Christiana Care, a National Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, has been working for years to help women who are victims of domestic violence at an annual event that offers resources, education and support.
“In 2011, we decided to take a different approach by talking directly to men,” said Liz O’Neill, project director, Department of Family and Community Medicine. “To do that, we worked with men and men’s groups throughout the community, from the Wilmington Police Department to the Delaware Division of Public Health to the clergy.”
More than 150 men, teens and the women who love them recently attended the 9th Annual Domestic Violence Prevention Forum at Ezion Fair Baptist Church in the city’s Southbridge neighborhood.
The keynote speaker was Tony Porter, co-founder of A Call to Men, a nationally recognized organization based in New York that is committed to ending violence against women.
In his address, Porter said the problem of abuse toward women is two-pronged—including both men who physically harm women and men who do not intervene.
He called out for men to take a strong stance in standing up for positive male role models who support respect for women and also advocate for women.
The American Medical Association estimates that almost 4 million men severely assault an intimate female partner each year. Assault is the leading cause of injury for women, accounting for at least 35 percent of visits to the Emergency Department.
“Domestic violence is an important women’s health issue,” says Richard J. Derman, M.D., MPH, chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Christiana Care. “Preventing abuse through community partnerships that promote education and awareness can save women’s lives.”
Christiana Care is committed to caring for its neighbors by bringing essential information and education to people who need it, going straight to the community. In addition to Porter’s speech, the event included roundtable discussions of domestic violence, as well as a video presentation.
The forum was months in the making, with Christiana Care coordinating input from men’s organizations, as well as the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Delaware Girls’ Initiative, Latin American Community Center, Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, Westside Health Inc. and other groups.
“It was a broad-based and very active planning committee, with many people working together to reach out to men on this important issue,” O’Neill says.
In addition to Christiana Care, funding for the event was provided by the Delaware Division of Behavioral Health.
Photo gallery: 9th Annual Domestic Violence Prevention Forum
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