Men and boys have a vital role to play in preventing and reducing men's violence against women and girls. Engaging men is now firmly on the violence prevention agenda.
XY includes great introductions to the notions that men have a role to play in preventing and reducing violence against women, that this violence is a 'men's issue', and that violence prevention efforts should include engaging men. See e.g. these short pieces:
- A short article on how violence against women is a men’s issue (Flood, 2009);
- A short piece on men’s positive roles in ending violence against women (Flood);
- A short speech, “Men preventing men’s violence against women: What we know, what we’ve done, and what to do next” (Flood, 2012);
- An accessible report on men’s roles in ending violence against women (Flood, 2010)
- A speech to men on ending violence against women and girls (Kevin Powell, 2009);
- An op-ed arguing that Sexual harassment will be eliminated only when men take part in ending it (Flood, 2010).
There is also scholarship and research on violence prevention work with men. See e.g.;
- This recent book, Engaging Men and Boys in Violence Prevention (2018), available FREE;
- A handy academic overview of efforts to involve men in ending violence against women, which spells out the rationale, key strategies, and impact of this work (Flood, 2011);
- An article on this work, the scholarship which should guide it, and future directions (Jewkes, Flood, and Lang, 2014);
- A critical stocktake of the ‘engaging men’ field (Flood, 2015);
- A short article on building men's commitment to ending sexual violence (Flood, 2011);
- A study among male anti-violence activists (Funk, 2008);
- An overview of men's anti-violence advocacy (Flood, 2003);
- A discussion of strategies and dilemmas in violence prevention education among men (Flood, 2002-2003).
This is only a fraction of the scholarship on men and violence prevention, and XY includes a comprehensive academic bibliography on engaging men and men's anti-violence advocacy.
What men can do
What can men do in their everyday lives to prevent and reduce men’s violence against women? How can men speak up and step in the face of violence and violence-supportive behaviours? Reports such as Men Speak Up provide detailed guidance and discussion, while this XY collection features a range of guides and discussions on the action men can take.
Reports and overviews
XY includes a wide range of key reports and overviews on the role of men in addressing violence against women, including the following (in reverse chronological order):
- Supporting Best Practices: Guidelines for Funding Programs That Engage and Mobilize Men & Boys in Violence Prevention (2020);
- Gender Equity and Male Engagement: It Only Works When Everyone Plays (ICRW, 2018);
- Men and #MeToo: Mapping men’s responses to anti-violence advocacy (Flood, 2019);
- Working with men: Strategies and challenges in engaging men in building non-violence and gender equality (the slides from a 4-hour workshop on this topic, Flood, 2016);
- Self-learning booklet: Understanding masculinities and violence against women and girls (UNWomen, 2016);
- Working with Men and Boys to End Violence Against Women and Girls: Approaches, Challenges, and Lessons (USAID, 2015);
- Engaging Men and Boys to Address the Practice of Child Marriage (2015);
- Effectively involving men in preventing violence against women (Garth Baker, 2013);
- Engaging Men & Boys to End Violence Against Women: An Annotated Bibliography of Online Resources (2013);
- Engaging men in sexual assault prevention (Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, 2013);
- Engaging Men and Boys in Domestic Violence Prevention: Opportunities and promising approaches (Wells et al., 2013);
- A systematic and global review of evaluated interventions engaging boys and young men in the prevention of sexual violence (Barker and Ricardo, 2011);
- Men are Changing: Case study evidence on work with men and boys to promote gender equality and positive masculinities (IPPF, 2010);
- A guide to engaging boys to stop violence, by Save The Children (2010);
- Allies for Change: Together against violence and abuse - Working with Boys and Men: A discussion paper for programmers and practitioners (Save The Children, 2009);
- Engaging Men in Men’s Violence Prevention: Exploring the Tensions, Dilemmas and Possibilities (Pease, 2008);
- Engaging men and boys in changing gender-based inequity in health (2007);
- Engaging Men and Boys to Achieve Gender Equality: How can we build on what we have learned? (2007);
- Engaging Men in Gender Equality: Positive Strategies and Approaches - Overview and Annotated Bibliography (Emily Esplen, 2006);
- Working with Men and Boys to Promote Gender Equality and to End Violence Against Boys and Girls: Methods, strategies, tools and practices (2005);
- The role of men in combating violence against women (Lorentzen, 2005);
- Ending Gender-Based Violence: A call for global action to involve men (2004);
- A book chapter providing an overview of men's anti-violence advocacy, locating this within the wider field of men's work to build gender justice (Flood, 2003).
