A line of men holding signs and standing on the seawall along Vineyard Haven harbor Saturday prompted motorists to slow down, wave and honk their horns in support of the group’s message: end domestic and sexual violence.
Among those on the wall near the drawbridge landing were several police officers, including Oak Bluffs chief Erik Blake and West Tisbury chief Dan Rossi, as part a four-hour Sea Wall Stand meant to enlist men in anti-violence efforts.
Many of the two dozen men held signs naming the women and girls in their lives they were standing up for. Christina Costello, director of Connect to End Violence, a Martha’s Vineyard Community Services program, said they helped raise awareness that the problem is not just a women’s issue.
“We would really like to continue to get men on the Island involved so that we can build a network of like-minded, non-violent men to be part of building a safer community for those that they love,” said Ms. Costello.
The event attracted men from a variety of backgrounds, including members of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks baseball team.
Max Sherman, a domestic violence/rape crisis counselor at Connect and the facilitator of Vineyard Men for Abuse Prevention, created the event to illustrate the powerful role men can play in addressing the problem.
“The sea wall protects us from the elements, and strong men should protect those that can’t protect themselves from abusers,” said Mr. Sherman.