WHO WE ARE
MyStrength.org - Standing Strong for Today’s Youth
Read about the goals and people behind MyStrength.org and how we’ve teamed up to help promote youth empowerment, gender equality and healthy relationships.
MyStrength is a project of the California Department of Health Services and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA), a statewide coalition of rape crisis centers and prevention programs founded in 1980.
Our mission is to provide leadership, vision and resources for rape crisis centers, individuals and other entities committed to ending sexual violence.
Our vision is a world free from sexual violence. To help make this vision a reality, we’re initiating “The MyStrength Campaign” to enlist to young men to take action to stop rape.
The campaign centers on the theme of “My Strength is Not for Hurting,” and is designed to raise awareness of sexual violence among youth and highlight the vital role that young men can play in fostering healthy, safe relationships.
CALCASA has adapted the Strength Campaign for California. Originally developed by Washington DC’s Men Can Stop Rape, the campaign currently appears in communities across the nation, Puerto Rico and more than 20 countries.
CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT - A WORD FROM DORIAN GREGORY
Actor Dorian Gregory - best known for his roles on TV's "Charmed," "Soul Train" and "The Other Half," as well as the movie "Deliver Us From Eva" was on hand for the MyStrength launch. "The MyStrength campaign and the Strength Team are important because they are truly taking sexual violence education to the next level by involving young men in the solution," said Gregory. "It's crucial that men demonstrate strength of character in their relationships, rather than apply their strength and masculinity to physical domination and force. By using strength for respect and maintaining healthy relationships, we will make a giant step toward solving this serious issue."
PARTNERS AND SPONSORS
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IN THE NEWS
NINE NEW MYSTRENGTH SITES START IN CALIFORNIA
Just over a year following the launch of the largest sexual violence prevention campaign of its type, the MyStrength campaign is expanding to nine new sites during the 2006-2007 school year. The following California Rape Centers attended a training to start the MyStrength Campaign and MyStrength Clubs in selected high schools in their community:
- Calaveras Crisis Center
- Community Violence Solutions, at Richmond High School, Richmond, CA
- El Dorado Women's Center
- Family Services of Tulare County
- Lake Family Resource Center
- Monterey Rape Crisis Center
- Sexual Assault Response Services, Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster, CA
- Valley Trauma Center, at Birningham High School, Van Nuys, CA
- YWCA of Silicon Valley, at Oak Grove High SChool, San Jose, CA
In addition, last year's pilot sites are continuing MyStrength activities at the following agencies:
- Peace Over Violence at Marshall High School, Los Angeles, CA
- Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center at John W. North High School in Riverside, CA
- United Against Sexual Assault of Sonoma County
- Human Response Network at Trinity High School, Weaverville, CA
- Sexual Assault Recovery & Prevention Center of San Luis Obispo County at Lopez High School, Arroyo Grande, CA
- Rape Counseling Service of Fresno, Inc. / West Fresno Rape Crisis Center at Rio Del Rey High School in Helm, CA. Contact Rape Counseling Service of Fresno, Inc. / West Fresno Rape Crisis Center at (559)497-2900 for more information.
MyStrength is a unique initiative focused on preventing first-time perpetration of sexual violence. The campaign works with young men and centers on the theme, “My Strength is Not for Hurting,” which emphasizes positive masculinity and enables men to utilize their strength to stand up and speak out against sexual violence. Complementing over thirty years of work and programs in the movement to end sexual violence, MyStrength enlists men and boys in prevention efforts, encouraging them to take responsibility and find solutions.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE PREVENTION CAMPAIGN GARNERS ACCOLADES
“MyStrength” Dubbed Outstanding Social Marketing Campaign (October 20, 2006) Los Angeles–
Just over a year following the launch of the largest sexual violence prevention campaign of its type, CALCASA’s MyStrength campaign is garnering awards in the PR world. Last week, the Los Angeles chapter of the Public Relations Society of America held its annual PRism Awards where the MyStrength campaign won the PRism for best social marketing campaign.
The prestigious PRisms Awards recognize the very best in the strategic public relations programs from the PRSA-LA membership. The panel of judges for the competition included senior PR practitioners who review the work of PR professionals from corporations, PR agencies, trade associations, government, public utilities, and non-profit organizations.
Says Chris Kuechenmeister, who worked on the campaign for CALCASA and PainePR: “We were up against some stiff competition in the category, but MyStrength came out on top. The team is very excited.”
Also enthusiastic was Suzanne Brown-McBride, Executive Director of CALCASA. “ We have known for a while that this was a really great campaign that is doing amazing things in California. We are proud of the work that has been done on MyStrength, and we are looking forward to the next phase of the campaign.”
MyStrength is a unique initiative focused on preventing first-time perpetration of sexual violence. The campaign works with young men and centers on the theme, “My Strength is Not for Hurting,” which emphasizes positive masculinity and enables men to utilize their strength to stand up and speak out against sexual violence. Complementing over 30 years of work and programs in the movement to end sexual violence, MyStrength enlists men and boys in prevention efforts, encouraging them to take responsibility and find solutions.
The MyStrength Campaign was based on an existing prevention program developed by Washington D.C.-based Men Can Stop Rape, but utilized CALCASA’s membership of 66 rape crisis centers in California and employed comprehensive social marketing strategies to support youth involvement. In addition to radio, billboards, movie previews and entertainment events, the campaign boasted an award winning website: MyStrength.org.
NATIONAL MEETING OF YOUNG MEN SPEAKING OUT AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE
On Friday, April 7, 2006 the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) and Washington DC-based Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR) hosted the first Strength Summit, a national gathering of Men of Strength (MOST) Club members. Over 40 young men ages 14-18 gathered in Sacramento and Washington DC to discuss how young men are engaged in efforts to prevent sexual violence. Through a video conference the young men identified the value of working together in Men of Strength clubs to work to end sexual violence in their communities.
Starting in September 2005, six California rape crisis centers established MOST Clubs at their area high schools, which provide male youth with workshops and opportunities to take leadership roles in sexual violence prevention. MOST Clubs are a promising best practice for preventing first-time perpetration of sexual violence. Established in Washington DC in 2001, MOST Clubs are being evaluated with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MOST Clubs are based on 16-week curriculum that explores alternatives to traditional masculinity and end with MOST Club members participating in community action projects to end sexual violence.
The six California pilot communities: (Los Angeles, Riverside, San Luis Obispo, Petaluma, Weaverville and West Fresno) joined four other MOST Clubs in Washington DC.
MOST Clubs are an exciting component of the MyStrength campaign, a cutting-edge multi-media and outreach campaign to prevent sexual violence in California. The campaign targets young men aged 14-18 and engages them as part of a solution to prevent first-time perpetration. Radio ads, billboards and posters direct people to the campaign website (MyStrength.org and MiFuerza.org) California campaign is based on Washington DC’s Men Can Stop Rape’s media materials and Men of Strength (MOST) Club curriculum. (MenCanStopRape.org) “My Strength Is Not For Hurting” is the theme of these materials.
The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) is initiating the “Strength Campaign” in California.
Developed by the Men Can Stop Rape organization in Washington DC, the campaign centers on the theme of “My Strength is Not for Hurting.” It is designed to raise awareness of sexual violence among youth and highlight the vital role that young men can play in fostering healthy, safe relationships.
The campaign currently appears in communities across the nation, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and more than 20 countries.
Starting in September 2005, messages of “My Strength is Not for Hurting” and “Men Can Stop Rape” will been heard on radio stations, billboards, and in schools throughout California. In addition, six pilot sites will conduct Men of Strength Clubs where young men will explore the role of men to stop rape.