Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.

Coolest local male initiative

Vera House asks men to join in the fight against sexual violence.

If women could have stopped violence against women, they would have done it a long time ago, says Vera House men’s outreach program coordinator Chauncey Brown.

That’s why local groups of men — including some at Syracuse University — are taking the initiative to combat domestic violence and sexual abuse, most recently by kicking off the 18th annual Vera House White Ribbon Campaign. The campaign ran from March 23 to April 1.

See more SUperlative videos about standout people and places on campus, including some "firsts," "bests" and "favorites."

The campaign was led by concerned men who encouraged all members of the community to purchase white ribbons or wristbands for $1 each to raise funds and awareness about relationship violence. Sporting a white ribbon or wristband — with the slogan “No Excuse for Abuse” — signifies a promise not to condone, support or commit domestic or sexual violence. All proceeds went toward Vera House educational programs and services.

The White Ribbon Campaign resonates with many on a college campus. Females between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of domestic violence, according to Vera House.

It is critical for college men to join women and invite other men to fight domestic violence and sexual assault, said Eric McGriff, a Syracuse University freshman and member of the campus organization A Men’s Issue. AMI seeks to redefine traditional understandings of masculinity and advocates against sexual and relationship violence.

The student body does not accept any form of sexual abuse, Student Association President Dylan Lustig said. SA members have drafted a bill — authored by two males and one female — in support of the White Ribbon Campaign, urging everyone on campus to take a “firm stance against all forms of domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault” and take advantage of the resources available at SU and in Onondaga County.

A Men’s Issue is instrumental in organizing Take Back the Night, the main campus event during April’s Sexual Awareness Month. This year, the event is on April 11 at 7 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. Take Back the Night is an annual international event where people speak out against rape, abuse and oppression.

SU began selling ribbons before the campaign’s official start date to build early momentum, Colleen Bench, director of the SU Parents Office, said. Bench co-chairs the campaign on campus with Melvin Stith, dean of the Whitman School of Management.

An academic department can order ribbons and wristbands by calling the Student Affairs Dean’s Office at 443-4263.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.