Change in Our Communities

“A few years back the Consortium members wanted to join the Waianae Christmas parade. Everybody in Waianae comes out for that parade. The men wanted to join and we had fliers that said, ‘Nobody deserves to be abused,’ and, on the other side, resource numbers.

We handed out candy canes and the men kind of took those fliers and began to hand them out to everybody lining the streets. They were going up to their brothers and handing out theses flyers and wishing people Merry Christmas, saying, ‘It’s not okay to be abusive.’

That was pretty powerful for me to watch, but more powerful was how they went back to their class and told their facilitator, ‘That’s the first time we’ve ever done anything right, or been on the right side of things for our community. This is the first time we were able to benefit our community.’

I don’t know if that makes them safer with their family members, but I do know that they’re living in a community that’s saying to them, ‘We want you to be a part of making this community a safe place for women and girls. We’re gonna hold you accountable, but we’re also give you information about how to change your ways and we welcome you.’ For me, that was just monumental.

I think that we’re on to something. I think that this is a program and a model that can be duplicated in other cultural groups as well as other neighborhoods, other churches, and I look forward to seeing that continue.”

CHSS (the Consortium for Health Safety and Support)

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