Men Can Stop Rape is widely viewed as the national leader on engaging young men in gender violence prevention. The organization has reached hundreds of thousands of youth and trained thousands of professionals from agencies including rape crisis centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, state Health Departments, Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office, coalitions against sexual assault, and educational institutions. The principal aspect of domestic violence prevention MCSR addresses is men’s violence against women. We take a multi-faceted approach to building young men as leaders in preventing partner abuse and sexual assault.
The Strength Campaign puts MCSR’s vision into action. From school-based youth programs to city-wide public action projects, capacity-building for professionals to global social marketing ventures, MCSR’s programmatic approach follows an environmental model that honors the process of change, identifying six steps through which individuals must advance to transform from bystanders to agents for change: 1) notice the event, 2) interpret it as a problem, 3) feel motivated to and capable of finding a solution, 4) possess the skills to act, 5) intervene, and 6) maintain (Prochaska, 1994). Our school-based Men of Strength (MOST) Clubs, named one of the most promising “50 Strategies to Prevent Violent Domestic Crime” by the National Crime Prevention Council, give high school-aged young men a safe, consistent space to build skills for identity development, gender violence prevention, and healthy relationship conduct. Community Strength Projects (CSP) allow MOST Club members to translate curriculum lessons into service-learning activities, public action campaigns, and peer education opportunities with female co-facilitators. Awareness-to-Action Workshops are interactive presentations that offer young people a forum for discussing the complexities of gender, relationships, and violence. Training and Technical Assistance institutionalize MCSR’s approach by building the capacity of professionals to create, facilitate, and evaluate programs for male youth. The Strength Mediaworks combines eye-catching images with compelling messages to portray male strength that embodies open communication and healthy attitudes while rejecting notions of domination and disrespect.
While our primary target groups are young men and professionals who work with them, our work has a tremendous impact on communities as a whole. Organizations across the country and around the globe have utilized Mediaworks materials. High profile media coverage from outlets such as O, the Oprah Magazine, Lifetime Entertainment, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and The New York Times has strengthened MCSR’s visibility and credibility. The Ms. Foundation for Women honored MCSR with a Gloria Award, the first given for efforts focusing on men.