The most recent data available from the State Police shows there are more than 60,000 domestic violence offenses reported by police in the Garden State every year, including acts of harassment, assaults, and murders.

In response, an effort has been launched to get to the root of the problem.

The New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence is partnering with the state Department of Children and Families and the group A Call to Men to organize training sessions around the state to talk about what it means to be a man and healthy behaviors that are associated with being male.

“We want to make sure we’re getting to the corners of the state so that we can speak to all people. It’s going to take a collective effort in order to end domestic violence,” said Wil DuBose, the Coalition's prevention coordinator.

The initiative calls for establishing regional core groups of men from different walks of life, including those in the religious community, sports coaches, educators and human service providers, who will then go through a two-day domestic violence prevention training program.

The session will focus on what it means to be a man so participants can eventually share what they have learned and bring it back to their communities.

“It’s all of the things that get taught to us as men starting from go. We get taught that we need to be tough, taught that we need to be strong, and we define what strength looks like,” said DuBose.

“We want to give them (participants in the program) an opportunity first check themselves because we all have to unpack ourselves, we have to take a look at the ways that we operate and think.”

DuBose said many of the messages men are given in life may promote “negative things that happen in our lives, particularly the notion that women are beneath us, or that we see them as unequal or less than.”

He said women have done an amazing job with domestic violence work but that’s not enough because men must work with women.

“Men need to be involved because this is a male issue," he said.

DuBose said the training curriculum was developed by A Call to Men, an organization that works to promote what they describe as “a healthy and respectful manhood and shift attitudes and behaviors that devalue women, girls and other marginalized groups.”

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You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com