DETAILS: ‘Be A Man’ shirts are on sale now through Monday, Nov. 20, and will be delivered Monday, Nov. 27. The Family Peace Project is asking men to wear their shirts Tuesday, Nov. 28, in solidarity with victims of domestic violence. Short sleeve shirts are $10 and long sleeve are $20, with larger sizes $2 extra. You can order your shirts online at http://www.familypeaceproject.org/be-a-man-campaign or at the Family Peace Project in Athens at 720 East Corsicana. Contact Louisa Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
By Michael V. Hannigan/HCNow
The FPP recently rolled out new “Be A Man” t-shirts and the organization is asking the men of Henderson and Kaufman counties to take a stand against domestic violence by purchasing one.
“The goal is to create a social change,” Louisa Garrett of the Family Peace Project told me this afternoon.
Louisa — better known as Lou — pointed out that it wasn’t that long ago, just a few decades in fact, that people believed it was OK for a husband to hit his wife.
“It’s just now where people are saying, ‘wait a minute, that’s not good,'” she said.
The statistics show that Henderson County isn’t far removed from that time. According to a report by an arm of the Texas Department of State Health Services, the county is near the top of its 23-county region in some disturbing categories.
For instance, Henderson County is 5th highest in the region for family violence arrest rate and 2nd highest in confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect.
Even more dismaying, “(t)he rates of child abuse and neglect and family violence average higher” in our region than the rest of the state, so Henderson County is one of the worst of the worst in Texas, according to the report.
The Family Peace Project, which is just one organization in the battle against domestic violence, has been very busy this year. Their shelter is full and they’ve served about 350 mostly women and children already in 2017.
Which is why good men need to stand up in our county.
“My goal is to get the fire departments, the police departments, churches, and public figures to all take a stand and say, ‘No, we all need to be a man,'” said Lou.
The Family Peace Project can’t do it alone, and neither can the Help Center, The Farm, the East Texas Crisis Center or any of the other organizations helping victims of domestic violence.
Someone has to stand up and say enough is enough; that it is not OK to assault those who can’t protect themselves.
You can help … you just have to ‘Be A Man.’