we can’t play the blame game

As a child, I loved the games with ground rules.  I lived off of Monopoly, Sorry, and the Game of Life.  (Even though I always seemed to end up with the slowest car, a lot of kids, and lots of college debt…I’m still talking about the “Game” of Life!)

Having the rules meant we played nice.  Since I’m still reeling from my first experiences with violence prevention (“baby steps into prevention”), and still can’t get this prevention thing out of my head, I wish we could play a board game with a catchy name like:  “Stop the Madness” or “Get Off The Track (of Violence)”.  Is there such a game?  If there is, perhaps I missed it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognized that violence prevention was an issue in the late 1970s.  By the ’80’s, they went in full force against it, as they have with other major public health issues.

Where was I back then, where have I been, and why is it that I didn’t actually recognize I was already involved?  …not realizing that every time I stopped two kids from trying to fight…

Maybe I’ve lived in a bubble too long…  trying to fight the good fight for those who’ve already crossed over with their injuries and protection orders.

Getting back to this prevention thing…I’m liking it.  Liking it a lot.  Now I’m on a mission to share it with others; and what better way to share than through games.  As adults, most of us still like spades, poker, chess, bridge, golf, Connect 4…

-Michael Smith

A game of Prevention would have two very simple rules:  In the same manner that prevention doesn’t allow us to get into the blame game, the first rule would be:  1) there is no victim

Since it’s prevention, a violent act, threat, or situation didn’t happen in the first place; so the other rule would be:  2) there is no perpetrator.

We need dads, frat brothers, tea club members, our clique at the nail shop, best friends, uncles… and everyone else to get involved.  It just can’t be the advocates, feminists, and case managers telling people to play nice after-the-fact.

Since we’re not allowed to blame anyone, do you think more of us would be willing to play?


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