The Uncommon Man

September 02, 2008

A Crisis of Gender Violence

Video: Stephen Lewis | A Crisis of Gender Violence
via Tides

07.21.2008 | 21:46 minutes

Synopsis:A forceful and moving indictment of violence against women. Former U.N. Ambassador Stephen Lewis delivers a rallying cry to stop the systemic use of rape and abuse against girls and women across the globe.

Bio: Stephen Lewis is a U.S. based Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, an advocacy organization that works to promote more urgent and more effective responses to HIV/AIDS. Amongst several senior UN roles that spanned more than two decades, Lewis has served as the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, and Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations. He holds 28 honorary degrees from Canadian universities and is a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest honor for lifetime achievement. In 2007, the Kingdom of Lesotho invested Lewis as Knight Commander of the Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe, the country's highest honor. Lewis is currently a Professor in Global Health at McMaster University, serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and chairs the board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Canada.

Posted by Daniel at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2008

Domestic Violence in MA nearly tripled from 05' to 07'

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is ravaging Massachusetts: The number of related homicides and suicides has nearly tripled from 19 in 2005 to 55 in 2007, according to the local nonprofit group Jane Doe Inc. At a rate of more than one death a week, this number is the highest that Jane Doe has documented.
more stories like this

Gruesome similarities are found in these cases: echoes of depression and rage; of past beatings; of perpetrators' threats to kill victims.

Last week, Governor Patrick took a crucial step by issuing a public health advisory on domestic violence, to alert the public and galvanize official action.

A public health perspective emphasizes the fact that domestic violence isn't just a personal problem, but rather a societal issue with huge costs for families and workplaces. Public health also promotes prevention and using data to come up with more effective policies and practices.

"People weren't following the data," said John Auerbach, the state's public health commissioner. Now the state will look more deeply into the numbers. This is essential, because intimate partner violence has been declining nationally from 1993 to 2005, according to the US Department of Justice. Jane Doe Inc. has found that from 2003 to 2007, the numbers of domestic violence related deaths have fallen or held steady in other New England states.

"We want to look at it from all angles," Toni Troop, Jane Doe's public relations director, explains, including the risk faced by immigrants, by spouses as compared to unmarried partners, and by having children from prior relationships.

Massachusetts is also asking healthcare providers to do more. Auerbach says obstetricians can discuss violence with women who are pregnant or even just thinking about conceiving, since research shows that homicide is the leading cause of death for women who are or were recently pregnant. Even dentists, who often see the aftermath of domestic violence assaults, could offer patients referrals for help.

The state should also bang harder on the drums of public awareness. Domestic violence counselors say victims often call for help because someone knew to give them the phone number for SafeLink (877-785-2020), the state's domestic violence hotline.

Domestic violence services are also slated to get a small increase in state funding. It won't cover all the unmet needs. But the governor's advisory should amplify this spending by calling for greater coordination and creativity, despite fiscal limitations.

The more Massachusetts knows about domestic violence, the more lives it can save.

This article was taken from the June 10th edition of the Boston Globe, originally titled "Healing the Hurt at Home."

Posted by at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2008

Moving Forward Program in Amherst, MA seeks new Director

The Moving Forward program of Amherst, MA is searching for a new Program Director. Moving Forward offers state-certified batterer's intervention services, anger management and healthy relationship programs and is the flagship program of the Men's Resource Center for Change. A fuller description of the job is below. Please disseminate this job posting to all you think may be interested.

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Moving Forward
Domestic Abuse Intervention | Anger Management
Youth Violence Prevention | Healthy Relationships

Moving Forward, the largest program of the Men's Resource Center for Change, has been a leader in Western Massachusetts since 1989 in providing domestic violence intervention services for men acting abusively. We are seeking a new Program Director to help usher the program into its third decade of service and advocacy.

Moving Forward offers state-certified batterers' intervention groups that address a full spectrum of abusive behaviors with both voluntary and mandated clients. We also offer anger management, healthy relationship programs and plan to reinvigorate our youth violence prevention program. We seek an inspired and dedicated person to expand the reach of our program through strategic fundraising and marketing, innovative collaborations, and effective articulation of our program's mission of supporting men and challenging violence.

The Program Director will manage and supervise our program staff who currently run 11 groups in the four counties of Western Massachusetts as well as the Hampshire County Jail and House of Corrections. The Program Director attends District Court and community roundtables and represents the program at statewide meetings of batterers' intervention and victim service programs. The Program Director is responsible for maintaining current contracts and expanding our funding sources. We seek a passionate individual with both management experience and a commitment to ending domestic violence and engaging men.

The ideal candidate will have:
• Knowledge about domestic violence from the perspective of both victims and perpetrators
• Commitment to diversity and cultural competence
• Experience in management and administrative supervision of staff
• Proven success with grant writing and contract management with government agencies, foundations and other funding sources
• Demonstrated community outreach, marketing and media relation skills
• Director-level experience, including program development and financial management
• Excellent communication skills; bilingual Spanish/English a plus.
• Experience in the field of violence prevention and intervention a plus.
• Batterer's intervention certification, clinical experience and license preferred.

Position is 32-37 hours/week. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Send letter and resume by mail or email to: Sara Elinoff Acker, Moving Forward, 236 No. Pleasant St., Amherst MA 01002 or sara.elinoff@mrcforchange.org. Position expected to begin July 1, 2008. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.

236 No. Pleasant St. | Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 253-9588 | main.office@mrcforchange.org
www.mrcforchange.org

Posted by Daniel at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2007

MRC of South Texas December Column

To the People of San Benito
By Emiliano Diaz de Leon, Executive Director
Men's Resource Center of South Texas

The San Benito News graciously provided me with a venue this past year in which I was able to share my voice on behalf of the voiceless – the victims of violence whose voices we can no longer hear because a partner silenced them with a gun, the victims whose screams are muted by the brick walls of their home, and the victims who are too afraid to speak. As their voice, I want to leave you in my final column for the year with a message of both hope and challenge.

Looking at the family violence statistics for 2006 (as those for 2007 have yet to be compiled), there were 295 incidents in San Benito compared to 302 the year before. This slight decrease provides a glimmer of hope that change can occur. Unfortunately, it also highlights the fact that our efforts to end domestic violence must continue as there are still a large number of victims who continue to suffer at the hands of their partners.

We must no longer allow the plight of these victims to fall on deaf ears. We must hear their cries, however faint they may be and raise them up to full volume in order to improve our community. We can no longer remain silent, while our mothers, sisters, aunts, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates endure violence from the men in their lives. By remaining silent, we give perpetrators the green light to treat women and children as their property to do with as they please.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." We must all take some sort of action, big or small, because we all have a stake in the outcome, and as we begin a new year, it is the perfect time to forge ahead with a plan of action. Institutions, like city government, the school district, and local churches must lead their constituents, students, and followers down a path of nonviolence by focusing on prevention rather than constantly responding to violence after the fact, and individuals must hold them accountable by speaking out, demonstrating, calling, or writing letters to the editor about the issues of domestic and sexual violence.

Each of us is a piece of the puzzle. How we come together determines what the picture will look like. I urge you to rise to the challenge and to do your part. As insignificant as you think it may be, it is still more than what was being done yesterday and combined with the efforts of others, it can power the change we seek in order to create a picture of San Benito that we can all be proud of.

Posted by Daniel at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2007

Justice Dept. Releases '05 Intimate Partner Violence Data

Via Family Violence Prevention Fund.

New data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics show that partner violence and domestic homicide remain costly and devastating problems in this country. Although the overall decline in partner violence in the last decade is encouraging, "it is clear that our nation is not yet doing nearly enough to keep women and children safe," said Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler.

Read more.

