a program that challenges “good men” to enter a dialogue about the systematic and systemic issues that cause and perpetuate gender-based violence in our society. It challenges men to take a stand to change the dialogue in an effort to stop the violence.
I rejoice in the lives and relationships that already have been changed just through the pilot test group. I also am shocked and disheartened by a few comments that indicate some men still don’t get it.
It is believed that about 25 percent of Christian homes witness abuse of some kind. This occurs throughout the U.S. and around the world. It happens in the cities and in the country, in rich households and in poor ones. It is unacceptable for us, as leaders in the church, to ignore this fact.
The parable of the Good Samaritan implores us as men of character and integrity to speak for and give help to those who can’t speak for and care for themselves. The “Amending through Faith” project is a faith-based, biblically sound resource for men to do just that.
God is truly calling men in the church to “help men grow in Christ, so others may know Christ.”
Will you join me on this journey?
Rev. Rick Vance, director of the Center for Men’s Ministries, General Commission on United Methodist Men