A community where boys are taught Healthy Manhood, and men treat all people with dignity.
Fox Valley men helping end sexual assault and domestic violence by dismantling Man Box culture and building a culture of Healthy Manhood.
Voices of Men was founded in 2007 in the Fox Valley region (Wisconsin) when our four domestic violence/sexual assault agencies (Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Harbor House, Reach Counseling, and Sexual Assault Crisis Center) gathered men for a “Men’s Summit” after Harbor House brought Ben Atherton-Zeman to our community. Ben’s message focused on engaging men and boys in the work of ending sexual assault and domestic violence. Inspired by the Men’s Summit, a group of 40 men wanted to do more. The effort received a boost through a 2008 CHAT (Community Health Action Team) plunge on domestic violence led by ThedaCare. Following the plunge, a steering committee was formed to plan an intensive four-month initiative starting in January 2010. This effort culminated in a community Call to Action breakfast that drew more than 400 well-meaning men who wanted to be part of the solution. This breakfast has become an annual event (attracting more than 1,000 people in 2015, 2016, 2017) to learn about simple everyday behaviors that can help decrease sexual assault, domestic violence as well as toxic masculinity and sexism.
Sexual assault and domestic violence are often considered “women’s issues.” Voices of Men is trying to change that misconception and get people thinking about these as “men’s issues” or “human issues” since approximately 90% of perpetrators are men. Voices of Men works in close partnership with women leaders from our four local sexual assault and domestic violence agencies so they can guide and inform our work. Our approach is both “here-and-now” and “upstream” – getting men engaged in violence prevention, and also looking to address the root causes of these epidemics. Gender-based violence is rooted in sexism and how our culture often teaches masculinity – what we call the “Man Box” (the messages society gives us about what it means to “act like a man”). Our educational efforts ask men to challenge sexism and redefine masculinity so that we start teaching Healthy Manhood instead of the Man Box, and so more men can become upstanders instead of bystanders.
Youth leaders from the Appleton North “Stand Up” chapter speaking at our 2015 Breakfast.
To date, more than 5,000 men and teenage boys have attended our annual Call to Action. In addition, more than 3,000 men and teenage boys have taken our White Ribbon Pledge “never to commit, condone or remain silent about men’s violence against women and children.” An annual survey of Call to Action participants revealed:
Over 1,000 people in attendance for our 2015 Breakfast.
Voices of Men works in close partnership with our four local domestic violence and sexual assault agencies:
LEADERSHIP TEAM 2019
Beth Schnorr, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs (Domestic Abuse Agency Representative)
Amy Flanders, Sexual Assault Crisis Center-Fox Cities (Sexual Assault Agency Representative)
Lyn Beyer, Reach Counseling (Sexual Assault Agency Representative)
Beth Oswald, Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services (Domestic Abuse Agency Representative)
Voices of Men is guided by a leadership team that includes executive directors of its founding agencies and 5 volunteers.
Alex Hummel, UW-Oshkosh
Duwaine Robinson, TIDI Products
Rayon Brown, Fox Valley Technical College
Scott Decker, ThedaCare
Tony Gonzalez, United Way Fox Cities (Leadership Team Vice President)