The MENding Project

MEN IN THE COMMUNITY are pledging time and money to help alleviate the suffering that remains after violence has been committed.

This suffering is often associated with extended health problems, loss of income or access to resources, loss of transportation through vandalism, loss of housing, broken windows and furniture, smashed walls, broken teeth, broken hearts and torn families. The needs of women and children healing from sexual and/or domestic violence are both immediate and long term. We can help.

What is the MENding Project?

We have developed a method of coordinating broad, community-based pledges for pro bono goods and services from traditionally male-run or male oriented businesses that can help battered women and children and sexual assault survivors mend the harm that men have done.

The MENding Project acknowledges men’s unique opportunity to end men’s violence against women and our collective responsibility to do so. The MENding Project is one answer to the question many men have asked themselves:

“What can I do to help?”

This initiative, and your participation, will provide direct and immediate relief to those in need.

Why do I need to get involved?

Men who sexually assault or batter women rely on other men to remain silent and do nothing. They rely on it! They want you to believe it’s nobody’s business what they do to “their” wife or girlfriend.But it is the business of those of us who care about women; our daughters, spouses, sisters, mothers and friends. This violence and abuse is our business. It’s everybody’s business and it’s time to stop it. And the truth is… if sexual and domestic violence is going to stop, men are going to have to stop it.

A woman who is abused is often left isolated, scared and alone as she struggles to make a new life for herself and her children. She endures serious injury and continuous insult. The man who abuses her routinely pounds into her heart the idea that she is worthless and no one would help her if he (or she) were to leave. He has taken her money and controls her financial assets in his efforts to entrap and control her.

Your generosity can provide her the hope and the inspiration that there will be a better day and a life free from the threat, or reality, of violence. And she will know that there are men in her community who care enough to support her efforts to be safe and free.

How do I start?

Do you have a skill, service or business that can help? We’re asking you to donate free or discounted goods and services that will help women heal from the wounds and rebuild their lives for themselves and their families.

Are you a member of a civic or community group? such as the Chamber of Commerce, Rotarians, Kiwanis? How about a church, synagogue, mosque or tribal spiritual community? Are you a member of a sportsman’s club or community athletics organization?

MENding Project resources

We have provided the necessary forms to engage men in your community to organize a local MENding project initiative. In the links above you will find a brochure that can be downloaded and printed with your local contact information included on the back panel along with the brochure printing instructions for commercial printers. You will also find the necessary pledge forms, window and counter top MENding display cards, a sample list of 60 pro-bono businesses to approach, a pledge sheet to track and tally donations, model thank you letters, fact sheets, confidentiality statements, and cover sheets explaining the project. While we are providing sample documents, please feel free to adapt them to your location and needs.

THE MENDING PROJECT envisions men going to the hardware store, the auto shop, the grocery store, the gym, the doctor, the dentist, the locksmith and the lumber company and seeing the MENding pledge on countertops and displayed in business windows all over town. We also envision women seeing those same signs.

Our efforts, in conjunction with a strong criminal justice system response, lets men who are inclined to use violence know that they cannot abuse women and children in our town, our city, our village or on our reservation—because the men here care for all the women, and girls, and boys of our community. And it is that caring heart that is mending the harm.

Please join with other men (and women) working together to stop the violence and mend the harm.

For more information, please contact Chuck Derry, Gender Violence Institute.