Men — as fathers, brothers, coaches, teachers, uncles and mentors — are in a unique position to prevent domestic, dating and sexual violence; yet too many remain untapped as resources. The Futures Without Violence’s Coaching Boys into Men (CBIM) program joined forces with the Texas Council on Family Violence and SafeHaven last year to help change that through a successful implementation of the program in six high schools in Tarrant County funded by the SCORE Foundation.
Domestic violence continues at an epidemic level in Texas and affects individuals in every community, regardless of race, gender, class, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or educational background. In 2008 and 2009, 249 Texas women were killed by their partners, the youngest victim a mere 14 years old.
In fact, the statistics for violence in teen relationships in the state and around the country are staggering. The results from a 2006 Texas-wide dating violence survey conducted by GCI Group Equation Research on behalf of the Texas Council on Family Violence indicate that 75 percent of teens report having experienced dating violence or knowing someone who has experienced it.
But there is hope.
The History of Coaching Boys into Men
First launched in 2001 with support from the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention and in partnership with the Advertising Council, CBIM’s core goal is to inspire men and teach boys the importance of respecting women and that violence never equals strength. The program began as a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign with TV, radio, print and online components, and has since generated well over $125 million in donated media and numerous local efforts in communities around the country.
Using sports and coaching as metaphors, CBIM includes not only PSAs, but also an online toolkit, Playbook and official Coaches Kit (found at www.coachescorner.org) funded by the Verizon Foundation. Since 2005, CBIM strategies, scenarios and resources help men, and athletic coaches more specifically, mold attitudes and behaviors that prevent relationship abuse, harassment and sexual assault both on and off the field.
Coaching Boys into Men Texas Pilot
The kit curriculum is built on a series of coach-to-athlete “teach-easy tactics and trainings” that illustrate ways to role model and promote healthy relationships and choices among youth. The design guides coaches on how to incorporate the philosophies associated with teamwork, integrity, fair play and respect into routine practice and strategy sessions. Moreover, results from this Texas pilot found desirable shifts in all three measured outcomes: students’ ability to identify abusive behaviors; students’ attitudes and beliefs which may support violence against women; and students’ willingness to intervene when they see forms of abuse occurring. Overall, national CBIM research shows that more men, and parents overall, are talking to kids about violence against women being wrong.