According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, about one in four college students will be victims of domestic violence. The One – in – Four and Beyond initiative seeks to change this statistic for the better by educating college men in Georgia on how to intervene in or prevent these violent situations from occurring. Ron King, Lead Health Educator at UWG, received a grant to bring this initiative to campus in 2014.
 
     The initiative focuses on educating college men, but its facilitation is what makes it unique. The specially designed sessions are facilitated by Student Assistant Peer Educators, meaning, UWG students are the ones teaching the classes. These students are trained by the Georgia Department of Health, and will facilitate an eight-week program for students of all disciplines.
 
    “Our goal is to help students adopt healthy behaviors centered around these topics,” said King. “ And what better way to adopt healthy behaviors than to have your peers facilitate to help change this culture?”
 
     The facilitators and attendees are made up of a diverse group of students as well, but they do have one thing in common — they are all males.
 
      “People always ask why it’s an all male initiative,” said King. “It’s important for them to know how to react in these situations.”
 
     Men can be bystanders, perpetrators or victims in domestic violence issues. This initiative is taught from the perspective of a bystander, teaching men when and how to intervene.
 
     “We have the four D’s of intervention,” said King. “Be direct, delegate roles, make good decisions and distract the perpetrator.”
 
     King suggests to remember the victim’s wishes when intervening, as well as their rights as victims on a college campus.
 
     “You can’t fight violence with violence,” said King. “[Their] power’s been taken away. If I try to retaliate and be angry for them, that’s another form of taking their power away. Give them choices. What do they want you to do?”
 
     The sessions teach students how to think in this way when it comes to intervention. Knowledge is tested and noted with a pretest and post-test that participants will take between sessions. This not only logs the progress the individual is making, but also shows the effectiveness of the program itself.
 
      “This year the theme is The Hunting Ground,” said King. “They’re going to show clips from the movie to show what campus culture is like, and what the problems are.”
 
     King says that he hopes this year’s program will not only educate men about domestic and sexual violence against women on campus, but about violence against men as well.
 
      “I would love to find something to help the other side — men affected by partner violence,” said King. “As men, we have so much pride, so it can be a little harder. One misconception is that men think ‘It will never happen to me.’ it can, and it’s important that they know their resources.”
 
     Intimate partner violence is a serious offense and can happen to anyone. UWG and the surrounding community has many resources for those affected by domestic violence. Contact 1-800- HAVEN for assistance throughout the state, or (678) 839 – 6452 to contact UWG’s 24 hour domestic violence helpline.

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