Ending racism and white supremacy is urgent. Ending male sexual violence against women and girls is urgent. Men Stopping Violence’s latest publication provides an excellent example of how MSV strives to hold and respond to both of those truths.
African American women have long directed MSV to work for safety and accountability, but not rely solely on the criminal legal system. Instead, “they have consistently challenged MSV to create other pathways and spaces to engage communities.” (From the Article, page 10). MSV’s Ending White Supremacy in the Movement statement is consistent with that charge.
MSV’s definition of male sexual violence is designed to create those pathways and spaces in the community where men can honestly examine their beliefs and actions, learn, and change.
“MSV’s definition is not a criminal justice definition, nor is it intended for enforcement purposes. This distance from the criminal justice system is useful when engaging communities of color which have faced a disproportionate response from law enforcement. MSV’s definition is not intended to prompt an increased criminal justice response or new laws to criminalize all problematic behaviors. Rather, it is applicable to all men, not just those identified through the criminal legal system. The definition can be used with men in fraternities, at churches, mosques, and synagogues, and community events.” (Article, page 19.)
It provides “a way in” for all men to talk about male sexual violence – both male socialization and the tactics men use – in the community rather than police stations or courthouses where some men are sent because of the color of their skin, where other men will never go because of their privilege, and where discussions of social norms are unlikely.
In doing so, MSV’s definition of male sexual violence is one example of how Men Stopping Violence looks to end male sexual violence against women apart from the criminal justice system and its disastrous effects on black communities and people of color.
Douglas U., Giordano L., Loughlin G. (2020) Men Stopping Violence’s Definition of Male Sexual Violence Against Women: Implications for Prevention and Intervention. In: Geffner R., Vieth V., Vaughan-Eden V., Rosenbaum A., Hamberger L., White J. (eds) Handbook of Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan. Springer, Cham. See: