PORTLAND, Maine – 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 to engage boys and men as leaders in preventing violence against women in Greater Portland.
Maine Boys to Men, in collaboration with Family Crisis Services and Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine (SARSSM), will use these funds to extend the impact of its Reducing Sexism and Violence Program (RSVP), an innovative and intensive leadership program that empowers participants to play a central role in ending gender-based harassment, abuse, and violence.
Under this grant, Maine Boys to Men has partnered with Preble Street Teen Center to adapt and deliver RSVP to homeless boys and young men ages 13-24. In addition, Maine Boys to Men will use a portion of this grant to significantly expand the delivery of RSVP within South Portland High School and engage the broader community through direct programming, public education and organizing activities. This initiative with South Portland will serve as a model to be replicated in other areas of the state.
“This grant award is fantastic news for Greater Portland and all communities across Maine that are served by our programs,” says Matt Theodores, executive director, Maine Boys to Men. “This national award, along with an outpouring of local support, allows us to engage thousands of boys, girls, men, and women to work together as allies to stop gender-based violence.”
Maine’s congressional delegation are strong supporters of Maine Boys to Men’s efforts with OVW.
“The Maine Boys to Men program is an important initiative that is helping cultivate young men as leaders in the effort to end violence against women and, in the process, make our communities stronger,” said Senator Angus King. “This welcome grant funding from the Department of Justice will allow the program to continue in its mission to teach young people in Maine that violence against women is never, ever acceptable.”
“One of the most effective steps we can take in addressing the heartbreaking issue of domestic violence is empowering the next generation to break the cycle of violence before it can restart,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “Boys to Men is doing fantastic work to drive that change in Maine’s young men while teaching them about leadership and respect. I’m so glad this federal grant will allow the organization and its partners to expand those efforts to more students.”
Maine Boys to Men, Family Crisis Services, and Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine are members of the Violence Prevention Network; a coalition of organizations committed to changing culture and preventing violence by working collaboratively in schools and across communities in Cumberland County.
About Maine Boys to Men
Maine Boys to Men is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization based in Yarmouth, Maine. The organization has served communities across Maine since 1998, helping boys reach their potential to become emotionally healthy, respectful, non-violent men. Its programs confront narrow gender assumptions that severely limit both men and women, and empower boys and men to stand up alongside girls and women to stop gender based violence. For more information, go to www.maineboystomen.org.