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Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Statement On Domestic Violence

March 17, 2009 


Statement of Herman “Skip” Mason, Jr.

General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

On Domestic Violence


BALTIMORE Recently, much attention has been focused on the issue of domestic violence. We’ve all been reminded that the threat of violence is a certainty for countless men and women, everyday.  While loving relationships can quickly succumb to this darker reality, it stands to note that under no circumstance is it acceptable for a man to physically or psychologically attempt to dominate a woman, whether she is a girlfriend, wife, or ex.


Within the black community, we are losing the war on domestic violence, and losing it dismally. Each year, domestic violence fractures countless black families and claims too many black lives. According to the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, African-American women are victims of domestic violence 35 percent more than whites.  What is even more alarming, homicide prefaced by domestic violence is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45.  More often than not, it is an African-American man who perpetrates this abuse.


Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity has always been an advocate of women’s rights because women’s rights are civil rights. Now more than ever, we stand ready to support and protect women. The men of Alpha pledge to continue working to eradicate the plague of domestic violence in both African-American neighborhoods and the broader community at large.


For more than 100 years we have been in the forefront of the fight for human rights and justice. In 2009, we are just as committed to this goal and America’s women can count on us.


While we champion the safety of our women, we also extend an arm of protection to their—and our—young boys. This year Alpha Phi Alpha begins a new initiative, From the Highchair to Higher Education which is designed to put a focus on boys at the earliest age possible so that they make it to—and graduate from high school and college.  Part of that focus will be serving as individual examples of men who show boys how to treat women with respect.


We urge all men who are engaged in this behavior to get help and seek counseling. We will not remain silent on this issue. 

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