A recent report from the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse explores how to effectively involve men and boys in preventing violence against women. The report has the following key messages:
- Engaging boys and men to prevent violence against women can make a difference
- The main reasons for involving men in violence prevention are:
- While most men do not use violence against women, when violence does occur it is largely perpetrated by men
- Constructions of masculinity play a crucial role in shaping men’s violence against women
- Men have a positive role to play in helping stop violence against women
- A ‘gender transformative’ approach involves challenging rigid gender roles and critically questioning what influences these. Programmes involving a ‘gender transformative’ approach are effective in changing men’s attitudes and behaviours related to violence against women.
- Other principles for engaging men include:
- Positive messages ‘inviting’ rather than ‘indicting’ men can be more effective
- There is diversity in how masculinities are constructed and expressed in different cultural contexts and social settings. Culturally-relevant material that acknowledges men’s social contexts and draws on their personal experiences is required
- Men can prevent violence to women by not personally engaging in violence, by challenging the violence of other men, and by addressing the root causes of violence
- There are local and international examples that can be built on to increase the involvement of men in this work
To access the full report, please go to: www.nzfvc.org.nz/issues-papers-5
Citation: Baker, G. (2013). Effectively involving men in preventing violence against women. Auckland, New Zealand: New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, University of Auckland.