MyStrength and the Strength Campaign
Men Can Stop Rape’s Strength Campaign is grounded in the social-ecological model, advocated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a framework for primary prevention of gender-based violence. The model incorporates different levels of the social ecology – individual, relational, communal, and societal/policy – and is based on the knowledge that prolonged social change efforts are more likely to be effective and long-lasting the more they address the different social levels. The more you can work, therefore, at multiple levels and sustain your engagement with young men, the longer-lasting and more widespread the impact will be.
Components of the Strength Campaign – Men of Strength (MOST) Club, Strength Trainings, Awareness-to-Action Workshops, Community Strength Projects like 30 Days of Strength, and the stunning Strength Mediaworks campaign are designed to address different levels of the social ecological model, and ultimately motivate young men in our communities to take a more active role in challenging the attitudes and behaviors that support gender-based violence.
MyStrength in California
The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) implemented this as the MyStrength campaign in Fall 2005. Starting with six pilot sites in 2005, the campaign has grown to 25 sites for the 2007-2008 year. The comprehensive implementation includes large advertising placements (radio, billboards, movie theater trailers, internet, school media), launch events, MyStrength Clubs, and community action projects.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored a 1-year evaluation of Washington DC-based clubs in five high schools with primarily African American youth (Hawkins 2005). This non-experimental evaluation found that, after participating in the 16-week curriculum, club members were more likely to report a willingness to intervene in inappropriate touching of a female peer, in the behavior of a good friend or a popular peer, and when a male peer is being called names. Qualitative data suggests that club participants felt they gained an understanding of what steps they could take to prevent or intervene in violence against women, and felt they had the capacity to be role models in this regard.”
– Information provided by “Promising Practices in Sexual Violence Prevention and Community Mobilization for Prevention: A Report to the City of Seattle”, by Erin Casey, Ph.D., MSW