Ben Atherton-Zeman is the founder and director of Voices of Men, an organization that provides gender violence prevention training and materials to United States colleges, high schools, law enforcement agencies, the U.S. military services, community organizations and corporations.

The Voices of Men performances and workshops are being sponsored by the Men Against Sexual Violence (MASV) Taskforce, a project of Blackburn Center and Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg (Behavioral Sciences and Humanities Academic Villages, Psi Chi at UPG and UPG Student Government Association) and Seton Hill University. The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg under the Director of the Counseling Center, Gayle Pamerleau, will also be organizing a pledge signing activity in February where men will have an opportunity to sign the MASV pledge, promising to never “commit, condone or remain silent about sexual violence.” Janice Beckage, Coordinator of Health Education and a Staff Nurse at Seton Hill University will be holding a pledge signing activity in February for males to sign the MASV pledge at Seton Hill University.

Women have been working for nearly thirty years through rape crisis centers, such as Blackburn Center, to reduce the incidence of sexual violence. According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), over 36,000 Pennsylvanians, 10,000 of whom were children, needed services from PCAR’s network of rape crisis centers serving all 67 counties. In fact, because more than 70% of rapes are not reported, the actual number of victims per year in this state is closer to 207,000. We know that the overwhelming number of perpetrators of sexual violence is men. Men must become an integral part of the solution to end sexual violence.

Like women, men are raped, sexually assaulted and harassed, and are survivors of child sexual abuse. Their wives, mothers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, nephews, friends, and co-workers are the victims of sexual violence. The person who commits that sexual violence is nearly always male. But, most men don’t and won’t commit sexual violence.

The Men Against Sexual Violence Taskforce offers men, who do not commit or condone sexual violence, and are willing to speak out against it, an opportunity to join with women in working to end sexual violence. Members of the MASV Taskforce include: Len Caric, McKnight Cylinder Inc.; Dick Holler, Westmoreland County Community College; Dottie Craig, Blackburn Center; Gayle Pamerleau, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and Janice Beckage, Seton Hill University. To schedule a speaker for your organization or to get more information on the Men Against Sexual Violence Taskforce contact Dottie Craig at Blackburn Center 724-837-9540 ext. 114 or via e-mail at