Apply a Comprehensive Approach
Figuring out how to work with men and boys on violence prevention begins with understanding the issues. As the social ecology model illustrates, there are a number of levels where we can work on these issues. Factors at each level of the social ecology-individual, relationship, community, and societal-contribute to gender-based violence in our society. Preventing gender-based violence involves work on risk factors at each level.
Click on each level of the model below to see possible strategies for violence prevention work at that level, as well as examples of these strategies in action.
Work at the individual level
Strategies for working on individual-level risk factors are often designed to change an individual's social and cognitive skills and behavioral practices through:
- Educational curricula
Work at the relationship level
A person's closest social circle-peers, partners, and family members-has the potential to shape an individual's behavior and range of experience. Strategies for working with men and boys on their relationships and the factors that contribute to violence include:
- Mentoring programs
- Peer-based educational programs
- Educational/support programs for family and friends
- Parent training
- Intergenerational training/support programs
- Individual counseling
- Group therapy
- Family therapy (for a nonoffending parent and children, to help them cope with the effects of violence by the offending parent)
- Coaching Boys to Men
- MVP Program
- For reports on Brazilian programs that train young men as peer educators, see the PROMUNDO Web site
Working at the community level
Men's communities (such as school, the workplace, and the neighborhood) have a big impact on how men think, feel, and act. Strategies for working with men and boys on issues and problems in their communities are designed to address the factors that contribute to violence. These strategies can involve seeking to improve the attitudes, skills, and behaviors of those who work or serve in the community and to change institutional practices and community norms. Strategies include:
- Professional training
- Social norms projects
- Community education
- Advocacy for institutional policy changes
- MVP program with the military
- The White Ribbon Campaign's Organizer's Kit: How to organize A White Ribbon effort in your community, school, group, or workplace
- Social norms work
- One in Four Walk Across America
Working at the societal level
Working at the societal level means tackling the social, economic, and political factors that contribute to gender-based violence. This often involves collaborations between groups and organizations that come together to raise social awareness about the violence, educate the general public and policymakers, and promote and press for change in policies and laws, as well as norms and attitudes. Strategies for doing this include:
- Public education
- Media campaigns on social norms and attitudes
- Advocacy and lobbying for legal and policy change
- Founding Fathers' Campaign
- "Violence Against Women-It's Against All the Rules," a campaign run from 2000 to 2003 by the Violence Against Women Specialist Unit of the attorney general's department, New South Wales, Australia
- Article on gender equality and gender violence laws in Spain
This model can be a useful planning tool for developing violence prevention work with men and boys.
Use the Discussion Board to learn what others are saying about using the social ecology model as a planning tool, and share your own observations and resources.
The Spectrum of Prevention
The Spectrum of Prevention identifies multiple levels of intervention and promotes
a multifaceted range of activities for effective prevention.
See also the accompanying Spectrum of Prevention Worksheet
"Violence Against Women: An Integrated, Ecological Framework" by Lori Heise, Violence Against Women, 4(3). (1998) This article applies the social ecology model to understanding and preventing men's violence.
Last modified 2004-10-18 10:46 PM