The Center is very honored to be taking part in the premiere of the new movie, “Because He Likes Me,” tonight at the Knight Nonprofit Center. The movie came about through partnership with several local organizations committed to reducing violence against women and girls. It seeks to raise awareness of the often subliminal ways in which we excuse or promote violence through the language or attitudes modeled to our children.

MGCBNA, a Medical Reserve Corps Unit, was awarded $20,000 as a Challenge Award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), in partner-ship with the Office of the Surgeon General. The award was used to create marketing materials and build a social media presence to discuss the cultural and social norms that support violence against girls. This project hopes to build community engagement to address social acceptance of the “He hits you because he likes you” mentality, which is allowing acceptance of violence at an early age. “He Hits you because he likes you” project is an innovative idea as it bring a subliminal issue to the forefront. Executive producer Dr. Romeatrius Moss says, “We need to change our response to our children when they are bullied by someone who “likes” them. We need to take immediate action and encourage good behavior in our children at an early age to prevent the thought that abuse is okay as they develop new relationships”.

Community partners united to create tools to ignite discussion. The dynamic partnership and lead committee chairs includes, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Black Nurse Association, Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence Inc., the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Take Two Video Production. “This project started to take a life of its own, says MGCBNA’s Executive Director Dr. Romeatrius Moss. “I was so excited to see the community come together for a great cause.” The movie premier is the highlight of this project, as a toolkit is also under development. Under the direction of film director John Lestrade and writer Brian Matney, local talent came together to create magic on the silver screen. “To see the city of Gulfport Fire Department, AMR, and the Biloxi Police donate time and resource to allow the story to come to life, I was in awe”, says Director/Producer John Lestrade with Take Two Video Production. “We are telling the story with a twist, we need the community to see how our actions creates this cycle of abuse, and how to end it, says GCWCNV’s Executive Director Sandra Morrison. Now, we need to get the word out and we need our media’s to help us reach more people.