A new state-sponsored sexual violence prevention project is rolling out all over California this month. MyStrength is a multi-million dollar advertising campaign led by the slogan “My Strength Is Not For Hurting’ and an education program that is being piloted in six California schools. The message is this: Men can prevent sexual violence. The Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, a rape crisis center that serves the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, is one of 66 statewide centers participating in the campaign. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 On Sept. 29, LACAAW and CALCASA launched a Men Of Strength club at Los Angeles’ John Marshall High School. LACAAW program coordinator Frank Blaney has led LACAAW’s In Touch With Teens program, but is excited about the Men Of Strength club. “Only men lead the MOS clubs,’ Blaney said. “There are no (other) clubs like this oriented toward young men.’ Josh Gottschalk got involved in the MyStrength campaign after volunteering for sexual assault education programs at the University of California, Davis campus. He helped introduce the program to pilot schools such as Marshall High School. “As a man, I really feel like other men need to band together and join in the fight to end sexual violence,’ Gottschalk said. “For me, I’m extremely proud of being given this opportunity to be a role model for other young men.’ The program was developed and is being instituted by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The initial advertising and pilot promotion programs have been paid for with a grant from the California Department of Health. Ads can be seen before previews at movie theaters, and on billboards, mall kiosks and posters. They feature photos of men and women standing on busy city streets and looking dead-on into the camera. The campaign slogan is emblazoned, along with sayings such as “So when she changed her mind, I stopped.’ According to LACAAW’s Web site, each minute in the United States, 1.3 women are raped. Statistics also say that 7.7 percent of women over the age of 18 will be raped in their lifetime. With the next high school semester in January, LACAAW hopes that Los Angeles County schools will join the program and open Men Of Strength clubs. “We’re not going to actively solicit it to other schools,’ said Blaney. “We are expecting that, with the amount of money put into advertising, it would happen organically. There’s lots of violence in this area, so we’re expecting lots of demand.’ @tagline columnist: Sandy Mazza can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!