Engaging men in violence prevention
Recognizing the need to address sexual violence in our communities, as well as the need to engage men in prevention efforts, the partner organizations of Delaware MEN have come together to develop initiatives to make a difference in their communities. Through Delaware MEN, partner organizations are gaining knowledge and bringing their communities together to engage men to aid in efforts to prevent sexual violence.
Why Men and Boys?
Domestic and sexual violence prevention efforts often focus on how women and girls can avoid abuse. While this risk reduction strategy is useful, it's not enough because it does not work to reduce the number of men who use violence against their female partners. Also, this strategy portrays men as perpetrators or potential perpetrators, instead of as non-violent, active agents of social change.
Delaware MEN is committed to engaging in best practices to end violence against women, which includes getting to the roots of gender-based violence. We employ strategies that examine the roles and responsibilities of men and boys and challenge cultural and institutional norms that reinforce violence, sexism and other forms of oppression. This allows us to create a safe space for boys and men to practice healthy masculinity which contributes to the reduction of violence perpetrated against girls, women, and other men.
Engaging men is a crucial domestic and sexual violence prevention strategy.
These findings suggest that men and boys are aware of their role in preventing violence against women, but we still have a long way to go. Through collaborative efforts, like that of the Delaware Men's Education Network, we can mobilize communities, empower individuals and provide opportunities for men and boys to gain more knowledge and skills in preventing violence, while promoting healthy gender norms and non-violent relationships .
Top Ten Reasons to Engage Boys and Men
According to Futures Without Violence, the top ten reasons to engage boys and men in violence prevention are: