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Celebrating Father's Day
As we're getting ready to celebrate all the fathers, grandfathers, father-figures, uncles, brothers and partners in our lives this Father's Day, we wanted to take a moment and recognize the men who are fearlessly joining the movement to end violence and abuse. The parents and caregivers who are, every day, doing their part to instill love and respect for one another in their children's hearts. The brothers, sons and partners who rise up to intervene, to prevent and to say no more to violence. The advocates and survivors who let others—men and women alike—know that they are not alone on their healing journeys, that there are resources and support and that sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse are issues that affect all of us. We often refer to what we do as being part of the movement to end violence against women and children. But it's bigger than that. Because while women and children represent the majority of victims of sexual and domestic violence, we know that men are affected as well. Men and boys are sexually and physically assaulted. They are witnesses and bystanders to violence. And sometimes, they're the perpetrators. Engaging men is a crucial part of the movement to address, prevent and—one day—end sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
As you might know, Joyful Heart turned towards engaging men in a big way this year, starting with an education and awareness campaign that launched around the second episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit back in September. It was an episode about a coach, respected and trusted as a mentor in his community, who is accused of sexually abusing the young players on his team for decades. Little did we know that it would air for the first time just weeks before the tragedies at Penn State, Syracuse and Poly Prep in Brooklyn were brought to light. The powerful episode—which re-aired with a PSA from our Founder & President, Mariska Hargitay, in January—reached over 11 million households.
This year, tens of thousands of new visitors have found our website, where they have learned about these issues, found ways to get involved and connected to resources, information and life-saving help. Mariska used her powerful voice to engage in a national dialogue on the issue of sexual assault of men and boys. And we've partnered with our friends at 1in6, an incredible resource to the 1 in 6 men—19 million American males—who are survivors of an unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood, to bring stories of healing from survivors, resources for them and their partners and families and awareness to this issue here on the Joyful Heart Blog and to make resources available in print and online to those who need them.
So now, as we take a moment to reflect on all of this, we also take a moment to reflect on all those who give us cause to be grateful, to celebrate, this Father's Day. We thank you—no matter who you are or where in the world you're reading this email from—for being a part of our efforts, for being fearless.
We ask that you consider sharing your gratitude by sharing this post with them. And if you would like to give the gift of fearlessness to a father or important man in your life, we invite you to shop Me&Ro's Joyful Heart collection. In honor of Joyful Heart's Engaging Men initiative and in time for Father's Day, Me&Ro has added another inspiring piece to their Joyful Heart collection, the Men's Fearlessness Tube Bracelet. It's Me&Ro's first piece made exclusively for and in support of men. The message of fearlessness means so much, and we are so privileged to be able to now share it with men, without whom a world free of violence and abuse will not be possible.