Man in the Mirror conference to be held Thursday

Published 7:42 pm Monday, September 25, 2017

On Thursday, the conversation about the fight against domestic violence will take another step forward with the Man in the Mirror: An Empowerment Conference.

The conference is sponsored by the Troup County Domestic Violence Task Force and will focus on the impact of domestic violence on men. According to a 2012 report from the Center for Disease Control, one in six men are victims of sexual violence at some point in their lives. This conference will give local men a place to learn about the effects of that violence and how to combat it within the community.

“We wanted to do a conference where men could come to the table,” said Lekae Ford, the vice chairperson for the Domestic Violence Task Force. “A lot of the time in conversations of domestic violence, we have all these women present at the table, and we have all these women who are able to get their opinions (heard) and share all their emotions as they process different things in relation to domestic violence and how it affects them.”

Women will also be welcome to join the conversation because of the group’s belief that it will take everyone working together to enact lasting change.

“The Man in the Mirror is one of the first conferences that we are doing targeting men,” Ford said. “It was initially going to be something like a men’s conference, but we didn’t want to exclude women from the conversation. We did allow for men only break out groups, and then we have some break out groups that are open to anyone.”

The Domestic Violence Task Force has made resources available to men and women facing domestic violence, and some of the purposes of the conference is to let people know that those resources are available in a safe place and to facilitate discussion within the community.

“Very often it is a taboo topic when it comes to a lot of the men in our community, so we definitely want to extend that invitation to them and give them a platform where they are able to have a candid discussion about the effects of domestic violence as a man,” Ford said. “What they have perceived over time in their role as a man, that domestic violence has affected them.”

The conference will include topics for victims and allies and breakout sessions on a variety of topics.

Counselors should be available at the event.

The Man in the Mirror Empowerment Conference will take place at New Community Church at 1200 S. Davis Road at 9 a.m. on Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $20. To reserve a spot, contact LeKae Ford at (706) 885-1526 or visit Registration will be accepted at the door.