News & Events

Charles Langston – Cornell High School

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Assistant Basketball coach Charles Langston at Cornell High School is a champion of Coaching Boys into Men [CBIM]. CBIM is a tool for high school coaches to mentor their male athletes by having conversations about healthy relationships, respectful behaviors, and social media. “CBIM opened up our dialogue as coaches and developed our relationships, not just as a team, but as men who care about supporting and guiding our players.” CBIM seeks to empower athletes to lead their peers by modeling healthy behaviors. Charles, recognizing that the conversations are easily adaptable to a broader audience, now delivers CBIM with both the young women and young men …

Dating Education matters as much as Drivers Ed, doesn’t it?

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By Kristy Trautmann We know that 1 in 3 teens will experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by a dating partner. This means the vast majority of teens know someone who is in an unhealthy, sometimes violent, relationship. Even though some young people have strong relationships with parents and mentors, they are more likely to tell a friend about unhealthy relationship patterns than to ask an adult for help. We routinely instruct teens about the rules of the road before letting them drive; but far too often young people are on their own to figure out dating and intimacy. Although most Americans believe they can …

Dating Matters Interactive Workshop: Healthy Teen Relationships Training

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Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships is a comprehensive teen dating violence prevention model developed by CDC to stop teen dating violence before it starts. Dating Matters is an evidence-based teen dating violence prevention model that includes prevention strategies for individuals, peers, families, schools, and neighborhoods. It focuses on teaching 11-14 year olds healthy relationship skills before they start dating and reducing behaviors that increase the risk for dating violence, like substance abuse and sexual risk-taking. The in-person and 1-hour online training sessions are free and open to the public. Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available. To see the Dating Matters flier, click here. …

New help is available if you’ve been sexually harassed at work or school

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Women’s Law Project launches #MeTooPA helpline By: Kristy Trautmann Sexual harassment is a serious and pervasive problem, not just for Hollywood celebrities, but for young women at school, and those working low-wage jobs. Far too many students and workers feel trapped and have no place to turn. More than half of 7th-12th grade girls have experienced some form of sexual harassment, and the rates are even higher for young black girls and girls with disabilities. Much of this harassment is witnessed by teachers or other adults who fail to take it seriously. One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. Fewer …

DaMon Macklin – USO (University Prep/Sci-Tech/Obama Academy

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Assistant football coach DaMon Macklin from USO (University Prep/Sci-Tech/Obama Academy) is a firm believer in Coaching Boys into Men (CBIM). “Sometimes, youth need honest conversations. After I heard about what the program entailed, I knew I had to bring it to my players,” DaMon said. CBIM is an evidence-based program that gives high school coaches the tools to talk about healthy relationships and respectful behaviors and empowers male athletes to be positive bystanders. According to DaMon, “A coach is a mentor who helps his players grow into respectable men in the community, not just tell them what they want to hear.” DaMon recognizes the importance …

Lenny Orbovich – Carrick High School

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Carrick High School head wrestling and assistant football coach Lenny Orbovich sees the importance of educating his athletes about respecting women through Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM). Years of character-building coaching with his team has yielded positive results: “I hear the boys talking about our discussions outside of practice, and that’s how I know CBIM is making a difference.” CBIM provides coaches and athletes the opportunity to talk about healthy relationships, social media, and how to be a positive bystander in sports and in school. “As a coach, I see my players as real people. I want them to achieve success on the field and …

Finding Light in the Darkness

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By Kristy Trautmann These feel like dark times for many – less daylight, more cold weather, and much fear and sadness in the wake of violence and tragedy. In the coming weeks many faith traditions will celebrate light and hope, and we wish you peace and comfort throughout the holidays. But everyone who has lit a flame in the darkness knows that fire both brings light and amplifies shadows. We can in turn be mesmerized by dancing candlelight and be startled by the oversized, sometimes menacing shadows cast by its brightness.  Our collective work to prevent violence and to promote safe and healthy relationships requires …

Ryan Reitz – Jeannette High School

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Assistant football coach Ryan Reitz has dedicated years to coaching male athletes in his district because he knows how impactful coaches can be in young people’s lives. He recently began implementing Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) with his team at Jeannette High School. CBIM is a character-building curriculum, consisting of 12 structured conversations that teach athletes life lessons they can carry beyond athletics. Each 15 minute conversation helps to empower athletes with skills to be positive roles models for their peers in school. Ryan recognized that Coaching Boys into Men could strengthen his efforts to lead and motivate his players- two tasks he feels are …

Men & #MeToo – One Year Later

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By Kristy Trautmann We are experiencing a watershed moment in the movement to address violence against women. Fifty years ago, we did not talk about domestic violence, sexual assault or sexual harassment.  And now gender-based violence is in the headlines nearly every day: Bill Cosby, campus sexual assault, Larry Nassar and the testimony of Olympic gymnasts, Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo movement, sexual misconduct in the Catholic Church… We now recognize these forms of abuse as serious and pervasive societal issues. Three years ago, Southwest PA Says No More was founded to support the regional movement to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. Across our region, …

Emerging Data on Preventing Gender-Based Violence Event

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Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Southwest PA Says NO MORE present Making Research Relevant: Researchers & Practitioners Dialogue About Emerging Data on Gender-Based Violence. The field of prevention is continuing to evolve. Practitioners are in the field every day, working to shift attitudes and behaviors to prevent the perpetration of abuse and to increase bystander intervention, but are often navigating by instinct and anecdotal feedback. In southwest PA, we are fortunate that Children’s Hospital of UPMC is conducting multiple research studies related to the prevention of sexual harassment, assault and relationship abuse. The CHP Adolescent Medicine research team will present preliminary, unpublished findings from ongoing studies and …

What do men in SWPA think about #MeToo?

