In my last blog, I shared articles about men standing up to end domestic violence in two foreign countries – Ecuador and Sierra Leone. Here is the link to my last blog.
This week I would like to highlight some efforts being made by men in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The first thing I want to talk about is an organization of men in the United States called Men Stopping Violence, see this link: menstoppingviolence.org
Men Stopping Violence was founded in Georgia in 1982. Its goal is to spur change at individual, institutional, and societal levels. MSV works to help men change their abusive behaviors through group sessions which concentrate on changing patriarchal values and belief systems that oppress women and children. The organization is also committed to keeping women safe, using principles developed by the nationwide network of battered women’s shelters, and encourages victims to use the judicial system to seek protection for themselves and their children.
In addition to classes, MSV works with community organizations, sponsors workshops, networks with battered women’s advocates, trains professionals who deal with batterers, influences public policy decisions, works with employers to create safer workplaces, and advances theory in the field through writing and speaking. Interestingly, their Executive Director is a woman, Shelley Serdahely.
I invite you to take a look at their website. Some of their programs include:
Men’s Education – a 24 week course for men who self-enroll who have seen themselves using power and control with their intimate partners. This course offers them alternative behaviors to use in their relationships.
Because We Have Daughters – a day for fathers and daughters to spend together, working together to understand each other. Fathers learn about the future potential for violence their daughters might face from a loved one.
Twelve or Six month Internships – to train men to develop skills to prevent domestic violence in their communities.
Success Stories from their Internship Program
Bernard Ellis “The most challenging thing about the internship was learning that I was contributing to the violence by doing nothing to change it,” said Bernard, who heard about the internship after Men Stopping Violence (MSV) and brought its program to his church.
Leif Patterson “I thought of myself as a child of the new millennium who didn’t have negative prejudices toward women,” said Leif. “The reality is that those beliefs are as present as ever and even the most enlightened of us is impacted. Those beliefs inundate our world and reach us through every aspect of our daily lives. Men holding other men accountable is one of the most powerful tools I have witnessed for combating domestic violence and it can be used in the fight against debasement of women in the media as well.”