Men Against Domestic Violence

Men Against Domestic Violence (MADV)

Formed in 2019, Men Against Domestic Violence (MADV) is a new group that calls on men to come together to help stop domestic and sexual violence in St. Johns County.

The MADV Leadership Team is made up of:

• Jeff Gatlin, the Pastor of Freedom Church, a community educator with Betty Griffin Center and softball coach at Pedro Menendez High School
• Chaplain Jeff Peppers, a pastor and chaplain with Florida National Guard
• Michael Zarife, Florida National Guard
• Joe Lawrenson, a batterer accountability specialist with Betty Griffin Center
• Peter Miele, retired Publix Employee

MADV wants and expects healthy relationships free from domestic and sexual violence in St Johns County (and the world) – and strives to create a community where public policies protect survivors, holds violent men accountable and expects good men to step up.

Each year, these acts of violence compromise the safety of thousands of local citizens with tragic, destructive and sometimes fatal results.

To join MADV, or to find out more about the group, please call Jeff Gatlin at 904-669-1191 or email Jeff at [email protected]



Tips on Being the Best Father You Can Be!

Today, many more dads like you are experiencing the satisfaction and reward of taking a more active role in the life of your child. Read and discover how these simple ideas can help (or remind) you to start today on a new path—one that will impact your relationships…and your child’s future.

Respect Your Children’s Mother

One of the best things you, as a dad, can do for your children is to respect their mother. When children see their parents respecting each other, they are more likely to feel they are also accepted and respected.

Spend Time with Your Children

This is more complicated that is sounds, I know. But how a dad spends his time tells his children what’s important to him. You’ve no doubt heard us say, Children spell “love”: T-I-M-E. Treasuring children often means sacrificing other things, but it is essential to spend time with your children. Kids grow up so quickly. Missed opportunities are lost forever.

Listen First, Talk Second

All too often the only time a father speaks to his children is when they are getting in trouble. Take time and listen to your children’s ideas and problems. Listening helps them feel respected and understood. Begin listening and talking with your kids when they are young so that difficult subjects will be easier to handle as they get older.

Discipline with Love

All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and provide meaningful rewards for desirable behavior. Fathers who discipline in a calm and fair manner show love to their children.

Be A Role Model

Fathers are role models to their kids, whether they realize it or not. A girl who spends time with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves to be treated with respect by boys, and what to look for in a husband. Fathers can teach sons what is important in life by demonstrating honesty, humility, and responsibility.

Be A Teacher

Too often we think teaching is something others do at a school building. But a father who teaches his children about right and wrong, and encourages them to do their best, will see his children make good choices. Involved fathers use everyday examples to help their children learn the basic lessons of life.

Eat Together as a Family

Sharing a meal together (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) can be an important part of healthy family life. In addition to providing some structure on a busy day, it gives kids the chance to talk about what they are doing and want to do. It is also a good time for fathers to listen. Most importantly, it is a time for families to be together each day.

Read to Your Children

In a world where television and technology dominate the lives of children, it is important that fathers make the effort to read to their children. Children learn best by doing and reading, as well as seeing and hearing. Read to your children when they are very young. When they are older, encourage them to read on their own. Instilling your children with a love for reading is one of the best ways to ensure they will have a lifetime of growth.