Section: News

PKT among groups looking to found Men of Strength club

On Sunday, three brothers of the Phi Kappa Tau (PKT) fraternity met with two members of New Directions, a domestic abuse shelter and rape crisis center in Knox County, one member of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and one member of the Men of Strength (MoST) club of Fredericktown, in the Eaton Center conference room to receive training in student mentorship.

PKT intends to partner with New Directions in a project to mentor middle and high school students across Knox County with the ultimate goal of preventing dating violence and sexual assault among young adults.

“We want to let them know that there are other people around them who also feel as though notions of masculinity in society are limiting, and we want them to go beyond those limits,” Peter Granville ’16, president of PKT and one of the brothers in attendance Sunday, said.

Founded in 1983 by the late Mary Hendrickson, an activist, community leader and retired music instructor, New Directions is a private nonprofit women’s shelter that serves women who have been physically, sexually and emotionally abused. New Directions, which sponsors a number of educational programs in the community, supports Knox County’s MoST club.

MoST is a national program, founded by Men Can Stop Rape, whose aim is to prevent violence against women and promote healthy definitions of masculinity. The Knox County chapter of New Directions operates its MoST initiative as part of DELTA FOCUS (Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancements and Leadership Through Alliances, Focusing on Outcomes for Communities United with States), a program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the purpose of reducing intimate partner violence in eight U.S. states.

A flier announcing the training session said some of the planned programming for the meeting included development of certain skills related to preventing violence and discussions on positive relationships and decision-making habits. The program seeks to train a number of “adult male facilitators” who can model appropriate adult behavior to younger men and listen to concerns in a safe discussion space.

“We’ll be speaking with and meeting with the fraternity men throughout the school year, and hopefully we can do it again next year,” New Directions Director Matt Hellman said.

New Directions also works with the Sexual Misconduct Advisors and the Crozier Center for Women and is involved with Take Back The Night.

The brothers of PKT are planning a similar but smaller training session so other members of the organization can be trained for participation in the program. Additionally, they have invited other young men interested in mentoring younger students to attend. The date for this meeting has not yet been set.

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