“STATISTICS SHOW THAT ONLY ABOUT 15% OF MEN ARE ABUSIVE OR VIOLENT TOWARDS WOMEN. AND YET, 1 IN 3 WOMEN WILL BE VICTIMS OF ABUSE DURING HER LIFETIME. HOW CAN WE, AS THE 85% OF GOOD, WELL-MEANING MEN, ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN IN OUR PRESENCE?” – TONY PORTER, CO-DIRECTOR OF A CALL TO MEN
A group of nonprofit organizations and community members in the Upstate of SC are responding to this call by creating an awareness and educational movement for the Upstate of South Carolina called ManUpstate.
ManUpstate is an Upstate initiative that urges men to engage in addressing the issue of violence against women. Using a play on words with the popular phrase: “Man Up!”, ManUpstate hopes to challenge unhealthy attitudes and social norms among men and boys that tend to create unhealthy understandings of masculinity which often lead to an acceptance of violence, abuse and discrimination towards women and girls.
The ManUpstate pledge is simple: “I PLEDGE NEVER TO COMMIT, CONDONE OR REMAIN SILENT ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN. I PLEDGE TO LEARN ABOUT HOW I CAN HELP TO END VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN AND TO WORK TOWARDS CREATING A COMMUNITY WHERE ALL PEOPLE ARE VALUED AND SAFE.”
Led by Safe Harbor, Julie Valentine Center, Compass of Carolina, Greenville County First Steps, Upstate Fatherhood Coalition, Phoenix Center and Foothills Alliance, ManUpstate will launch in October 2014 with a video and online pledge campaign, urging men to take a stand on this issue. The purpose of the campaign is to begin a discussion of how men can play a role in working to prevent and end violence against women, why men should care about this issue and encouraging men to sign a simple pledge supporting ending violence against women in the Upstate.
This pledge campaign will launch online (manupstate.org – website will be live in October) in October 2014, starting with a press conference on October 3 at 10:00am at Fluor Field and will lead to a ManUpstate community breakfast with keynote speaker, Ted Bunch, on Friday, November 14 at 8:00am at the Kroc Center. TED BUNCH. CO-DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL ORGANIZATION A CALL TO MEN, SPEAKS NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MEN PLAYING A ROLE IN PREVENTING AND ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.
In addition to the pledge campaign, ManUpstate plans to hold other future events and initiatives to engage men on this important subject.
All men are encouraged to sign the pledge and participate, especially community leaders, teachers, youth leaders, coaches, faith leaders, fathers and other men who can help to _prevent _violence against women through promoting respect and healthy behaviors with their sons, grandsons, students, colleagues, neighbors, family and friends.
ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND MEMBERS OF THE PRESS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE MANUPSTATE PRESS CONFERENCE ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3 AT 10:00AM AT FLUOR FIELD IN DOWNTOWN GREENVILLE (GREENVILLE DRIVE 500 CLUB – FIELD ST. ENTRANCE). Upstate leaders, including U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy and SC Rep. Bakari Sellers, will speak at this event. Upstate men are also encouraged to visit www.manupstate.org  (website will be live on October 3, 2014) during the month of October to sign the online pledge and to share it with their colleagues, neighbors, friends and family.