Mentor aiming to help men to man up
Steps are being taken to improve a major problem with family violence in Tokoroa, with about 18 incidents being reported to police each week.
Many emergency calls are made early, before things get too out of hand, but others are leaving lasting marks resulting in broken families, arrests and criminal charges.
To combat the problem Man Up programme mentor Darren Wilson is being proactive.
Man Up programmes were started by Destiny Church, and go for 12 weeks at a time, as a way to equip’ men with the right tools and knowledge to break the cycle that leads to violence.
Wilson, who volunteered as a men’s prison mentor for 20 years, said the community needs to encourage the strengthening of its men so they become better fathers, husbands, and leaders.
‘‘Responsibility is lacking and I suppose at the core of it maybe a lot of men have never been taught or they have come from good homes where they have had good grounding but somewhere in life they have gone off track,’’ he said.
‘‘The programme aims to change that and give these guys tools to be able to work with so they can identify their triggers, coping mechanisms, and keep themselves and their families
‘‘It's all about having a heart for the men.’’
He said meetings are free of charge to all men aged 18 and over, and are being held on Monday nights at the United Community Centre in Tokoroa and on Wednesday nights at The Vine in Putaruru at 7pm.
‘‘I have spoken to probation officers and the mayor and they are all feeling positive about this programme because it is going to benefit Tokoroa and Putaruru,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve had up to 25 guys at one time attend the meetings and they are ranging from teenagers to men in their 60s. Some come from probation but others are just coming in off the street.’’
‘‘It’s all about having a heart for the men and I’m getting a lot of positive feedback,’’ he said.
Perhaps most impressively is the feedback Wilson is getting from family members.
‘‘After the first or second session two ladies came up to me and said ‘‘thank you so much, my husband just came home very loving’’. It is really cool when there are positives like that coming out of it,’’ he said.
Phone 027 471 6401.
South Waikato Man Up mentor Darren Wilson is calling for more men to get involved in the programme.