Men­tor aim­ing to help men to man up

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.’’

safe.’’

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.

LUKE KIRKEBY

South Waikato Man Up men­tor Dar­ren Wil­son is call­ing for more men to get in­volved in the pro­gramme.

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