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Sioux City, IA, June 15, 2006– The Siouxland Men’s Coalition Against Family Violence, in partnership with the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, are celebrating this Father’s Day week by announcing a four- year, research- based public education violence prevention campaign in Sioux City.

The campaign will include print, radio, TV and billboard advertising which will begin this week. Later activities will include public events and community mobilizing.
The objective of the campaign is to increase the numbers of adults in Sioux City who are talking to their children about violence, with a particular emphasis at this time on men talking to boys. A program for girls will be implemented at a later date.

The Siouxland Men’s Coalition was formed in 2004, in partnership with the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, to bring local men’s voices to the forefront of the issue of men’s violence against women and children. These men have and will continue to donate their time, voices, and resources to an issue that has been considered a “women’s issue’ in the past. One of the Coalition leaders, Bob Sheehan states, “Domestic violence has long been considered a woman’s issue, and our organization believes that it is very often a man’s problem. I am honored to be a part of a movement where men are collectively taking a stand to let all know that we must reach out to teach boys and men that violence is not the answer.”

Judy Stafford of the Waitt Institute, who was instrumental in bringing men’s leadership to the issue of family violence nationally, speaks of the importance of having men actively involved, “We are pleased that more men are now joining women in shouldering the responsibility of changing attitudes and behaviors that can lead to domestic violence. Youth need both men and women to model and teach the importance of treating others with respect”.
The Sioux City public education campaign had its beginnings in 2000, when the Waitt Family Foundation, along with the San Francisco based Family Violence Prevention Fund commissioned a national research project to determine what role men could play in the issue of family violence. The results indicated the men would become involved in the issue if they were asked, and would be willing to talk to kids about the impact of family violence. Out of this research grew the nationally known “Founding Father’s Campaign”, chaired by Ted Waitt, founder of the Waitt Foundation, and the “Coaching Boys into Men” national public education campaign sponsored by the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, the Family Violence Prevention Fund, and the Ad Council.

In 2006, the fourth year of these national programs, Sioux City was chosen to be the only community in the United States to be studied nationally to determine the success of these efforts. There will be several components, including school- based curriculum, and a community wide mobilization campaign, as well as the public education campaign announced today. Judy Stafford of the Waitt Institute will be leading these efforts.
Cindy Waitt, President of the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention states, “I am so pleased that Sioux City can be a vital part of this research. Our work here will inform communities across the country in primary violence prevention. We know from research that involving parents in issues can play a major role in shaping the behavior of their children. It hasn’t been done yet with the issue of violence prevention, and we’re excited that Sioux City can play a leadership role in this. Due to our past work here, the fabulous existing programs already here, the spirit of collaboration, and the fantastic efforts the community has made to date on this issue, we wouldn’t do it anywhere but here.”

Men’s Coalition leader, Jim Wharton speaks of the role of Sioux City, “The news from Fort Dodge last week of the death of a woman who was a victim of domestic violence should convince all of us that violence against women is an issue that demands our attention. Thanks to the commitment of the Waitt Institute, Siouxland has an opportunity to become a national leader in dealing with domestic violence in a proactive manner.”

The Siouxland Men’s Coalition was formed in 2004, in partnership with the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, to bring men’s voices and leadership to the issue of family violence.
The Leadership Group members are:
Steve Avery, Avery Brothers
Mark Avery, businessman and artist
Denny Boots, Family Services
George Boykin, Woodbury County Board of Supervisors and Director of the Sanford Center
Roger Caudron, Downtown Partners
Jerry Haack, BOB 102.3 and Y101.3
Steve Hansen, Former State Senator and Director of the Sioux City Public Museum
Alan Heisterkamp, Principal North High School
Ron Peterson, Publisher, Sioux City Journal
Thomas Ritchie, Online Editor, Sioux City Journal
Bob Sheehan, President of Boys and Girls Home/Family Services
Jim Wharton, Catholic Diocese of Sioux City


The Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, based in North Sioux City, South Dakota was formed in 2005. It’s mission is to change social norms that accept family violence as a part of life through primary prevention efforts in our hometown, our nation, and our world.

The Waitt Family Foundation, parent company of the Waitt Institute and located in La Jolla, California, was formed in South Dakota in 1993 by Ted Waitt, founder of Gateway Computers.