Men Paint their Nails to Stop Violence Against Women

Haylee Brannon
April 4, 2012

Men walking around campus with red painted nails aren’t cross-dressing; they’re taking part in an initiative to stop violence against women.

Volunteers will be at the Atrium, Student Recreation and Wellness Center and Scramble Light to ask men if they are man enough to stop violence against women by volunteering to paint one of their nails red.

Operation Red Jungle, a campus wide initiative, is geared toward bringing awareness to stopping the violence.

Emily Sullivan, president of Ball State’s Timmy Global Health, volunteered her time on Tuesday to ask men passing by if they wanted to take the pledge.

“It’s really great to see people supporting this campaign and I think it’s just a matter of continuing to have events and to encourage other organizations to participate to host and sponsor campaigns similar to this,” the junior said.

The initiative is funded through a grant the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Office of Women’s Health awarded to Ball State to continue research and initiatives similar to this one.

Jagdish Khubchandani, an assistant professor of community health education, is the head advocate for the grant and has studied the issue closely.

“Last semester, [the Office of Women’s Health] sent out this special request that you could apply for special funding to have a campaign on your campus or in your community for this issue,” Khubchandani said.

Out of 69 applications to receive this special funding, Ball State was selected to receive the grant.

Khubchandani has studied the effects of violence against women in his native country of India as well as the United States. He has been a professor at Ball State since 2010 in the Department of Physiology and Health Science.

“We are asking men to show their support for this issue,” Khubchandani said. “There’s typically one gender abusing women, and it’s male.”

Khubchandani said that in order to get this issue out into the public light, the community must first bring awareness to those who can put an end to domestic violence — the men.

“There’s only one way to prevent it and that is to engage men and promote healthy relationships,” Khubchandani said.

Violence against women does not have to be physical, he said. Verbal abuse is also classified under this category.

According to the Muncie Police Department website, there were 49 deaths reported in Indiana as a result of domestic violence from July 2008 to June 2009.

Within that same time frame, 98,828 calls were made to the Crisis Line to report an act of domestic violence.

“[Students] should stand up and realize that this is still a prevalent issue on campus and that measures should be taken to try and fix this issue,” Sullivan said.

Not only are students getting involved, but administrators are also participating in the initiative and taking the pledge against domestic abuse.

Mayor Dennis Tyler and President Jo Ann Gora are anticipated to take the pledge and get their nails painted today.

Freshman Andrew Deathe, a volunteer on behalf of Phi Sigma Kappa, wore his red T-shirt in support of the initiative.

“Everyone understands that there is violence against women that is happening, but whenever things like this happen it really puts it in your mind,” Deathe said.