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The #MeToo movement has exposed the scope and scale of harassment and abuse in the lives of women. We wanted to know what men think about this, a year into the #MeToo movement. So, we asked them. The public poll was conducted Sept. 24 – 29 by Change Research, a public benefit corporation. More than 1,300 men, 671 in a 10-county area of Southwestern Pennsylvania and 633 nationally, were interviewed. Here’s a look at some of the findings: 81% of men in southwest PA say it’s important to believe women who speak publicly about their experience with harassment and abuse. 77% believe that “expectations for men’s behavior towards women have changed.” 38% of …

Aaron Smetanka – Greensburg Central Catholic

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Head football coach, Aaron Smetanka, at Greensburg Central Catholic High School has been working on and off the field to teach the boys on his team about respect. Coaching Boys Into Men allowed his players to recognize when aggression crosses the line and also discuss how to be respectful toward women on social media. According to Aaron, “I think this opportunity is all about molding them and building them up for the future, and the time to do it is now.” Many of the boys are talking about what they’ve learned not just when they’re in the room together, but in the days and weeks …

Zachary Benedek – Elizabeth Forward

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Zach is a rising senior at Elizabeth Forward High School, and he’s the starting quarterback for the school’s football team. He’s also a participant of Coaching Boys Into Men, an evidence-based program designed to empower athletes as leaders in school culture to model healthy, respectful behaviors for their peers. CBIM provides coaches with helpful tools to discuss critical topics with their players such as respectful relationships, communications, boundaries and more. The program recognizes that coaches are uniquely positioned to teach life lessons that their student athletes carry into adulthood. “This has had a huge impact on my life and the lives of my teammates,” Zach …

Mike Collodi – Elizabeth Forward

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“It’s not easy to talk about violence against women. But our kids need more guidance than simply being told that we don’t want to see them in the paper for the wrong reasons. Kids understand the importance of these messages, and, in this day and age, they can’t hear them enough.” Mike Collodi, head coach of the Elizabeth Forward Warriors, is proud of his football team’s performance on and off the field. With many competing priorities, he says, “Sometimes coaches can be pressed for time and lose sight of what’s important with these kids. It’s about more than the X’s and O’s.” Mike’s playbook includes …

Oakland Says NO MORE at Pitt’s Arrival Survival Event

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OBID and PAAR proudly welcomed the Class of 2022 in this year’s Arrival Survival at the University of Pittsburgh, where they talked to hundreds of incoming students about the importance of healthy relationships and communication. This important knowledge was spread in creative and inviting ways using trivia games and information cards, giving a more lasting impact on the students as they enter their freshman year with Pitt.

Coaching Boys Into Men Summit held at Steelers Training Camp

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Over 70 area high school coaches, athletic directors, school administrators and students gathered for the 2nd annual Coaching Boys Into Men Summit at Steelers Training Camp on Wednesday, August 1. The event was hosted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, United Way of Southwestern PA and FISA Foundation. Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) is an evidence-based program that gives high school coaches the tools to talk to their athletes about building safe, healthy relationships. Through interactive training sessions, CBIM engages athletes to model respectful behaviors for their peers. Local implementing coaches and athletes provided testimonials about how they have used CBIM to make a difference. “We should …

2nd Annual CBIM Summit at Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp

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Coaches, athletic directors, superintendents and area high school students will gather for the 2nd annual Coaching Boys Into Men Summit at Steelers Training Camp on August 1. The event is hosted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, United Way of Southwestern PA and FISA Foundation. Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) is an evidence-based program that gives high school coaches the tools to talk to their athletes about building safe, healthy relationships. Through interactive training sessions, CBIM engages athletes to model respectful behaviors for their peers. Local coaches and athletes will talk about how they have used CBIM to make a difference. In 2017, more than 250 coaches …

Fourth Annual Father’s Day Pledge Event Recap

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Southwest PA Says No More hosted its fourth annual Father’s Day Pledge Public Signing Ceremony to end gender violence at the U.S. Steel Tower plaza. Prominent business, civic and community leaders and public officials demonstrated their united commitment to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault at the pledge signing event, an inspiring call to action for our region. During the rally, the leaders recited and signed The Father’s Day Pledge before a crowd of hundreds. Groups of employees from several companies, including Koppers and Ernst & Young LLP and UPMC, participated in the ceremony. “The Father’s Day Pledge is an opportunity to renew our commitment, to …

Pittsburgh Says “No More” to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

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Fourth Annual Public Signing Ceremony will take place at U.S. Steel Tower Plaza on June 14 Thursday, June 14, prominent business, civic and community leaders and public officials will lend their voices to the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault at the fourth annual pledge signing ceremony in downtown Pittsburgh. During the rally, these leaders will recite and sign a pledge to end gender violence at U.S. Steel Tower plaza, a new location for the annual observance. Groups of employees from several companies, including UPMC, Koppers and Ernst & Young, will also participate in the ceremony. The public event is hosted by Southwest PA …

NO MORE K-12 Campaign Debuts

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FISA Foundation introduced a new video campaign, NO MORE K-12, featuring local high school students on Tuesday, May 8. The series debuted at Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR), located in the south side of Pittsburgh, with partners, advocates and students in attendance. The four-part video series amplifies the voices of girls, describing serious and pervasive sexual harassment they witness at school. The series was filmed and produced by award-winning artist Njaimeh Njie, photographer, filmmaker and multimedia producer. During the briefing, the girls featured in the videos spoke about how important the issue of sexual harassment in schools is and described what they were asked during …