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Engaging men and boys in preventing sexual and domestic violence

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1 Engaging men and boys in preventing sexual and domestic violence
Rus Ervin Funk, MSW

2 Interconnectedness of Men’s violence
Rape/sexual assault Domestic and dating violence Sex trafficking Sexual harassment Prostitution and pornography Street harassment Stalking

3 Domestic Violence Overview

4 Men’s Experience of Violence
Men tend to have a different experience and understanding of violence than do women The impact of activists efforts to understand the dynamics of violence has meant broadening the definition of what is violent

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6 Why Men Choose to be Violent
A lack of identification with the victim. A perception of the situation as one that calls for violence. A decision to act violently The means of doing harm to the other person.

7 Men’ Violence as a Men’s Issue
Men commit the vast majority of sexual violence. Men are sexually victimized by other men. Men’s sexual violence confines men. Women see men as potential threats. Men know and love survivors. Men know and love perpetrators. Men are part of the community. Men’s sexual violence is a human rights violation. © 2009/2010 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

8 Men’s relationship to sexual assault/domestic violence
Tend to have minimal or un-known relationship Assume other men (and women) think of men as either victims or offenders “other-ing”

9 Ecological Framework Socio-Cultural Community (Customs, laws, beliefs)
Organizational (Practices) Intrapersonal (Attitudes) Relational (Behaviors) Community (Norms) Socio-Cultural (Customs, laws, beliefs)

10 Continuum of sexual Violence
Threat/level of violence Sexism Gender Sexual Coerced/ Stranger Gang Rape Harassment Harassment Forced “sex” Rape Rape Murder *Based on the work of Rus Ervin Funk, Reaching Men: Strategies for Preventing Sexist Attitudes, Behavior and Violence (2006).

11 The Context… Collective impact Sexism as the core…
How men’s violence (and the threat of men’s violence) impact all women How all men benefit from the violence that some men perpetrate Sexism as the core…

12 Putting it into practice
Prevention education Leadership development Bystander intervention and support Organizational level intervention Community organizing Policy advocacy

13 A Key Point Men Are not the problem And Men are responsible for Sexism and Violence © 2009/2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

14 Being Male and a “Man: “the important fact of men’s lives is not that they are biological males, but that they become men. Our sex may be male, but our identity as men is developed through a complex process of interaction with the culture in which we learn the gender scripts, and modify those scripts to make them more palatable.” Michael Kimmel and Michael Messner, 1989

15 3 Core Dimensions of Manhood
How men handle life (Active and Achievement) independent, competitive How men handle others (dominant) aggressive, powerful, boastful I would add competitive How men handle emotions (“level-headed”) unemotional, self-control anger as men’s only allowed/supported emotion (Michael Cicone & Diane Ruble, 1976)

16 Being a “Man” What Men are Called What’s Done to Men “Man Up”

17 Engaging Men

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19 Assumptions of Engaging Men
What do men think about domestic violence? What do men think about women advocates? What do men think about men who work on these issues? What do men think about feminists and feminism? How do you expect men to respond to you? © 2009/2010 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

20 Revised Assumptions… Men have experienced multiple forms of violence and abuse. Men Care! Men are opposed to domestic violence and rape. Men are NOT the problem. Men have an unlimited ability to feel compassion and empathy. Men Want to be a part of the solution. Some men act in abusive and sexist ways. © 2009/2010 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

21 What’s effective Gender and Context Matter!
Utilize the Prevention Framework Define specific groups of men to engage Clarify your reason for asking this man(or group of men) to be engaged Identify what “engagement” means (i.e. what we want them to do) Clarify roles for men in your agency/community?

22 Gender & Context Men are different than women
Men do not experience domestic and sexual violence like women do Men’s recognize that domestic and sexual violence have a different impact on women Domestic and sexual violence are gendered Not all men are similarly situated in relation to sexual and domestic violence © 2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

23 Learning/Engagement Opportunities
Shut Down Discomfort Comfort Little Learning Zone Alarm Alarm Optimal Learning Zone Little Learning / Damage Zone

24 Engagement Strategies
Meet men where they are Engaging hostile men is different than engaging overcommitted men Don’t engage men to change men Know why you’re engaging men (why should this man/group be engaged) Engage men…to do what? Next Steps… © 2009, 2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

25 Locating the problem Socio-Cultural X X Community
Organizational (Practices) Intrapersonal (Attitudes) Relational (Behaviors) X X Community (Norms) Socio-Cultural (Customs, laws, beliefs)

26 Continuum of Men’s Engagement
Questioning Engaged but hesitant Un- interested Engaged but Over-committed Resistant Engaged and ready to follow Opposed Overtly hostile Actively Leading © 2007 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

27 Engaging Men Identify which men you want to engage
Focus on “engage-able men” Identify why they want to be engage Identify their point of entrée Identify what they need in order to stay engaged/increase their engagement Identify who else they can engage © 2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

28 © 2009 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved
Engaging Men Male Significant others Bystanders Male as volunteers Men who have perpetrated violence Men in groups © 2009 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

29 Why do you want this man? Combating male defensiveness
What is his point of entrée? What are the next steps beyond this point of entrée that are accessible to him? What supports does he need to take those next steps? Is if okay if he doesn’t?

