Soroptimist show up for Stand Up Men

Heather spaulding


Like clockwork, every Friday from noon to 1 p.m., a group of men,”The Stand Up Men,” stand at the San Juan County courthouse to help bring awarenes to domestic violence and sexual assault. Dec. 1 and 8 Soroptimist International of Friday Harbor joined them.

The Stand Up Men was formed in 2015 as part of SAFE San Juans, a non-profit that provides victim services and educates the community about domestic violence and sexual assault. It all began with a fundraiser seeking 100 “stand up” men to donate $100 each.

“There was such an overwhelming response and many of the men asked what else they could do in addition to giving money. So this action group naturally evolved,” said the then SAFE San Juans Board President Angela Douglas in a Rotary presentation on Jan. 12 2017. “These stand-up men are helping spread awareness in the community.”

At the courthouse, it isn’t unusual for the men to be greeted with thank yous, car honking or waving from passing community members. Dec. 1 and 8 were no different.

“We’ve had survivors tell their stories,” John Stamey, who has been a Stand Up Man for nine years. “There are survivors within our group.”

For Soroptimist, domestic violence and sexual assault has been a huge challenge, and they donate to SAFE San Juans annually. As the holiday season came, Soroptimist also decided to stand beside the men and show support and gratitude.

The group total was approximately a dozen on Dec. 9. When asked how many Stand Up Men there were, Stamey shrugged, “It’s hard to say. It’s a loose group and different individuals show up each time. We are always looking for a few more!”

Heather Spaulding  Staff photo
Soroptimist stand with The Stand Up Men
Heather Spaulding  Staff photo
Soroptimist stand with The Stand Up Men