Dallas Mayor Calls on Men to Fight Violence Against Women

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Monday, Mar 18, 2013  |  Updated 7:20 PM CDT
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Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings wants men to join a public fight against violence against women.

Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings wants men to join a public fight against violence against women.

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The mayor of Dallas has unveiled a list of professional athletes and religious leaders who have signed on to help his campaign against domestic violence.

The campaign asks men to report abuse, help people who are being abused and volunteer with organizations that are helping.

The centerpiece of Mayor Mike Rawlings' campaign is the Men Against Abuse rally scheduled for Saturday at Dallas City Hall.

The 10 a.m. event will feature former Dallas Cowboys Emmitt Smith and Roger Staubach and other personalities.

"We must stand together and that means, simply, not hitting women -- ever," Rawlings said.

In the wake of the mass school shooting in Connecticut and a large increase in family violence homicides in Dallas, Rawlings said he could make a difference by promoting attention to mental health issues and domestic violence prevention.

The Men Against Abuse campaign is domestic violence component of his plan.

Big churches are also promoting the Saturday rally.

"This is a teaching moment for the city of Dallas, a moment that we say, 'We're going to make domestic abuse a dinosaur, like throwing trash out your window is a dinosaur,'" Rawlings said.

The mayor, who said domestic abuse has touched members of his family, said fighting it would be an ongoing part of his job at City Hall.

Beyond the rally, the campaign includes fundraising for shelters and counselors who are working to break the chain of violence.

"We don't have enough shelter beds for everyone who might need them, but if we get ahead of the problem, before shelters, we could do counseling," said Paige Flink, executive director of the Family Place shelter. "Before shelters, there's other things we can do that don't cost as much money."

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