Dante Jackson – Executive Board Member
Prior to becoming a volunteer and later a board member with PADV the question that always lingered in my mind was “why me?” I quickly asked myself “as a male what role could I play within an organization that was primarily established to assist women victimized by the men they loved and trusted.” Would I be looked upon with skepticism? How would the women living in the shelter view me? How would the children respond to me? That final question is what gave me the courage to pick up the phone and offer my services to PADV in whatever capacity they would have me serve.
PADV not only embraced me as a male volunteer, but allowed me to use their platform to help educate others, including our youth, on domestic violence prevention and awareness. Domestic violence is often a learned behavior attributed to a cycle of violence amongst generations of family members. As men we have the ability to take on the challenge of stopping domestic violence in ways not available to women. By teaching our youth that a healthy relationship does not involve physical, verbal, or emotional abuse we are not only assisting them with breaking a cycle of physical and emotional damage inflicted upon those they love, but also themselves.
By participating in the variety of special events held by PADV throughout the year to include the Teen Summit I was able to utilize my professional and personal skills to help teenagers understand the importance of healthy teen dating and domestic violence prevention.
There are a multitude of ways that men can assist PADV in the eradication of domestic violence. By participating in the volunteer programs, assisting with the various fundraisers, or simply ensuring that your company offers domestic violence assistance to its employees there is no limit to how we can assist this organization. PADV has largely been successful by utilizing its powerful voice. By adding as many men as possible that voice simply grows louder and reaches more people. The question I now have is “Why not you?”