PORTLAND – The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has awarded a grant of nearly $350,000 to Maine Boys to Men. This award supports a multi-year project to engage adult men as leaders, mentors and allies in preventing male violence against women and girls in Greater Portland.
Maine Boys to Men’s Reducing Sexism and Violence Program, which is based on their nationally recognized set of curriculums, will be the foundation of this project. The project builds on current youth and adult programs, allowing Maine Boys to Men to engage more deeply with adult men, empowering them as leaders, role models, and influencers through primary prevention efforts.
To make its programs increasingly accessible to immigrant and refugee populations, Maine Boys to Men will expand its partnerships with The Opportunity Alliance (TOA) and LearningWorks. Programs will be delivered in collaboration with (TOA) Parkside Neighborhood Center in one of Portland’s most diverse communities, and with LearningWorks in coordination with their English Language & Literacy program.
Maine Boys to Men’s long-time partners, Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine and Through These Doors, will provide advocacy support and insight toward program development on issues of sexual assault and domestic violence, respectively.
“We are honored to receive this award and expand our existing work with fathers, educators, and athletic coaches”, said Matt Theodores, Maine Boys to Men executive director. “There is a pressing need for all men, and particularly men in such influential roles, to actively take steps to end male violence against women and girls. This award, along with tremendous local support, helps us respond to significantly growing demand for our youth and adult programs in Greater Portland and beyond.”
Maine’s congressional delegation are strong supporters of Maine Boys to Men’s efforts with OVW.
“Maine Boys to Men works with communities to create an environment where individuals of all ages are empowered to intervene before violence occurs,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We welcome this important funding, which will allow the dedicated staff and volunteers at Maine Boys to Men to continue their commendable work to shift attitudes and help protect women and girls in Southern Maine.”
“This funding couldn’t come at a more pivotal moment in our country’s discussion of sexual assault and harassment. It’s clear that better supporting survivors and holding their perpetrators accountable is essential but not enough. To get at the root of the problem, we need to change the culture that leads to these acts of violence in the first place,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “I applaud Boys to Men and partners for their continued efforts to engage diverse groups of men as leaders and advocates in preventing violence against women and girls, and am thrilled that this funding will allow them to expand their critical initiatives.”
About Maine Boys to Men
Maine Boys to Men is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization based in Falmouth, Maine that supports the healthy development of boys and engages communities to shift attitudes and actions to end male violence against women and girls.
For more information, please visit www.maineboystomen.org.