Men of Code

THE LANDSCAPE

1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner each year.

These behaviors often start at home – boys who witness partner violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.

Established male settings, like athletic teams, are often incubators for behaviors that can, even unintentionally, promote inappropriate and sexist actions. Data shows that male athletes represent
 19% of sexual assault perpetrators and 35% of domestic violence perpetrators, so we know that that early intervention into this population can have substantial impact.

MEN OF CODE MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Young men have an important role to play in curbing and preventing domestic violence.

Working in middle and high schools, in partnership with male athletes, coaches, and mentors, we have a unique opportunity to create long-term change.

MEN OF CODE IS AN INITIATIVE designed to transform young men and coaches involved with athletics into allies and leaders in the movement to end intimate partner violence against women and girls. Men of Code stands for Men of Character and Ownership Dedicated to Leading by Example (CODE).

MOC has been recognized as an exemplary violence prevention program working with men and boys by the Office of Violence Against Women, Department of Justice, and former Vice President Joe Biden. MOC is unique in its efforts to cultivate positive self-esteem and self-efficacy among young men by facilitating introspection and personal growth, building key competencies, and teaching important leadership and life skills to use beyond the playing field. Program participants explore oppression, bystander intervention, consent, how to help someone who is in an abusive relationship as well as skills for coping with trauma and learning how to manage stress. Curriculum topics include leadership, healthy masculinity, healthy relationships, domestic violence, consent and sexual assault, bystrander intervention, prevention, trauma, stress, mental health, and finacnical literacy.

Through our efforts, MEN OF CODE is helping to create a generation of young men who can serve as role models and leaders of healthy relationship development.

THE IMPACT

Since its inception in 2013, MEN of CODE has helped male high school student athletes understand what it means to be a leader, and share the importance of healthy relationships with their peers.

As a result of the success of these programs, we will be working with 400 young men in four high schools in calendar year 2020-2021.

After participating in MEN OF CODE:

  • 96% knew there was never an excuse to be physically violent in a relationship.
  • 86% were confident in their ability to intervene and de-escalate an abusive situation.
  • 96% believed it was important to hold themselves accountable for their actions.
  • 96% could identify the signs of an unhealthy relationship.
  • 94% felt comfortable talking about their emotions and mental health.
  • 92% agree consent must be present and can be revoked at any time in all sexual encounters.