HOUSTON (FOX 26) - When is the last time you saw a man as the face of domestic abuse awareness? One man says that is a problem. Tony Porter is the man who the NFL, NBA and MLB all call upon to help educate players on sexual assault and domestic violence prevention.
Porter is the chief executive officer of the domestic violence prevention group A Call To Men, which is hosting the A Call To Coaches event at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. The room is full of high school and college coaches and their players.
“Coaches have a tremendous amount of influence," explains Porter. "We really believe they have a huge responsibility also to develop young men of character. It's bigger than a game.
What's being done to stop it?
“Stop! You can't do it! It's not OK,” shouts Porter, who says that simply speaking out and spreading awareness goes a long way to help keep women and girls safe.
“We as men have to acknowledge this is going on and we as men, we've been standing on the shoulders of our women for centuries," explains Troy Vincent, executive vice president of NFL operations. "Every nine seconds a woman is beaten in the United States. One out of every four women will experience domestic violence or sexual assault in her lifetime.”
Vincent tells FOX 26 News that he remembers hiding under his bed as a child when his mother was being beaten.
“Every time I share, I have to relive that time in my life," adds Vincent. "My mom was abused for many years. It’s emotional for me.”
Vincent says he hopes you'll ask yourself the following: “What does my silence imply?”
Porter points out only that a portion of men are abusers but he says too many sit silent about violence.
”While that minority is doing terrible things, they're not doing it without the permission of the majority of men, says Porter. "We don't say, ‘you have our permission to be violent,’ but by being silent, it's affirming.”
”It's an epidemic," says Vincent. "It's a war on women.”
“I'm pretty shocked people are being quiet about all this,” says 16-year-old Pro Vision Academy student Ahmad Mouton. He wasn't the only teen brought to tears as statistics about violence against women were revealed, including the 157 Texas women who were killed in 2015 -- the largest amount in the last 25 years.
“It really got to me.," explains Mouton. "I imagined it was my daughter or my little sister going through that so that's why I started crying. I really didn’t know that many women were going through all this. That’s not right. For us as men we really need to do better. That’s pathetic. Why are we doing this to women? I plan to use this knowledge as well as other things I’ve learned throughout my life to help not only the country but the world. I’m enlightened.”
“We can't end the violence without men being a part of the solution,” adds Porter, who also says for too long, domestic abuse was seen as a woman's problem, so women fought against it. If you want to know what you can do to help, learn more about Tony Porter's A Call To Men by visiting www.Facebook.com/DamaliKeithFox26.