We are courageously committed to ending male violence and self-harm while advancing gender equity.
Maine Boys to Men envisions a world where people of all genders are equally valued, respected, and safe.
We address the development of boys in the context of their relationships, socialization process, and cultural environments. Beginning at very early ages, boys are bombarded by narrow, confusing, and often destructive messages about masculinity. We believe it is not the boys but rather the culture in which they live and grow that is in need of repair. While holding boys and men to a higher degree of individual accountability, we also put an appropriate level of focus on the environment—families, schools, community organizations, and peer culture—as the key agents of change in the lives of boys.
What WE Do
Working to End Violence
Our unique experiential workshops, rooted in a broader view of masculinity, empower all people to notice and intervene in potentially harmful situations long before they become violent. We offer programs for youth, youth-serving adults, new Mainers, fathers, and interested adults, as well as a program that will train you to bring our curricula to your community.
We are the only organization in Maine that specifically engages men and boys in advancing gender equity and creating safer communities for all. Over the years, we have reached thousands of youth and adults with our unique and effective prevention programs. Today, we’re advancing this work statewide and beyond through our Training Institute. Please join us in our courageous commitment to end male violence and self-harm.
Why It's Important
Research on gender-based violence:
One in five women are sexually assaulted in college.
One in four US women experience violence by a partner at some point in their lives.
One in five tweens know a victim of dating violence.
The Association of American Universities: Overall results of a survey that asked more than 150,000 students at twenty-seven universities about their experiences with sexual assault and sexual misconduct.
We know that every boy has the potential to become an emotionally healthy, respectful, non-violent man. We also see many social and cultural pressures pulling boys in exactly the opposite direction. As a result, boys and men are hurting. They are hurting themselves. They are hurting other men. And they are hurting girls and women at alarming rates.
It is critically important that we examine the elements of our culture that cause boys and men to detach emotionally and engage in self-destructive and violent activities.
When we all stand together as leaders, and hold ourselves and others to a higher degree of accountability, we can all play a role in the solution.
Maine Boys to Men was founded in 1998 as a community coalition to support the positive and non-violent development of boys.
Initially, the coalition brought together educators, health care experts, representatives from leading non-profits, members of the business community, parents, and, of course, boys themselves. Through a year-long process of research and discussion, the steering committee determined that an annual conference would be the centerpiece of the group’s initial efforts. In 2004, after six years of success, Maine Boys to Men organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Since then, Maine Boys to Men has expanded direct programming to serve girls, boys, and adults with leadership programs that empower participants to carry on this important work within their communities.