Community Restoration

Community Restoration Program

Members of CRP at the 2009 One Vision/Many Voices Awards Dinner

Men Stopping Violence (MSV) initiated its innovative Community Restoration Program (CRP) in 1987 as a continuing education program for men who had already completed MSV’s 24-week men’s intervention program. CRP is a community education and advocacy team committed to ending violence against women. The group’s original intent was to offer men who had finished the 24-week program an ongoing connection and support and opportunities to volunteer with MSV.

In 2005, CRP organized a statewide campaign to support reauthorization of the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). CRP members were the core of a Georgia group called Men Supporting VAWA, which lobbied for passage of the reauthorization bill by meeting with Georgia congressmen. The bill passed and was signed into law in early 2006.

In 2007, CRP members and other advocacy groups also talked with legislators and testified at hearings regarding legislation that called for a presumption of joint custody in child custody cases. MSV is opposed to presumptive joint custody, because many cases of contested divorce involve violence against women and children, and in those cases, joint custody gives perpetrators of violence access to victims. Since being introduced, the language of the legislation has been changed to address this problem.

In 2009, CRP took on the responsibility of performing all orientations for individuals coming into the Men’s Education Program at Men Stopping Violence. CRP members not only discuss topics such as battering and accountability, but also talk about expectations, the steps for completing the course, and answer questions. It’s important that CRP men to do this work in orientation because who better to orient men to the 24 week program than men who have actually completed it. In addition, CRP members are often called upon to assist with facilitating classes. These opportunities allow CRP men to do accountability work with every man at MSV.

Recently, CRP member Bill Kirksey participated in a panel presentation on Domestic Violence in the Workplace for Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV), filming for the BYU Television program Fresh Take, and Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell on HLN. There he spoke about his story, what he has learned at MSV, and his relationship with his partner Nancy. In 2010, CRP Coordinator Langston Walker spoke during the press conference at the Georgia State Capitol during Stop Violence Against Women Day about what men can do in their communities to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.

In 2011, CRP members completed the Men’s Awareness Program Presentation (MAPP). MAPP is about educating all men about violence against women and how to be in their relationships with the women and the children in their lives. Through a series of exercises, MAPP instructs men about how to be catalysts in their communities for social change and how men can go about preventing violence against women.

For more information on MAPP click here or please contact Lee Giordano at 404.270.9894.

Over the years, CRP’s role has expanded to include more direct community advocacy. Part of our public education work has involved sending opinion editorials to local and national publications like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Sports Illustrated addressing men’s role in preventing violence against women. Being able to take direct action has been energizing to men in CRP and reflects MSV’s commitment to wide scale social change. Men in CRP have found that being involved in planning and carrying out initiatives around policy change and lawmaking also helps them to stay true to the original intent of the group when it formed in 1987.

Today, CRP men create personal, cultural and political change through a range of activities, including presenting to community groups, working with MSV programs, monitoring relevant state and federal legislation, meeting with lawmakers, and even testifying at legislative hearings during sessions of the Georgia General Assembly.

To get involved in the CRP or for more information contact Greg Loughlin at 404.270.9894.