Friday, March 29, 2013
Men against domestic violence rally draws low numbers
But, they plan to host another rally soon.
LEWISVILLE Unfavorable weather and insufficient advertising is being blamed for the low turn out to a rally planned in front of Lewisville City Hall.
Lewisville resident Robert Glen planned a Men Against Domestic Violence rally for March 23, but only four people showed up for the event.
“It was a total bust,” Glen said. “I know the weather wasn’t great, and I don’t think there was enough coverage to really get the rally going.”
Besides Glen and his wife, two Highland Village residents attended the rally – City Councilman Bill Meek and Jack Milligan, a former pastor. Glen, who also runs Upward Living Training Institute a nonprofit that counsels violence victims, hoped the rally would kick off discussions on the subject of violence against women and children.
“I wanted to encourage people to start formally organizing an activity to get the educational process going as fast as we can. I want people to be able to coordinate with organizations like Denton County Friends of the Family and local schools and colleges because some offer courses of understanding for families and couples who are victims,” Glen said. “There are a wide variety of possibilities that could come about from getting the discussions rolling.”
Glen said he was also hoping to shed light on the size and nature of the problem and to present resources that can help.
“The city government, organizations and the school systems are doing things that would be very supportive toward controlling and changing effects of family violence, including sexual, physical, economic and emotional. I also wanted to explain what ordinary citizens can do to support formal institutions in their efforts,” Glen said. “I could also interface with fellow citizens and help channel contacts between victims and encourage reorientation to change the pattern of behavior.”
Glen said he was hoping to conclude the rally by encouraging one man to step forward and lead the way as a resident.
“I would have encouraged him to bring along his wife to keep him on track. He can be a problem solver, and she can help him by keeping him on track,” Glen said. “I alone would be willing to stand by as a guest speaker at any type of event. I’d be glad to speak and meet with individuals or groups about this issue.”
Meek said he, too, was disappointed in the turnout.
“I don’t think the word really got out. I stood in place for Mayor Davis, and I read a proclamation from the mayor. I think it’s important for all cities to have a presence in this. It’s an honorable event, and I wanted to be a part of it,” Meek said. “Violence against women is something that should not happen.”
James Kunke, community relations and tourism director, said the Lewisville City Council was made aware of the rally, but since it was not an official city event, they were not required to go. He also said that he was not aware of the rally organizer contacting the city about a mayoral proclamation.
“Proclamations are submitted to the city secretary’s office, and they have guidelines they follow before approving them,” Kunke said. “Sometimes requests are initiated by staff members and sometimes by organizers of events.”
Even though he is in his 80s and officially retired, Glen said he is still very active.
“Within the past two years, I’ve directly aided five different women with children on how to recover their life and get it back in order after domestic violence has happened. I don’t charge anything for my services but accept financial help if they are able,” Glen said.
Glen has two master’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice. He said he got the latter because he also wanted to help straighten offenders out. In addition, he is a licensed social worker and has worked with the state legislature to write domestic violence-related legislation.
“When working with people, I work at their home because I find that they learn to adapt to their natural surroundings much easier that way. It works so much better than the ‘patient on the couch’ theory,” Glen said.
Before he started his nonprofit, Glen ran a private counseling practice. He said he learned that he needed to have a much bigger reach. That’s how he formed the nonprofit agency. Glen has published two books, one on controlling anger and the other on sexuality. Both are about training people to rethink how they look at anger expressions and how they look at their sexual life.
Glen said he is in the process of writing five other books, including SocioErgics that looks at the ways a civilization works.
“I’m also writing one about super traumatic stress episode recovery, one on human nature and one on the ‘bisy-ness’ of life,” Glen said. “I’m also working on a book that looks to figure out why when some people come on bad times, they lose ground and their lives go downhill and others become survivors and come out even stronger than before. It also looks at how some people, through no fault of their own, don’t manage to cope with life in a healthy way.”
Even with everything else going on in his life, Glen is hopeful to organize another, more successful rally. He said he doesn’t have definitive plans yet, but he hopes to for the near future.
Meek said he thinks it would be worthwhile to try to hold the rally again.
“I think this is important for all people, and Highland Village is certainly a willing participant,” Meek said.
Meek said he would encourage all area residents to come out and see what the movement is all about and encourage them to get involved. He said it was important for Highland Village to show its support for the cause.
“There’s a Bible verse that speaks to this, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,’” Glen said. “We have to learn to be patient. Some of the world’s greatest problems have been going on for thousands of years, this issue will be around and if we are patient, we can find a solution.”
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