Posted by Daniel at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2007

Emiliano Diaz de Leon Writes About Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In 2006, 120 women, including 5 from the Rio Grande Valley were killed in Texas by an intimate partner. For the majority of these women, their deaths were a result of escalating acts of domestic violence.

Unfortunately, it is often only the death of a victim that brings attention to the issue of domestic violence because of the media coverage that it garners. There are many others, however, whose stories do not make it onto the front pages of the newspaper, who are subjected on a daily basis to different forms of abuse.

Every fifteen seconds in the Untied States, a woman is battered by someone who tells her he loves her. Half of all women in this country will experience some form of violence from their partner during their relationship and more than one third are battered repeatedly every year.

The word "domestic" refers to home or family. Domestic violence, therefore, is often seen as something that happens behind closed doors. Some people even believe that it should remain there. Because of the private nature of most domestic violence incidents, the epidemic tends to become almost invisible. It happens every day without notice.

Throughout the month of October, however, there is a national effort to increase public awareness about the realities of domestic violence and encourage individuals to take action by helping to prevent violence before it occurs. Locally, Family Crisis Center will hold a Candlelight Vigil on October 24, 2007 at 6:30PM at TSTC to remember and honor the 120 women who were killed this past year.

By and large, men have historically not been engaged in the issue of preventing violence against women and children. Yet, men can play a key role in setting social norms for other men – whether it be by permitting and perpetrating inappropriate male behavior, or conversely, by promoting more positive attitudes and behavior. We, at the Men's Resource Center of South Texas, believe men-as fathers, brothers, coaches, teachers, uncles, and mentors –are in a unique position to prevent domestic violence through action and conversation. We invite men of all ages to stand with us as we support both victims and survivors at the Candlelight Vigil on October 24, 2007.

Cesar Chavez once said: "Nonviolence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak…Nonviolence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win." We must all become aware of domestic violence, but more importantly, we must all become involved. Help take a stand against domestic violence. Together, we can win!

Posted by Jorge at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2007

Violence Against Children: Voices of Ugandan Children and Adults

by Dipak Naker of Raising Voices
via: Soul Beat Africa
Raising Voices, 2005

This document examines the views of children and adults on child violence. Children were asked about their experiences of violence used against them: how the violence manifests, how often it occurs, who commits it, how it makes them feel, how they react, and what they believe should be done to prevent it. Adults were asked about their perspective of violence against children: how they understand the term "violence against children," how adults in their communities punish children, how they themselves punish children, how they rationalise the types of punishment they use, and what they believe should be done to prevent violence against children.

Read more on the Soul Beat Africa website, or download the full 116 page PDF document.

Contact: Raising Voices, Plot 16 Tufnell Drive, Kamwokya
PO Box 6770, Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256 41 531186, Fax: +256 41 531249
info@raisingvoices.org | www.raisingvoices.org

Save the Children in Uganda
Plot 69 Kiira Road, PO Box 12018, Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256 41 258815, Fax: +256 41 341700
sciug@sciug.org | www.savethechildren.org

Posted by Daniel at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2006

Moving Upstream

"Moving Upstream" is the newsletter of the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance. The theme of the current issue is men as partners in primary sexual violence prevention.

Download it in pdf format at:
http://www.vsdvalliance.org/secPublications/newsletters.html

Posted by Daniel at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2006

Prominent Arizona Men Launch Domestic Violence Prevention Effort

Men's Initiative for Jane Doe published an article this spring about a new men's initiaive involving 55 high-profile Arizona men, including University of Arizona Head Coaches Lute Olson and Mike Stoops, and Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup.

The Men's Anti-Violence Partnership of Southern Arizona has 55 Founding Members - all prominent male business, community and government leaders. These men were motivated to join for many reasons, including the facts that one-third of girls younger than age 18 are sexually abused and one out of every six adult women is raped. The majority of this violence against women and girls is committed by men, but most men are not violent.

