In the fight against domestic violence, we certainly need more shelters and more services for the victims of violence. But more, we need to change social norms and prevent that violence from occurring in the first place. This is where Men Stopping Violence is helping to lead the charge, not only locally, but for the nation as a whole. Their work provides both direction and hope for all our efforts – Mark Rosenberg, former director of the National Center for Injury Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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MSV’s Community Accountability Model
By Men Stopping Violence
This ecological model is central to the work MSV does with men in the classroom and in communities, because it offers a view of the cultural and historical mechanisms that support violence against women. Being able to view these mechanisms in relationship to each other assists in creating intervention and prevention strategies that have the potential to disrupt traditions of abuse and dominance. It indicates that corrective actions at every level of community— individual, familial, local, national, and global— have the potential to shift cultural norms toward a more egalitarian standard. For more information on the Community Accountability Model read our article entitled Deconstructing Male Violence
The Spinning Wheel
by Frank McCloskey
Elie Wiesel, writer, professor, activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor, once said:
“Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.”
What a meaningful thought this is with respect to the power dynamic playing out between men and women in every segment of society, including corporate work environments. It’s time men stop exerting, intentionally or unintentionally, the emotional, physical, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse we direct toward women in order for us to remain in control and power.
Men Speak Out About Sexist Coverage of Rape
by male national leaders in the movement to end violence against women and girls.
In the struggle to stop rape and all forms of men’s violence against women, it is time for men to leave the sidelines and get in the game. One important step we can take is to raise our voices and insist that the spotlight in media coverage of rape turns away from a fixation on victims and their behavior and instead focuses on abusive men and boys – and the culture that produces and makes excuses for them. We make this demand not only as concerned citizens and responsible members of our communities – but as men from virtually every cultural/racial/ethnic/religious background.
Deconstructing Male Violence
by Dick Bathrick, Ulester Douglas, and Phyllis Alesia Perry
The MSV community-accountability model of male violence against women offers a view of the cultural and historical mechanisms that support violence against women. The model, and the strategies and programs that have grown out of it, demonstrate the potential for disrupting traditions of abuse and dominance at the individual, familial, local, national, and global levels.
How Do You Know Your Program Works?
by Dick Bathrick
During trainings, when Men Stopping Violence facilitators talk about community accountability as the key to ending male violence against women and girls, participants often shift the focus to the questions, “But what do you do in your groups, and how do you know whether they’re effective?”
These are not bad or spurious questions because it’s important to assess the efficacy of Batterers’ Intervention Programs (BIPs). Ed Gondolf’s comparative studies of batterers’ programs’ strengths and liabilities have been extremely illuminating. Among other things, they tell us that swift and consistent responses from the community reduce batterer recidivism. But to constantly focus on the practices and outcomes of the various BIP models may be leading us away from some more important strategies and solutions.
After 15 months of training, phone conversations, information exchange and support, it had come down to this: 30 people sitting in a circle in a New York City hotel conference room.
They came from eight states to participate in this last activity for the Training Institute for Mobilizing Men (TIMM), an initiative by the Atlanta-based organization Men Stopping Violence (MSV), in cooperation with A Call to Men and the National Coalition to End Domestic Violence. This was perhaps their last opportunity to speak and share as a group, and they spent most of the day together on May 20, 2009, talking about the meaning and the challenges of men and women working together to end violence against women.
Organizing to End Violence Against Women: Putting Principles Into Practice
by Dick Bathrick, Ulester Douglas, Khaatim S. El, Phyllis Alesia Perry, and Malkia S. White
For 24 years, Men Stopping Violence (MSV) has done the very necessary work of creating and testing theories, strategies, and techniques for working with men to end male violence against women. Continuous examination of our work and its effectiveness has taught us that confronting a problem as entrenched as violence against women requires critical analysis of existing standards, creative thinking, and the courage to introduce new paradigms. Our goal is no less than social change.
The now-standard methods of working with men through Batterers’ Intervention Programs (BIPs) have severe limitations. Our experience has led us to believe that community-based strategies aimed at identifying and educating more male allies and strengthening collaborative ties between men and women are key to creating safety for women.
African-American Men Who Batter: A Community-Centered Approach to Prevention and Intervention
by Ulester Douglas, Sulaiman Nuriddin, and Phyllis Alesia Perry
Race matters. This is one of the core organizing principles that informs the practices of Men Stopping Violence (MSV), a 26-year-old, Atlanta-based organization that works to end male violence against women. As part of that overarching mission, we challenge systems that oppress both men and women because of class, gender, sexual orientation, age, and/or race/ethnicity. MSV asserts that violence against women is not an individual pathology, but a systemic control tactic that cannot be uncoupled from other oppressive systems of control, such as racial discrimination or heterosexism. The work of MSV is based on the premise that these systems are integrated and, therefore, should be addressed as parts of a whole.