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Vera House applauds Syracuse men’s lacrosse team for standing against abuse (Syracuse.com Letter to the Editor)

Prevention Education Administrator Amanda Estevez responds to the SU Men's Lacrosse taking a stance against a teammate's alleged domestic violence.

To the Editor:

One of the hardest challenges for men is going against the social norms that uphold “bro code.” No one wants to be ridiculed for calling out problematic behavior, especially when it involves calling out other men in their own social circles.

But calling out problematic language, jokes, or behaviors that fuel the culture of violence against women and girls is one key part of bystander behavior. Just naming that the attitude or behavior is wrong is powerful. Research shows that other men in a group often agree that sexism and gender-based violence are wrong – but are waiting for someone else to take the lead.

Taking a stand against attitudes and behaviors is even more powerful. It sends a clear message that violence against women and girls is unacceptable and that one does not condone it.

When we learned that SU men’s lacrosse team members refused to practice with teammate Chase Scanlan after he allegedly committed an act of domestic violence, and that they issued strong statements against abuse, we were impressed. We applaud them using their positions of influence to send a clear message that abuse is wrong and requires accountability. When you combine education about gender-based violence with men working together to hold one another accountable, you create the opportunity for meaningful change.

We at Vera House applaud the members of the men’s lacrosse team who knew this alleged incident was not right, were brave enough to speak out about it and engage their peers, made a nonviolent choice to hold their teammate accountable, boldly stated their public opposition to violence, and honored Yeardley Love, a Virginia women’s lacrosse player who was murdered by her boyfriend in 2010.