YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee operates the largest domestic violence shelter in the state and it is almost always at capacity. Our current intervention and treatment services are successful in helping women and children heal; however, we believe more effort needs to be placed on preventing violence in the first place. Because of this, the AMEND program (formerly called MEND) was developed as a primary prevention initiative dedicated to ending violence against women and girls by engaging and educating men and boys.
AMEND Together Guiding Principles
The Reality – Violence against women is an understated and under recognized public health epidemic that impacts everyone.
The Hard Truth – While men are not the sole perpetrators of violence against women, the vast majority of violence against both men and women is perpetrated by men.
There is Hope – People are not born violent. Violence is a learned behavior.
Find the Root – The learned behavior of violence against women is supported by our cultural expectations for being a man or woman and the unequal power relationships that have developed between men and women.
The Roots Run Deep – The culture that supports violence against women also contributes to the decreased health and happiness of men and limits the full potential of everyone, both as individuals and in relationships.
Our Solution – Working with men to uncover unhealthy expectations society places on being a man or a woman, as well as, develop healthier relationship, communication, and stress management skills will decrease violence and increase the health, safety, and happiness of everyone.
Lead the Way – Men can help create healthier and safer communities by teaching other men and boys about the culture that supports violence and sharing the relationship, communication, and stress managements skills that promote health, happiness, and safety for everyone.
AMEND Together’s Work
AMEND has been well received in Nashville and is gaining attention on a national level. Not only are we engaged in a public awareness campaign about the issue of violence against women, AMEND is doing “boots on the ground” work within the community to maximize our impact. This work includes:
- A partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools where our AMEND Clubs provide a safe space to talk about healthy masculinity and gender violence with more than 350 male students.
- Outreach to more than 150 area coaches who receive information and support on how to engage and educate their student athletes around this issue.
- A collegiate training program that has educated more than 1,500 student athletes on campuses such as Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, and Tennessee State University.
- A task force of religious leaders across multiple faiths—including Christian, Jewish, and Islamic—who are committed to spreading the AMEND message within our city’s spiritual community.
- A partnership with a Nashville area Boy Scout troop to implement lessons that help create a scouting community that respects and values women and girls.