Men and boys do have a place in violence prevention

Competition

“Engaging boys and men to prevent violence against women has been identified internationally as one of the top 20 ‘practice innovations’ in violence and injury prevention during the last 20 years. Violence prevention efforts among men and boys can make a difference. Done well, they can shift the attitudes that lead to physical and sexual violence, and change behaviours, reducing male’s actual perpetration of violence.” (Baker, G. (2013). Effectively involving men in preventing violence against women.Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, University of Auckland).

This paper really captured my interest as I have been pondering for some time how to invite young (and older men) to take a stand against violence towards women. To give you a taste, the paper argues the following key points:

  • Engaging boys and men to prevent violence against women can make a difference
  • The main reasons for involving men in violence prevention are:
    – While most men do not use violence against women, when violence does occur it is largely perpetrated by men
    – Constructions of masculinity play a crucial role in shaping men’s violence against women
    – Men have a positive role to play in helping stop violence against women
  • A ‘gender transformative’ approach involves challenging rigid gender roles and critically questioning what influences these. Programmes involving a ‘gender transformative’ approach are effective in changing men’s attitudes and behaviours related to violence against women.
  • Other principles for engaging men include:
    – Positive messages ‘inviting’ rather than ‘indicting’ men can be more effective
    – There is diversity in how masculinities are constructed and expressed in different cultural contexts and social settings. Culturally-relevant material that acknowledges men’s social contexts and draws on their personal experiences is required
  • Men can prevent violence to women by not personally engaging in violence, by challenging the violence of other men, and by addressing the root causes of violence
  • There are local and international examples that can be built on to increase the involvement of men in this work.

This is great work from Garth and certainly worthy of a read.

Published on Monday, November 25th, 2013, under What Ken thinks, Youth offending

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