This week, men across the country united to say NO MORE to violence against women and girls by engaging in online trainings, workshops, and community dialogues. These activities were led by NO MORE , an alliance of service providers, awareness organizations and supporters in the private sector that have come together to advance the movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault. The focus of NO MORE Week has been on the role of men as fathers and mentors in teaching our children about safe and healthy relationships built on equality, respect and trust. This includes having honest conversations about abuse and sexual assault. As President Obama has made clear, sexual assault is shameful and disgraceful and a crime—in the armed forces and everywhere.
We applaud the men who are taking a stand against abuse. This includes fathers, brothers, cousins, and friends who are supporting the women and girls in their lives and teaching young men about healthy relationships. Fathers can find specific resources on talking to sons about the importance of treating women with respect from the coalition of organizations that comprise NO MORE.
Since his first day in office, President Obama has made combatting violence against women and girls a priority through multiple fronts. The establishment of the first-ever White House Council on Women and Girls, and the appointment of the first White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, are just two examples. Here in the Office of the Vice President, we are continuing to champion Vice President Biden’s hard work to prevent and respond to domestic violence since he authored the first Violence Against Women Act in 1994. Through the 1is2Many campaign, we are combatting dating violence, abuse, and sexual assault by raising awareness and providing practical tools, like the Circle of 6 iPhone app. But we know that we cannot do this work alone. We know that so much of this hard work is being done by organizations of advocates like NO MORE, through its efforts to break through the silence surrounding these problems and to get parents, especially men, to talk about the issue.
And this all starts with a conversation, which is why NO MORE Week has promoted a national dialogue to engage men in discussing these difficult topics. Bringing these issues to light is good for our children, good for our families, and good for our country—and should be discussed not only during NO MORE week, but every week.
Lynn Rosenthal is the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women