Letter to the Editor

Family Support Services shares its message

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Coaching Boys INTO Men billboard, as seen on the west side of the road along U.S. 231.

To the Editor:

Have you been wondering about the "Coaching Boys INTO Men" billboard you have recently seen as you headed north on U.S. 231?

What's it all about?

It's all about healthy relationships, respect, gender equality and non-violence. Family Support Services, in conjunction with the community, is implementing a state-funded prevention campaign to eradicate and raise awareness of the abuse in our community.

Prevention efforts being implemented by Family Support Services is comprised of many pieces. Two pieces of the project that are currently being facilitated are the Coaching Boys INTO Men Program (hence the huge billboard with men dressed in purple) and the Safe Dates Program that is currently being implemented.

The Coaching Boys INTO Men is a program created by Futures Without Violence. Family Support Services began piloting the Coaching Boys INTO Men Program last fall with some of the coaches at Greencastle High School.

Because athletic coaches have the opportunity to positively influence how young men think and behave off and on the field, they have been provided the training and tools to promote respectful communication toward others. We believe that qualities of a successful athlete such as discipline, cooperation and integrity, are also the building blocks to becoming a respectful individual and a role model for others.

Futures Without Violence is in the process of expanding the CBIM program to provide females with the same programming and Family Support Service will expand the program locally to include females as well.

The Safe Dates program strives to: a) raise awareness of what constitutes healthy and abusive relationships, b) raise students awareness of dating abuse and its causes and consequences, c) equip students with the skills and resources to help themselves or friends in abusive dating relationships, and d) equip students with the skills to develop healthy dating relationships, including positive communication, anger management, and conflict resolution.

The newest piece of Family Support Services' prevention efforts is The Green Dot Campaign, which is in its beginning stages.

The Green Dot Campaign is a program built on the premise that in order to measurably reduce the perpetration of power-based personal violence, a cultural shift is necessary. In order to create that shift, a critical mass of people will need to engage in a new behavior that will make violence less sustainable. Some of the Green Dot Campaign activities that will be implemented throughout the next few months include; training for prevention educators, community awareness such as the Guys with Ties campaign, public service announcements, prevention materials placed in public spaces, bystander education forums, etc.

Family Support Services looks forward to a Green Dot community where respect for others within our neighborhood is typical.

Family Support Services was one of six agencies in the State of Indiana chosen to receive funding to implement prevention activities within their community. Prevention Project activities are funded through the Centers for Disease Control and the Indiana State Department of Health and administered by the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

As a community, we challenge each one of you to join our cause in any way you can to stop the violence.

Ways that you can support our community's prevention efforts are to demonstrate respectful behaviors in your own relationships, become an active bystander and engage in the Green Dot Campaign when the opportunity arises.

If you would like more information on our services or would like to become more involved please contact Tammy Page, prevention educator, at Family Support Services, 653-4820.

Family Support Services