Some Mid-South organizations hope school coaches and mentors can play a role this school year in preventing violence, including for intimate partner relationships.

The Family Safety Center, Heal the Hood Foundation, and Leadership Empowerment Center are teaming up to bring Futures Without Violence’s “Coaching Boys into Men” program to Memphis.

“Coaching young men and developing great relationships with them, because it all starts with knowing what their passions are and what they’re trying to do in life,” said Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis CEO LaDell Beamon.

“What it’s designed to do is help coaches and mentors to work with the young men that they deal with in a sports team or a program, and then they’re able to shape them and how they see dating violence and respecting girls and women,” said Family Safety Center Director of Communications and Development Jordan Howard.

Organizers hope the program will aid in the fight against domestic violence, a crime that appears to be up slightly in Tennessee.

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The Family Safety Center said organizers are starting with seven or eight coaches or mentors in Frayser, Raleigh, and Southeast Memphis.

“It’s going to be in what we’ve identified as domestic violence hotspots,” Howard said.

“They’re literally listening to this coach. They become the father figure, they become the uncle, they become that missing voice that a lot of our young men don’t have in the households now,” Beamon said.

Organizers hope that providing guidance to young men will have a trickle down effect in schools and in the community.

They expect the Memphis program to directly impact about 200 students in the first school year.