These include pieces which focus on the practical educational and other strategies which can be used to engage men, such as these:
- Chapters on face-to-face education, social marketing and communications, and other strategies among men and boys, in the book, Engaging Men and Boys in Violence Prevention (2018);
- An XY collection of guides, manuals, and curricula on engaging men, including the full text of 15 or so key guides or curricula.
- How to do violence prevention education well: key principles of effective practice in ‘respectful relationships’ or ‘healthy relationships’ education, particularly in schools but also in other contexts (report, Flood et al. 2009);
- Engaging Boys and Men in Gender Transformation: The Group Education Manual (2008);
- Engaging men as social justice allies in ending violence: evidence for a social norms approach (Fabiano et al., 2004);
- Engaging men: Strategies and dilemmas in violence prevention education among men (an article, Flood, 2005-06);
- A collection of great videos about men and masculinities, men and feminism, violence prevention, and so on, on YouTube and elsewhere;
- How to build and sustain a healthy men's anti-rape group (Marx, 1987).
The work of engaging men has been around for a while, and XY includes some earlier speeches and articles too, e.g.;
- Exploring the roots of sexual violence (Rus Funk, 2006);
- Building a movement of men working to end violence against women (Michael Kaufman, 2001);
- The seven Ps of men’s violence (Michael Kaufman, 1999);
- Taking action for a rape-free culture (Men Can Stop Rape, 1996);
- Activism 101 (Flood, 1995);
- Men, masculinity and violence: A speech (Michael Flood, 1993);
- The White Ribbon Campaign: What it means and why you should be involved (Michael Flood, 1993);
- Me(n) in the movement (Basil Elias);
- Men take a role in eliminating violence against women (Shravanti Reddy);
- Healing body, mind and spirit – it’s about time we took a stand (Mick Dodson).
Introducing men’s violence against women
People new to the area of men’s violence against women can find short overviews and introductions, including pieces such as;
- Explaining, and preventing, intimate partner violence (A speech, Flood, 2007);
- Domestic violence (a short encyclopedia entry, Flood, 2003);
- A four-page handout with key insights of feminist scholarship on violence against women (Flood, 2002).
If you want more detailed, scholarly accounts of men’s violence against women, or domestic or partner violence, or sexual violence, look to XY’s collections. These include:
- Recommended short introductions to violence against women (a bibliography);
- Key readings and reports on men's violence against women;
- Key readings and reports on preventing violence against women;
- A lengthy review of the determinants of men’s intimate partner violence against women (Flood, 2007);
- A collection of academic reviews on sexual harassment.
Domestic violence and gender
There are debates and controversies in this work. One key debate is over gender and domestic violence: is women's domestic violence against men is as common or as serious as men's domestic violence against women? XY includes valuable resources here, including
- A collection of key academic articles on domestic violence and gender, documenting that the claim of gender symmetry in domestic violence is not supported by the evidence;
- A detailed discussion of gender contrasts in women’s and men’s experiences of domestic violence victimisation and perpetration (Seminar, Flood, 2012);
- A short Australian piece debunking claims of gender symmetry (Flood, 2006);
- A collection of materials on supporting and working with male victims of domestic and family violence.
False allegations, MRAs, etc.
Men’s rights advocates (MRAs), and community members more widely, claim that women often make false allegations of domestic violence or child abuse. But, this is not true, as this fact sheet spells out.
More widely, men's rights and father's rights advocates have attacked efforts to address men's violence against women. XY includes responses to typical anti-feminist claims, including this short piece (Flood, 2006), an article on fathers' rights groups and their efforts to undermine work to address violence against women, and a wide range of other materials.
XY also includes valuable materials on community attitudes towards domestic / family violence or violence against women.
XY includes excellent resources on the violence prevention field in general. These include two XY collections. The first focuses on short, accessible introductions to violence prevention, primary prevention, and so on. The second focuses on major, systematic reviews of prevention practice. (Also see the further references listed on these pages.) XY also includes comprehensive bibliographies of various violence prevention strategies and issues.
Fathers can play vital roles in preventing violence against women, both through their parenting of children and their relations with children’s mothers and other carers. XY includes materials on
- Fathers (and mothers) raising non-violent and gender-equitable sons;
- A bibliography on fathers' perpetration of violence and abuse, and another bibliography on working with fathers to reduce or prevent violence.
Violence prevention in particular settings and contexts or among particular groups
XY includes materials focused on violence prevention in particular settings and contexts or among particular groups of men and boys, including e.g.:
- The chapter on working with diverse populations of men and boys in the book Engaging Men and Boys in Violence Prevention (2018);
- Engaging men and boys in refugee settings to address sexual and gender-based violence;
- Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and boys in violence prevention (Report, 2017);
- An intersectional approach to engaging men (Flood, Conference paper, 2016).
