Who can offer support to the 25 percent of American women who experience violence or abuse during their lifetime? Perhaps the best advocates to fight against this mistreatment are the majority of men who never think of hurting a woman.
That’s the idea behind Te Invito, a new program of the National Latin@ Network that reaches out to Latino men in Spanish and English to encourage them to speak out and work for an end to violence against women. Their website offers an Engaging Men and Boys toolkit that includes resources on programs throughout the country that have been proven to work. The campaign kicked off with a video they hope will reach Latino men to introduce them to the program.
One such program is Coaching Boys Into Men, which teaches techniques to athletic coaches that engage their team members in discussions about domestic violence. The goal? Preventing teenagers from ever abusing a partner. A study by Elizabeth Miller of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC suggested this program increased teenagers’ recognition of abusive behavior, reduced their likelihood of abusing a girlfriend, and often led them to intervene in stopping such abusive behavior in others.
“As with every other culture, there have always been Latino men who oppose violence against women,” Juan Carlos Areán, Director of the National Latin@ Network told Pierre R. Berastaín for the Huffington Post. “Te Invito is an opportunity for those men to lift their voices and make it clear that this [violence] is unacceptable behavior.”
Men and boys who have engaged in domestic violence prevention are invited to share their ideas with Te Invito so they can increase their list of resources throughout the country. The idea is if more men become aware of how many men are opposed to abuse of women, it won’t be culturally acceptable to engage in this violence. Which sounds like a pretty terrific idea to us.
MORE: We Can Save Some of America’s Most Vulnerable Women From Violence