COMPASS: A Guide for Men is a resource for adult male mentors who work with young Alaskan men aged 12 to 18. COMPASS presents mentors with opportunities and activities that are designed to support young men as they explore and identify their values, goals and unique identities. The activities, teachable moments and discussions described in the guide create a safe atmosphere for men and boys to learn about and practice healthy lifestyles. In addition, these strategies are designed to be easily incorporated into the day-to-day interactions that already exist between mentors and youth like team sports, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, etc. Ultimately the guide promotes meaningful conversations between men and male youth that promote healthy identities, build positive relationships, and strengthen safe and violence-free communities.
Incident rates of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and child sexual abuse in Alaska are widespread and continue to reflect some of the highest per capita rates in the nation. These forms of violence are complex and impact the health and wellness of Alaska’s individuals, families and communities. In order to address these forms of violence and erase them from our landscape, Alaskans are working together to support the implementation of prevention programs that are community driven, culturally informed and research based. COMPASS is one such tool and is intended as a resource for male mentors working with male youth aged 12 to 18.
COMPASS provides male role models an opportunity to redefine masculinity and help young men explore healthier,nonviolent models of manhood. The use of this tool will assist mentors in providing young men with safe, structured and supportive settings to explore concepts of masculinity, healthy relationships and respect. The guide provides mentors with information, tools and activities to connect with young men around topics that impact their relationships, families and communities.
COMPASS was developed in response to the requests received by the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault from coaches, guides, camp leaders, cultural leaders and many others. The requests highlighted the need for a resource that could be used by men in their conversations with youth on the challenges faced by young men in Alaska.
COMPASS is a direct result of the work accomplished by volunteers from across the state who stepped forward to look at promising materials, considered the cultural and geographic contexts of Alaska, and worked together to develop and pilot aspects of COMPASS. Their efforts resulted in materials with a natural structure that offers stories, discussion starters, reflections, activities and teachable moments in seven key areas: Knowing Who You Are, Knowing Your Emotions, Respect for Self, Respect for Others, Communication, Conflict Resolution and Becoming Men.