Men Stopping Violence (MSV) is a national institute that trains organizations and educates men to build safer communities for women and girls. As a national provider of training and educational programs, MSV can be found in communities across America teaching the following types of organizations:
- Faith-based Organizations
- Higher Education
- Domestic Violence Agencies
- Mental Health Providers
- Criminal Justice System
- Office of Violence against Women
Domestic violence refers to a pattern of violent and coercive behavior exercised by one adult in an intimate relationship over another. It is not a Saturday night conflict, a lovers’ quarrel, or a private family matter. It may consist of repeated, severe beatings or more subtle forms of abuse, including threats and control. Surveys from the United States. and Canada indicate that domestic violence occurs in 28 percent of all marriages. Researchers believe this estimate is too low since most domestic violence incidents are unreported. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 85 percent of domestic violence victims in America are women.
Men Stopping Violence (MSV) is a national training organization dedicated to educating men to create safer communities for women and girls. As such, MSV offers diverse training programs to individuals, families, nonprofit, government and corporate groups. For further information contact Lee Giordano at 404.270.9894.
Women who are victims of domestic violence turn to their places of worship about 30 percent more often than they seek help from domestic violence shelters. Traditionally, faith institutions are not prepared to respond to the complexity of issues that are involved in violence against women. Some congregations have begun to create protocols and ministries to help victims. It is more difficult to hold male congregants responsible for their abusive behavior.
Currently leaders of several denominations refer men in their congregation to Men Stopping Violence (MSV) for classes and support in changing their behavior.
Over 15 faith institutions have hosted Because We Have Daughters® (BWHD) sessions for their membership. Places of worship are ideal locations for this program because the fathers who participate in BWHD have opportunities, such as men’s ministries, to continue to work on incorporating core values into their relationships.
MSV partners with the Faith Trust Institute to provide practical and relevant training for congregations of all faiths about the issue of male violence against women. To receive more information about training for faith communities, contact Lee Giordano at 404.270.9894.
Critical to our social justice work are the presentations and conversations Men Stopping Violence (MSV) begins with higher education organizations, including colleges, universities and fraternal organizations. While these groups may not be directly involved in the work to end violence against women, they are important allies in establishing community norms that say violence against women will not be tolerated. MSV is interested in listening to the experiences of those involved in higher education and sharing ours.
In fall 2011, Emory University will begin offering a class and practicum in violence against women at the upper division level. The class will be taught by Ulester Douglas, director of training for MSV.
A percentage of the campus work done by MSV is offered pro bono, as funding allows. For more information on programs like Emory’s or developing a program such as these at your school or university, contact Lee Giordano at 404-270-9894.
Domestic Violence Agencies
Originally, Men Stopping Violence (MSV) was part of a YWCA shelter program. Throughout its history, MSV has excelled in building respectful, mutually supportive relationships with women-led, women serving agencies. Before coming to MSV, Shelley Serdahely, executive director, worked as an advocate for women for 25 years. The director of training, Ulester Douglas, was the first man to serve on the board of directors of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has recognized the leading role played by MSV, contracting with the organization to offer a series of national conferences to OVW grantees. These include Closing the Gap: A Shared Vision: Men and Women Working Together to End Violence Against Women (October 2004); Closing the Gap: A Shared Vision: Men and Women Working Together to End Violence Against Women (May 2005); and African-American Men Who Batter: A Community-Centered Approach to Prevention and Intervention (September 2005). MSV has also provided training for the staff of OVW as they prepared to fund the work of engaging men in ending violence against women.
As prevention efforts increase, the importance of engaging men in working to end male violence against women becomes more apparent. MSV partners with battered women’s advocates as we work with men. Currently, MSV serves as a technical assistance provider for the OVW grant program, “FY10 Engaging Men in Preventing Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking.”
In 2008-2009, eight statewide DV coalitions participated in a pilot project led by MSV. The goal of the project was to learn ways to recruit and work with men in community based organizations. The results of that pilot project helped lay the foundation for the FY10 OVW grant program.
MSV is available to provide training and technical assistance to domestic violence and sexual assault agencies that are interested in partnering with men’s organizations or in starting a prevention program that includes men. For further information, please contact Lee Giordano at 404.270.9894.
Mental Health Providers
Men Stopping Violence (MSV) has been working with mental health professionals since its inception to help their clients understand violence and the behavior of a batterer.
Interventions like the classes offered by MSV are effective with men who, at some level, know they have a problem and want to work on the problem.
Recent studies indicate that psychological testing instruments do not reveal appreciable differences between men who batter and men who do not batter. What batterers do have in common is their use of violent behavior to maintain control over their partners. The best predictor of future violence is past violence. As such, MSV works with mental health professionals to encourage their male clients to attend MSV’s program orientation where they get help defining the problem and gain an understanding of the support systems MSV has in place for them to stop the behavior.
To refer a man, simply give him the MSV telephone number. A 24-hour answering machine will tell him about the next orientation and provide directions. Additional questions about the process can be directed to Ulester Douglas at 404.270.9894.
In a 2002 survey of senior corporate executives, 91 percent said that domestic violence affects both the private and working lives of their employees. Men Stopping Violence (MSV) has worked with national corporations like UPS, and local businesses, like Small Business Services, to help management and employees gain a greater understanding of violence against women. Corporations and businesses benefit from working to end violence against women.
- Of the corporate security directors surveyed, 94 percent rank domestic violence as a high security problem at their company.
- The national health care costs of domestic violence are high, with direct medical and mental health care services for victims amounting to nearly $4.1 billion.
- Among women admitted to an emergency room for violence-related injuries, 37 percent were abused by an intimate partner.
- In one study of batterers, 41 percent had job performance problems and 48 percent had difficulty concentrating on the job as a result of their abusive behaviors.
- Of the women who experienced domestic violence, 37 percent reported that the abuse had an impact on their work in the form of lateness, missed work, keeping a job, or career promotions.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the annual cost of lost productivity due to domestic violence equals $727.8 million, with more than $7.9 million paid workdays lost each year.
MSV provides training for companies and businesses that is affordable, effective, and unique because it is offered by men. The organization has served on the faculty of the national “Violence in the Workplace” conference and continues to serve on the local “When Violence Goes to Work” conference hosted by the Partnership Against Domestic Violence.
“Attending the Men Stopping Violence training is one of the best things that I have done in fourteen years as a judge. The trainers had an extraordinary ability to combine…a commitment to holding a man accountable with genuine respect, compassion, and understanding of his situation in life…Watching them work with violent men, both in the one-time court class and, also, in the ongoing batterers’ intervention group, was a remarkable educational, if very difficult, experience. I believe that the work I saw made a significant contribution to personal and community safety in the lives of their clients, and I try to bring what I learned to the work I do every day” – Judge Sydney Hanlon.
Men Stopping Violence (MSV) has worked closely with the judicial branch of state and local governments for several years. MSV helped create the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and is the only non-governmental agency mandated to serve on the commission. As a men’s education and intervention agency, MSV has been called in as a consultant regarding governmental policies in Great Britain and Taiwan, as well as in jurisdictions in counties and states across the country.
The Community Restoration Program (CRP) volunteers support the legislative efforts of the Georgia State Coalition every year. Sen. Johnny Isakson attributed his vote for the Violence Against Women Act, in part, to the education he received from the men of CRP.
For further information, please contact Ulester Douglas at 404.270.9894.
Criminal Legal System
Work with the criminal legal system is important because women need to be able to call the police to stop immediate physical violence. However, many women choose not to rely on the police and courts. They may need to avoid having the situation taken from their control. It may create serious financial hardship to put the abuser’s job at risk. In immmigrant communities, there may be a fear of deportation. Many communities feel that calling in the police puts everyone at risk.
So, MSV works very hard with other institutions to create safety for women and girls. We believe that victims of abuse need alternatives to the criminal legal system.
While we work with other institutions, we continue to provide training for and work in partnership with parts of the criminal legal system.
Our experience has been that, if a man is to change his violent and abusive behavior, at least two things must happen. His actions must carry significant consequences and for some men those consequences come through the criminal legal system. Second, he must focus on what he did and work to change himself instead of trying to change his partner. We also find that men who are willing to reach out to their friends, family, and other men for support are much more likely to make that change.
MSV works with women’s advocates, judges, prosecutors, police, and others to create a coordinated response to violence against women. We believe that it is essential to involve advocates in shaping systemic responses to domestic violence.
Advocates continue to remind us of the impact of violence on the victim. When a man does not take responsibility for his abuse, we do not accept him into our program because the degree of his denial makes him an ongoing danger to the victim. Allowing a batterer to participate in an intervention program when he has no interest in stopping his violence is dangerous, as it could signal to the victim, the court, and the community that he is less of a threat than he has been in the past.
Men Stopping Violence is one of the oldest batterers’ intervention program in the country. We are nationally known for our ground-breaking curriculum, Men At Work. If you have questions about the work we do with the criminal legal system, please feel free to contact Ulester Douglas, at 404.270.9894.
Office of Violence against Women
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has chosen Men Stopping Violence (MSV) to provide training and technical assistance for the first national initiative to engage men in the work of addressing violence against women. The goal of the program is to increase the number of males involved in primary prevention programs that drive awareness and education about violence against women and girls.
This two-year initiative, “Engaging Men in Preventing Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking,” is part of the 2005 Violence Against Women Act and will be administered by the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). Some of MSV’s responsibilities for this project include convening educational meetings of all grantees, assisting with the development of a curriculum for community-based organizations on domestic violence, providing basic and advance training to grantees, creating and electronically distributing reproducible materials for use by grantees and providing on-site and remote technical assistance as needed by grantees.
For more information on MSV’s work with the OVW, contact Lee Giordano at 404.270.9894.