30 If you had a group of men who were engaged and ready to work… What would you have them do???

31 What Men Can do (Michael Flood, 2011)
Behave Nonviolently Taking individual action Join Collective Efforts

32 Behave Nonviolently Treat the women in our lives with respect
Equalize relationships Resist sexism and violence Inform yourself Resist “settling” Take action © 2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

33 Bystander to Ally Overview of bystander theory Why men “stand by”
Who men “stand by” given the chance Becoming an ally… © 2009 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

34 Why men stand bY Defining the behavior Defining the relationship
Men less likely to define the behavior as problematic than women Especially if they perceive it to be a relationship No “cock-blocking” © 2009, 2011 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved 34

35 And… Men side with men As default Will side with women if Know woman better than man If have positive regard for woman Diffusion of Responsibility – S&DV are “women’s issues” Don’t know how © 2009 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved 35

36 Furthermore… The kinds of situations that men see:
“relationship blues” Flirting with the waitress Locker-room talk Speaking up = placing oneself as not “one of the guys.” (cost of intervening) © 2009 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

37 Take Action Individually
Support women or men who have been victimized Listen Believe Respect Challenge/Care-front abusive men Set a standard Talk to your friends Hold Accountable © 2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

38 Take Action Become an ally Challenge Social Norms Provide Information
Challenge assumptions Use humor Talk to other men Join a Men’s Group Don’t use pornography © 2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

39 Possible groups Fathers (esp. dads of teenagers) Coaches Men of faith
Teens Victims Loved ones Former perpetrators Male leaders in the community Why should they be engaged?

40 © 2009 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved
Ally Theory Listen Accept Responsibility Accept Personal Ownership of the Issue Open Doors Take Chances Seek Support Earn Trust Act Reliably Take the lead (at times) “Check in” Are Accountable © 2009 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

41 Different Types of Alliances
Boys as allies for girls Boys as allies for each other Adult males as allies for boys To support leadership development To foster gender respect Adult males as allies for women and girls © 2009/2010 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

42 Join Collective Efforts
White Ribbon Campaign Walk a Mile in her Shoes Mentor younger men Offer presentations Boycott sexist media Challenge pro-violent media Don’t use

43 Effective Strategies Don’t engage men to change men
Start with men you know Start with these men with where they are (not where you wish they were or think they should be) Create points of entrée Thing strategizing more then event planning Support their development Invite them to do the work, not listen to a conversation © 2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

44 Supporting Male Allies
Invite to be further involved Provide resources Connect him/them with others Support through their learning Provide additional support

45 © 2009 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved
On Accountability Accountability is… Transparent Process not end-point Relational Following through Listening to feminists first Accepting Consequences Making Amends © 2009 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

46 Why do you want to engage men?
© 2009/2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

47 Why Engage Men Because they “need to get it”
Because they can be ambassadors for your organization/mission Because they are core partners in prevention Because they have been victimized Because they love women or men who have been victimized Others… © 2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

48 How do you focus on the support for and empowerment of women…
and engage and support men? © 2009/2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

49 Organizational Readiness
Interested but unprepared Ambivalent Hesitant Uninterested Resistant Over-taxed Opposed Ready, prepared and engaging © 2009/2010 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

50 What Concerns or Fear do you have about Engaging Men?
© 2010/2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

51 Which men Which men do you want to engage?
Why these men? What access do you have to these men? What methods do you have to engage these men? How do you make these men feel welcome and comfortable within your organization? © 2009/2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

52 Men’s Views of You Why (according to your community) do men come to your door? What is men’s experience of coming in your door? What is men’s perceptions of you? As an organization The staff within the organization What is men’s perceptions of men who are connected to your organization? © 2009/2011 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

53 Things to consider Are men
Potential perpetrators Potential victims Potential allies Men have a different understanding of/relationship to violence than do women. Men’s understanding of/relationship to is at the intersection of their identities. Accepting men from where they are, not where you want them to be. Make room for men to grow in their understanding © 2009/2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

54 More things to consider
Many men perpetrate “low level” forms of violence and abuse/Most men perpetrate sexism. How you respond to different levels of sexism/abuse Defining different roles for men than for women within the agency/movement. It’s not a matter of if, but when… © 2009/2011 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

55 And finally… What experience do men have in following women’ s leadership? What experience do women have in providing leadership to men? 1) Men tend to define and experience leadership differently than women. 2) Imagine women coaching men’s college or pro teams

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57 MenEngage International Networks
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58 Resources A Call to Men (www.acalltomen.com)
Men Against Domestic Violence (www.womenaresafe.org/madv) Men Against Rape (www.menagainstrape.org) Men Against Sexual Violence (www.menagainstsexualviolence.org) Men Against Violence Against Women (www.mavaw.org) Men Against Violence (www.menagainstviolence.net) Men Can Stop Rape (www.mencanstoprape.org) Men’s Initiative of Jane Doe Inc. (www.mijd.org) © 2009/2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

59 Resources II Men’s Nonviolence Project (www.tcfv.org/nulceus/mnp.php)
Men Stopping Rape (www.men-stopping-rape.org) Men Stopping Violence (www.menstoppingviolence.org) Men’s Resource Center for Change (www.mrcforchange.org) Men’s Resources International (www.mensresourcesinternational.org) Men Today Men Tomorrow (www.mentodayidaho.org) MensWork: eliminating violence against women (www.mensworkinc.com) White Ribbon Campaign (www.whiteribbon.ca) © 2009/2012 Rus Ervin Funk, all rights reserved

60 Thank-You!!! Rus Ervin Funk PO box 4878 Louisville, KY (502)


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