Two groups of local men are raising awareness of domestic violence. The Elephant Club has teamed up with the Engaging Males program to try to decrease the abusive behavior in Illinois and Iowa.
Thursday they held their annual Flowers on the River event.
During Flowers on the River, a flower is placed in the river to represent each woman who lost her life to domestic violence.
Each flower represents a woman in Illinois or Iowa who died from that behavior.
It’s an annual event put on by the Elephant Club, but this year they teamed up with the Family Resources Engaging Males program.
“It’s helped to increase access to services for males, and to engage men in standing up against domestic violence,” said Engaging Males representative Anton Taylor.
Taylor says the purpose of the group is to bring more males into the conversation of domestic violence awareness.
“Statistically, men tend to be more of the perpetrators of these violent crimes when the women tend to be the victims, so I think it’s important for men to kind of take notice of that and to kind of figure out why this pattern keeps repeating,” Taylor said.
Engaging Males is a mentoring program where older men are paired up with young men as positive role models.
The program also sends groups into local high schools to hold what’s called gender debunking groups.
“With engaging males, one of our purposes is to not necessarily throw out the definition of what it means to be a man, but to kind of broaden that definition, to expand on it, you know with the whole stigma with big boys don’t cry and things like that,” Taylor said.
Taylor says getting men to join the fight against domestic violence is the best way to help stop it.
“Myself personally, I have a wife, I have a daughter, and I have a mother, so I think when crime affects them, it affects me as well,” Taylor said.
Putting flowers in the river is a very visual representation of how domestic violence hurts an area. Still, the best way to help is to get involved.
You can find out how by following this link, or by calling Family Resources at 866-921-3354