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DVN Welcomes New Youth Program Coordinator!

By: Joseph Myers, Youth Program Coordinator at DVN

If you’re like me, you’ve laid in bed with your mind racing about what life was calling you to do. You may have talked with friends or family about not knowing your purpose, or if you’re a writer like me, you’ve journaled hoping to find your purpose through page and pen. It was on one of those journaling sessions where I realized I needed to answer the call life was making to me and stop sending it to voicemail. That night, I began my search and I stumbled upon Domestic Violence Network (DVN) which has lead me to join their team as the Youth Program Coordinator.  From the minute I walked into the office, I knew I had found my people, my home, and a job that aligns with the purpose I have been searching for.

In my new role, I’m thrilled to be working with youth across the city to help them understand domestic violence, teen dating violence, and what healthy relationships look like. I’m excited to partner with my team and the broader community to brainstorm and create strategies for things we can do to change the culture that leads to domestic violence. For many reasons, this work is deeply personal — and as I continue my career in service of helping the community be its best, I view DVN as central to my personal passion.

Prior to DVN, I taught high school and College English in South Dakota on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation as a part of the Teach For America (TFA) Corps. I then moved back to Indy to join TFA’s staff and coach a cohort of Indianapolis middle and high school teachers for a couple of years. After that, I moved into a role working closely with area principals. These experiences helped me align and refine my passion for education and working to make the community stronger while broadening opportunities whenever possible.  

Over the past few weeks,  I’ve met individuals across the community who are working to connect  with one another to make a different reality possible — a reality that isn’t clouded by domestic violence. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with students about their experiences with domestic violence and teen dating violence, and I’ve been able to discuss healthy relationships with them, so they are equipped with the knowledge they need to help change the culture.

As I finished my first week, I found myself reflecting on what it means to identify as a man and work in the domestic violence field. I hate that more women than men will experience DV, but I think the true value add to my presence is helping reach other men like me who want to change the reality of domestic violence and make the city safer for all individuals. Furthermore, I hope that my ability to connect with young men and provide them with a role model who is advocating for this change might help reduce the number of men who are statistically likely to become perpetrators in the future.

Moving forward, I know the sessions I lead and the conversations I have will not be easy, but it brings me comfort to know that by having these conversations, I will be helping Indy become  a much safer, and supportive city — and that alone is more than enough to make me get out of bed everyday and keep doing this work.

Sitting Bull once said, “let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” That’s what this is all about for me; I will continue doing anything and everything I can to be a champion for our city’s youth, and I hope you’ll join me.