- Engaging Men from Diverse Backgrounds in Preventing Men’s Violence Against Women (Flood, Conference paper, 2013)
- Among men who are the clients of sex workers / prostitutes;
- Lessons for the South Asian context in working with men to end gender-based violence (2003).
Other reports include:
- Workplaces: The role of men in workplaces in preventing men’s violence against women (Holmes and Flood, report, 2013);
- Papua New Guinea: a report on the role of men and masculinities in PNG in addressing gender-based violence (2007).
War, militarism, conflict, and peacebuilding
Reports on engaging men in violence prevention, or addressing masculinities and violence, in the contexts of war, militarism, and conflict include:
- Masculinity and Civil Wars in Africa: New Approaches to Overcoming Sexual Violence in War;
- Among boys and men in conflict and other emergency-response settings: a workshop module;
- Masculinities, conflict & peacebuilding (Hannah Wright, Saferworld, 2014).
One important context for violence prevention work is sport. XY includes, for example, a short piece on sport, athletes, and violence against women, and a longer review on Building Cultures of Respect and Non-Violence: A Review of Literature Concerning Adult Learning and Violence Prevention Programs with Men (2008).
Issues and strategies in prevention
You will find materials focused on particular strategies of or issues in violence prevention, including e.g.:
- A framework for policy change on men and the prevention of gender-based violence (2010);
- Bystander approaches in the workplace, including to sexual harassment (McDonald and Flood 2012);
- Mobilising men to challenge sexual and gender-based violence, including in institutional settings;
- The privileges received by male anti-violence educators;
- Evaluating work to engage men, in a report by White Ribbon Canada.
Scholarship on prevention
The Men's Bibliography includes comprehensive bibliographies focused on particular strategies for prevention, including e.g. bystander education, social marketing, self-defence and rape resistance, theatre, and community mobilisation, and focused on particular settings or communities, including campuses and universities, sports, the military, faith communities, fathers, and Indigenous, immigrant and refugee, and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
Any effort to engage men and boys in violence prevention will face some degree of resistance from participants and others. You will find valuable accounts of resistance, and how to lessen or prevent it, here. Also see Chapter 10 of Flood's book.
The prevention of sexual violence includes work encouraging norms and practices of consent, and XY includes a substantial collection on consent, including toolkits, discussions, and videos.
Pornography is widely identified as a key contributor to men's and boys' sexual violence against women and girls. This XY collection on pornography, men, and boys covers the evidence on the links between pornography and sexual violence, how to engage men and boys in resisting pornography, and more.
Violence against men
XY includes a wide range of materials on violence against men and boys. These include:
- An XY collection on working with adult male victims of domestic violence;
- This useful, short overview, When men are the victims of violence (Encyclopedia entry, Flood, 2007);
- A short op-ed on the high levels of male-male violence in and outside pubs and clubs (Flood, 2004);
- A guidance note for security sector institutions on preventing and responding to sexual and domestic violence against men;
- Sexual abuse of men and boys (Wildwood, 1995);
Debates, dilemmas, and challenges
There are debates over men's involvement in preventing men's violence against women. Should this work emphasise how men will benefit? How should this work be accountable to women? And so on.
XY includes various relevant materials here, including
- A critical stocktake of the ‘engaging men’ field (journal article, Flood, 2015);
- Debates between Bob Pease and Michael Flood.
One key issue is accountability. What is this, and how and to whom should this work be accountable? XY includes pieces here by Ben Atherton-Zeman, Kristy Macomber (2014), a very early statement by Men Against Pornography (1990s), and others. Also see:
- The Engaging Men through Accountable Practice (EMAP) intervention (International Rescue Committee, 2013);
- MenEngage's accountability standards and guidelines and training toolkit.
- Flood's book, Engaging Men and Boys in Violence Prevention (2018), pp. 92-96.
Concepts and issues
You can explore important concepts in this work and dimensions of this work, including e.g.
- Discussions of #MeToo;
- Discussions of the impact of domestic and family violence on young people and their relationships (2008);
- Rape culture and patriarchy, and how they hurt men (Ashley);
- Men’s experience as the victims of violence (Flood, encyclopedia entry, 2007);
- Discussions of sexual consent (an XY collection), and e.g. Julian Real’s discussion what it means in the context of a sexist culture;
- Gender and gun violence: how masculinity is tied to gun use;
- Gender, war and militarism, and male disadvantage.
Links to other sites
XY also includes links to other relevant sites (although some links need updating), including e.g.