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'Engaging Men' Brings New Voices into Sexual-Violence Dialogue


Thursday, September 8, 2022   

An initiative at one Ohio nonprofit is taking on the topic of men and sexual violence.

There is a false notion men are not experiencing sexual violence or are only perpetrators of it, but a 2015 study indicated nearly one quarter of men experience sexual violence in their lifetime. At the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the "Engaging Men" initiative is trying to bring men into the conversation.

Jayvon Howard, Engaging Men coordinator for the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, hosts a monthly Instagram live event he calls "Q and A with Jay," the second Wednesday of every month at noon. He said breaking through preexisting beliefs is a big part of the project.

"This issue of sexual violence, especially around male survivorship and male victimization, we don't culturally think that it's real, that it's something that ever happens, and men feel that for themselves as well, or about other men," Howard explained.

Howard emphasized the event offers a safe space for both men and women to learn about resources for survivors and anti-violence strategies. Most questions come from women, and he is hoping to get more men involved.

"It helps kind of uplift and change the narrative a bit that 'OK, maybe this space is for me to be a part of, maybe I can ask questions, maybe it's OK for me to explore this topic safely,' " Howard pointed out.

Disclosure: The Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault, Health Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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