High school program aims to stop domestic violence before it starts

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)—Reaching young men early in their lives in an effort to prevent domestic violence. The new program called “Coaching Boys Into Men” is a chance for coaches to have important conversations with players off the field.

Karen Jarmoc, Chief Executive Officer with the CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence said, “they are role models and they are inserting these important messages when they are having conversations with players.”

“I think one of the nice things about this both for coaches and for those students athletes, is it can present a position of hope. Meaning that the world can be tricky, you can hear your favorite NFL player getting in trouble for sexual assault or domestic violence, but you can also recognize that’s not who you want to be,” said Beth Hamilton the Deputy Director with CT Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence is partnering with the CT Alliance to End Sexual Violence for the program. Head football coach Harry Bellucci with Hartford Public High School is guiding his young athletes about the importance of respect for themselves and others.

“We are out here trying to win football games we understand that but our goal is to build a better person,” said Bellucci.

It’s a 15 minute conversation once a week. 

“We go over how to treat people the way they want to be treated. What’s acceptable and what’s not acceptable in a relationship,” said Kendal Johnson.

Melvin Flores added, “how to treat a girl. What not to do and stuff. And how to handle it.”

Football players said the course teaches them life lessons. 

Johnson said, “I think this program helps prepare us for that next step and going into college or if you do go pro like what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. So I think this program is really a step for high school students whether you play sports or not.”

Coach Bellucci said the program is a win win.

“I’m in the position now where I can help these kids and that’s my main job and getting this program now is helping me become a better coach,” said Bellucci.

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