Where Men Stand: Men’s roles in ending violence against women
The report, Where Men Stand: Men' s roles in ending violence against women was launched in Australia on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the focus of the White Ribbon Campaign. The report is a stocktake, a reckoning, of where men are at when it comes to violence against women. The report focuses on four key dimensions of men’s relations to violence against women. (See below for the full report, in PDF.)
Men’s use of violence
The report Where Men Stand starts with the use of violence itself. We know that most men do not practise violence against women, at least in its bluntest forms. But we don’t really how many men have used a range of forms of violence against a woman. More widely, we don’t know how many men use the non-physical behaviours which can harm a partner or ex-partner: routine insults and psychological abuse, monitoring and controlling a partner’s movements, or dominating everyday decision-making. In turn, we do not know what proportions of men routinely treat their wives and partners with respect, offer intimacy and support, and behave fairly and accountably.
Men’s attitudes towards violence
The report Where Men Stand then looks at men’s attitudes towards violence.
Most men believe that violence against women is unacceptable. Most men reject common myths about domestic violence. However, a substantial minority, over a third, believe dodgy ideas like rape results from men not being able to control a need for sex. And men are still too willing to believe that women lie and make up false accusations of violence.
There’s a powerful link between violence against women and sexism. The research shows that men with the worst attitudes, the most violence-supportive attitudes, are those with the most conservative or sexist attitudes towards gender and gender roles.
Men’s responses when violence occurs
The report Where Men Stand then looks at men’s immediate responses when violence occurs. Most men say that they are willing to intervene in situations of domestic violence, although sometimes, their interventions may not be very helpful.
The fact is, a silent majority of men disapproves of violence, but does little to prevent it, while significant numbers of men excuse or justify violence against women. The silence, and encouragement, of male bystanders allows other men’s violence against women to continue.
Men’s involvement in preventing violence against women
Finally, Where Men Stand looks at what role men can and do play in reducing and preventing this violence. Men’s involvement in efforts to end violence against women is increasing. There are several elements to this;
Again, let’s not see all this through rose-coloured glasses. There are other aspects to this which are more sobering. Only small numbers of men are involved in violence prevention in active and ongoing ways. Some efforts are ineffective or tokenistic. And there’s an energetic backlash to efforts to address violence against women, being pushed by anti-feminist men’s groups.
The report looks at what’s inspired men to get involved in violence prevention advocacy. But it also looks at the challenges, the barriers to everyday men taking steps to help reduce and prevent violence against women.
Raise the bar
|Flood, Where Men Stand - Men's roles in ending violence against women 2010.pdf||1010.75 KB|