Standing against sexual violence

MOVE on MV hosted the ninth annual Seawall Stand.

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Men stood on the seawall in Vineyard Haven for the annual Connect to End Violence. – Jeremy Driesen

Approximately 30 men stood on the Vineyard Haven Seawall on Saturday, July 11, for the ninth annual Connect to End Violence Seawall Stand. The purpose of the event was to engage men in the fight against sexual violence.

The seawall event was led by MOVE on MV (Men Opposing Violence Everywhere on Martha’s Vineyard), a group of men that works, in collaboration with Connect to End Violence, to help raise awareness about healthy relationships, sexual assault prevention, and ending toxic masculinity. MOVE on M.V. believes that having a male-led event about sexual violence is an important step in taking accountability and responsibility to change that culture and raise awareness, according to the group’s Facebook page

Matt Malowski, a counselor at MVRHS and the M.V. Community Services male initiative specialist, helped organize the event. Malowski believes the Seawall Stand is important to show that sexual violence is a men’s problem, and men need to take a more active role in ending it.

“I think it’s important to stand out here, because we just don’t see enough men talking about this issue,” Malowski said. “To see all these men out on the wall today and to have people beep their horns as we hold these signs shows that we are a part of this too. We need to do our part.”

Oak Bluffs resident Mac Curran has been attending this event for five years. “This is a cause I think is really important,” Curran said. “With all that’s going on right now, this topic cannot be forgotten. That’s why I’m out here.”

David Araujo and his son Ryan joined the men on the wall. David is the director of the Island Intervention Center and the director of the emergency services program at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. “I feel as though it is really important for us as men to stand up here on this wall and be supportive of women and individuals in general who are going through situations of domestic violence,” David Araujo said.

Thirteen-year-old Ryan joined his father to spread awareness. “I want to spread awareness for domestic violence,” Ryan said. “I think more people my age should be spreading awareness.”

The men on the wall were supported by drivers who honked as they passed by.

“This location makes it so that people are able to see us and our message, and see that there are a bunch of men up here who care about their community,” David said. “It shows that we care about the problems going on, and want to deal with it and move forward.”

The Seawall Stand was started by Tisbury Police Sgt. Max Sherman in 2012. MOVE on M.V. has used this event to show that sexual violence is not just a women’s issue. The men on the wall held signs that explained why they cared about this issue.

“Having a strong visual representation that people care here on the seawall is really important,” Connect to End Violence program director Jennifer Neary said. “It’s a high-traffic area, so there is more of an opportunity for people to see this and be impacted by this.”

The event looked slightly different this year due to the pandemic. All participants were required to wear masks and stand socially distant from one another on the wall. “It was never an option not to do this event this year,” Neary said. “It was just a matter of how it would look with all that’s going on.

The Seawall Stand has expanded over the years. The organization’s ultimate goal is to fill the entire wall. For now, participants are happy to spread their message to the community.

“For me, standing up here means that I live in a community that cares about each other,” Malowski said. “I have a wife and two daughters, and seeing all these guys here tells me that if something unfortunate were to ever happen to my daughters, one of these guys would step in and help.”

Malowski encourages all men to get involved with MOVE on M.V. or Connect through the MV Community Services website (bit.ly/mvcsctev).

13 COMMENTS

  1. Violence towards women is not only sexual. There are men who beat up their wife and kids. I protest ALL VIOLENCE against women, including verbal violence.

    • As do we all it this is about a specific kind of abuse. It’s kind of like you are saying “All lives matter.” Which I don’t think is what you intended.

  2. The cases of domestic violence are evenly distributed between men and women. Too bad this protest didn’t focus on both men and women.

    • Cite your source for this lie. You won’t be able to… because it’s a lie. Do you ever say anything truthful?

      • Jackie– great link to actual facts.
        BS bid not say where he got his supposed “academic credentials” from.
        trump U is a good guess, but there are plenty of places that will give you a “masters” degree if you put up the money and take a “test”
        BS is implying that he has a “masters degree –about 21% of Americans have one.
        https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/02/number-of-people-with-masters-and-phd-degrees-double-since-2000.html
        But BS’s comment reminds me of a quite from Miles Kington–
        “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
        Even if BS actually does have a masters degree, he is clearly missing something.

    • Do you have a peer reviewed and published scientific article on the distribution of domestic violence between men and women?

    • Are you ready to take up a leadership position in focusing on the domestic violence of women against men?
      Will you build The Wall on which to protest?

    • Is there anything –literally anything- that you do not have a reactionary, paleoconservative opinion about?

    • bs– the editor here won’t let me call you a liar, but he will let me say your comment is a lie. You know it, I know it, the editor knows it, every man woman and child knows it. Get yourself a coloring book and try real hard to stay in the lines.

    • BS is wrong about the statistics, however there is not much constructive conversation going on here.

      Here are some stats for MA for those interested in learning more: https://assets.speakcdn.com/assets/2497/massachusetts_2019.pdf

      You can view state-by-state stats here: https://ncadv.org/state-by-state.

      More women are victims of domestic violence FOR SURE. Look at the stats and see for yourself.

      That being said, A LOT of men experience domestic violence as well. It certainly isn’t a women’s only problem, and that should also be recognized if we’re going to have a civil discussion about domestic violence and work together towards providing support for all those who need it.

    • “The 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey data for Massachusetts residents surveyed was similar to the national data.** Nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men in MA have ever experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape. Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men in MA have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lives. More than 1 in 7 women have experienced rape.”

      https://findhelp.janedoe.org/learn_more/facts_and_stats/massachusetts_snapshot

  3. “Intimate Partner Violence is common. It affects millions of people in the United States each year. Data from CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) indicate:

    About 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported some form of IPV-related impact.
    Over 43 million women and 38 million men experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
    IPV starts early and continues throughout the lifespan. When IPV starts in adolescence, it is called teen dating violence (TDV). TDV affects millions of US teens each year. About 11 million women and 5 million men who reported experiencing contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime said that they first experienced these forms of violence before the age of 18.”

    https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/fastfact.html

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