My Sisters’ Place, based in White Plains, is celebrating its 35th anniversary by bring awareness about the affects of domestic violence and human trafficking to men.
At its anniversary celebration earlier this month, My Sisters’ Place announced a new program called “Project Team On!,” to help student athletes understand, identify, prevent and stop abusive relationships. The program is a part of the “Men Speaking Out Against Domestic Violence,” campaign that is collaboration between the New York Giants Organization and My Sisters’ Place.
“Breaking the silence among men and youth is critical to changing the cultural compliance that ultimately perpetuates violence against women," said Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Executive Director of My Sisters’ Place. "We are thrilled to be a partner in this effort to encourage dialogue in our communities about ending violence against women and children.”
According to My Sisters' Place:
- One in four local women and children will experience domestic violence during their lives.
- 1 in 3 teens (ages 13-18) in the U.S., or 16.7 million, who have been in a dating relationship have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, or threats of physical harm from a boyfriend or girlfriend
- Thousands of victims of domestic violence—and many victims of human trafficking living as close to home as Pound Ridge—have found their way to My Sisters’ Place over the past 35 years
Here is what Cheryl Greenberg, the associate director of development and external affairs at My Sisters’ Place (MSP), had to say about the organization’s 35 years:
MSP has grown from a grassroots organization into a comprehensive holistic agency providing advocacy, supportive services, legal advice and representation and education and prevention programming throughout the Westchester County region and beyond.
Since 1978, we have grown our programs based by what we heard and learned from those that have come to us for help in finding a life free from abuse.
MSP currently offers services and programs that address the needs of domestic violence and human trafficking victims at various stages of separating from their abusers and their subsequent pursuit of productive, independent lives.
Some services and programs include:
- two emergency shelters
- a 24-hour hotline for assistance and referrals
- ongoing support groups facilitated in both English and Spanish
- a full service Legal Center providing legal advice and representation in family law and immigration matters
- a self-sufficiency program that includes job training
We have increased our focus on the next generation to support healthy friendships and intimate partner relationships. Outreach efforts reach middle and high school students to prevent dating violence and MSP reaches nearly 6,000 young people through prevention education every year.
MSP’s has been very successful at calling attention to and generating awareness about the fact that no community is immune from domestic violence.
Our new initiative, Project Team On! builds on MSP’s current prevention education and public education campaigns and the agency’s unique ability to tackle the issue of domestic and dating violence in a comprehensive way via education prevention, community mobilization and dynamic, multi-media public education campaigns.
Since late 2007, MSP has also served as the human trafficking services provider for the Lower Hudson Valley region of NYS, and has partnered with state and local law enforcement to provide training and technical assistance in cases of human trafficking. MSP provides a wide array of support services to victims, including emergency shelter, counseling, advocacy, support groups, children’s services, life skills training, and legal representation with respect to family law and immigration matters.
Here’s what she had to say about “Men Speaking to Men”:
MSP has organized and sponsored with community partners, including the African American Men of Westchester opportunities to come together to acknowledge the pervasive issue of intimate partner violence, understand its dynamics and causes, and find solutions to creating safer homes and a responsible community.
Theses workshops are especially geared towards young men who are constantly inundated with messages about power and control over women, as they are entering into relationships and will have choices that will affect the health and well being of their partners for the rest of their lives.