Think About It: Boys To Men - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

September 29, 2014

Think About It: Boys To Men

All of this talk recently about the NFL, HPD and the problems of domestic violence and physical abuse have led some to posture that perhaps some good will come of these high profile incidents, that perhaps people will now address these issues seriously. Well, that just doesn't cut it. We've known about and heard about domestic abuse and physical violence for decades, and one solid way to act on the issue to help ensure that this trend doesn't continue generation after generation is to educate and mentor the young.

The same way we must teach our kids about better eating habits and healthy ways to grow their minds and bodies, we need to stop the trend that often times seems genetic- bad role models, bad family history, etc. Well, good news; there are steps in place to educate our keiki. One good example is Ala Kuola, a non-profit entity that runs a year-old program called "Coaching Boys Into Men", which came from the Future Without Violence entity in California. It's an athletics-based program that aims to reduce dating violence and future domestic violence by training coaches to be positive role models who deliver a series of violence-prevention messages to their young student-athlete as part of their regular training program. This is not a one-day or one-month cram course; these are life lessons requiring repetition, sincerity, integrity, and strength of conviction.

Positive attitudes toward women, respect for relationships (casual and more intimate) for all people- whether in person or on social media (and that includes no bullying), and the fact that there is no excuse for abuse.. period. Violence shows weakness, not strength, and Ala Kuola is helping to make that point without being heavy-handed. We need more hands-on lessons like this effort to reverse this troubling trend. Why should we be surprised when video shows us what we all know exists? Domestic abuse, child abuse, taunting, bragging- it's gotta go. Ala Kuola is a great example of action being taken now- and it needs to be funded, promoted and utilized throughout this state more often for more people to experience. There's no excuse for abuse, and there's no excuse for pretending this phenomenon just showed up last month. We need to act now for the future. Think about it…

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