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Step up to plate, sign pledge to end gender violence: Kevin Kulp

Posted 6/21/17

In the past 10 years, I’ve watched all sorts of fans come through our gates at FNB Field.

Of course, we have our Senators and Washington National fans. But, as we all know, there are plenty of …

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Step up to plate, sign pledge to end gender violence: Kevin Kulp

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In the past 10 years, I’ve watched all sorts of fans come through our gates at FNB Field.

Of course, we have our Senators and Washington National fans. But, as we all know, there are plenty of Phillies, Orioles, Pirates and Yankees fans in our region. We welcome all of them with open arms and try to provide a great night’s entertainment.

But no matter where your baseball allegiance rests, we should all be a fan of healthy relationships.

This year, as president of the Harrisburg Senators and father of two, I am asking central Pennsylvania men of all ages to participate in the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence Father’s Day Pledge to end gender violence.

Even though it’s a couple days after the holiday, signing the #FathersDayPledge is easy. Simply go to www.pasaysnomore.com and enter your email and your name. By doing so, you’re agreeing to:

• Not use violence of any form in my relationships.

• Speak up if another man is abusing his partner or is disrespectful or abusive to women and girls. I will not remain silent.

• Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence.

• Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women. I will lead by example.

Domestic violence and sexual assault statistics are staggering. One in three women and one in four men will experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes. In addition, one in 15 children will be exposed to domestic violence.

Last year, 102 victims were killed in Pennsylvania at the hands of domestic violence. More than 1,600 Pennsylvanians have been killed in the past 10 years, according to PCADV’s annual Fatality Report. In Adams, Dauphin, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties, a combined 12 people died in domestic violence incidents.

But it can stop. And it starts with you.

A troubling statistic is that most domestic violence crimes are committed by men. For instance, 54 percent of the domestic violence homicide victims in Pennsylvania last year were women. In 2015, it was 60 percent.

We aren’t saying all men are abusers. Quite the opposite actually. The majority of men aren’t abusers, and they are perfect allies for us in the charge against gender violence.

Everyone plays a role in ending gender violence for the next generation. It’s simply just not good enough to say we are good men, we must also demonstrate it in the real world. There are different ways we can do this, from teaching our sons to respect women to telling a friend to stop harassing a woman who has turned down his advances to correcting men who make sexist comments.

There is no such thing as “locker room talk.” It is disrespectful and it is abusive. These are the lessons we need to instill in our boys and young men.

It’s time to say #NOMORE to disrespectful behavior. It’s time we acted as positive role models for our nation’s youth. It’s time we stand up to violence in our homes and communities.

On behalf of the Senators, I am calling on all men in central Pennsylvania and beyond to #StepUpToThePlate this year and strike out gender violence by taking the pledge at www.pasaysnomore.com.

Kevin Kulp is president of the Harrisburg Senators.