Top 10 Reasons for Working with Men and Boys
- Many women want men to step up and take a stand against violence.
- Most men do not agree with men's violence, yet do nothing to challenge or stop it - these men need to be mobilized to prevent violence.
- Some men are already working to prevent violence but lack support; many more would like to get involved but don't know how.
- Men commit most of the violence - it is up to them to stop it
- Men are not born violent-they become violent as a result of beliefs and norms about what it means to be a man. Work with men and boys can change these beliefs and norms and support men in rejecting violence
- Men have the potential to stop violence. Not only can they choose to not perpetrate acts of violence, they can choose to challenge the attitudes and assumptions that support gender-based violence.
- Gender-based violence continues despite years of antiviolence work. The missing piece is effective violence prevention work with men. (For statistics on violence in the United States, see Get the Facts.)
- Men experience violence too-many are survivors but few get the support they need to heal from their experience. (See RAINN Statistics for data on men experiencing sexual assault.)
- Men and boys listen to their peers-we need to mobilize men and boys to spread the violence prevention message in their families, workplaces, and communities.
- Decision makers and opinion leaders are mostly men-we need to work with them to get the political, financial, and moral support necessary to prevent gender-based violence.
Use these questions to help you and your colleagues think through the reasons for working with men and boys. The answers can help you build a case you can use to persuade others of the importance of this work.
- Why is it so important to work with men and boys on violence prevention now?
- What are the most important reasons for working with men and boys? Why are these reasons the most important to you?
- What in your personal and professional experience has led you to believe we need to work with men and boys to prevent violence?
Exercise: Debating the Reasons
Use this exercise in a group or workshop setting to explore participants’ understanding of the rationale for working with men and boys.
- Ask for two volunteers or two teams of volunteers to stage a debate about the importance of working with men and boys.
- Ask the first team to come up with 5 –10 arguments for the importance of working with men and boys on violence prevention. Ask the second team to come up with 5 –10 arguments against working with men and boys.
- Hold the debate and then lead a discussion with the whole group about the arguments that were presented. Discuss which arguments were most compelling and why.
- Give out Top Ten Reasons for Working with Men and Boys and discuss each of the reasons listed, comparing them with your debate.
Use this exercise in a group or workshop setting to explore participants' understandings and attitudes about the case for working with men and boys.
Go to the Discussion Board to share your responses and see what other people are saying about reasons for working with men and boys.
Read about A Comprehensive Approach to see the risk factors for gender-based violence at different levels of society.
Last modified 2004-10-28 11:42 PM