Introducing the Partnership, Center Against Sexual Assault board member Ime Archibong said, "The Men's Anti-Violence Partnership of Southern Arizona is a giant step forward in the prevention of sexual violence and domestic violence. Building on past community achievements, it engages men as part of the solution instead of blaming them for being the problem." Board member Rafael Guerrero continued, "We're working with some of the most well-known and respected men in our community to drive home the message that violence against women and girls is not OK and won't be tolerated."

Read the entire article.

Via MIJD Community News Website of Men's Initiative for Jane Doe Inc.

Posted by Daniel at 03:11 PM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2006

Baseball's Challenge: Teaching What Not to Hit

Here is an excerpt from an editorial written by Men's Resource Center for Change's executive director, Rob Okun. It was written in response to an alleged domestic abuse incident involving Brett Myers, star pitcher for the Phillies, and this wife, Kim.

What was going in the minds of Philadelphia's management--not to mention Major League Baseball--that 36 hours after being accused of throwing his wife around Myers was allowed to throw against the Red Sox in a nationally televised game? Apparently not much.

The club's empty-headed duck and cover statement read in part, "Out of respect for the privacy of both Kim and Brett Myers, the Phillies will not comment until the matter is resolved by the court." Translation: By our silence, we're saying we consider our economic investment in our prized pitcher more important than the health and well being of the mother of the three-year-old child he fathered.


Read the whole editorial
.

Posted by Daniel at 08:57 AM | Comments (1)

July 03, 2006

Founding Fathers: Re-defining Father's Day

Great article and program from Family Violence Prevention Fund.

Founding Fathers 2006: Thousands of Men Are Re-defining Father’s Day
June 19, 2006

On Father's Day, June 18th, 2006, thousands of men across America came together to declare their support for an end to violence against women and children.

Through individual donations, participation in the New York Times Father's Day Declaration, involvement in the Macy's/Oakland A's 5K Father’s Day Fun Run, and individual signatures to the Founding Fathers Declaration online, men from all walks of life and the families that love them joined together to once again say, "No more" to violence against women and children.

Even though Father's Day has past, it is never too late to join this band of courageous men.

Click here to add your name to the list and become a Founding Father, or to honor a man in your life.

Posted by Daniel at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2006

How Often Are Men Victims of DV?

Well, this is my final post as the "official" webmaster of The Uncommon Man. The link I am offering up below is nothing especially new in the discussion on gender. But I thought I would use it as my last post because it is one of the issues that frustrates me the most in this work. The "discussion" about how often men are victims of domestic violence comes up a lot on sites like The Uncommon Man. And, when I was the director of a batterer's intervention program, I was also often asked about women's violence toward men. What I found frustrating about it is that I often heard those who believe that women are more often victims of domestic violence acknowledge that men are, at times, victims, too. And they also understand that there are barriers that prevent men from reporting. But, I rarely heard from those who are advocating for male victims, the possibility that the number of male victims were anything less than half. There was rarely any "conversation" about it. In fact, I was attacked several times in comment-threads at other sites for challenging those numbers. So, as my parting comment, based on personal experience and much practical knowledge:

Men can be victims of domestic violence. But, women are considerably more likely to be the victims of domestic violence - and when they are, are much more likely to be killed.

Now can we just move on and do the work of ending this problem?

Take care, I'll be visiting here again, I'm sure...

via Alas, A Blog - How Commonly Are Men Beaten Up By Intimate Partners?

Posted by Russell at 06:19 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2006

Domestic Violence in Military Families

The article below illustrates the high-level of domestic violence in the military. And after a series of high-profile domestic violence murders and an investigation that yielded almost 200 changes that needed to be made - only five had been followed through on. The writer of this article should received "bonus points" for including the fact that domestic violence is about sexism and not about a communication breakdown.

The New Standard - Domestic Violence in Military Families Growing, "Systemic" (Thanks to Masculinities in Media!)

Posted by Russell at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2006

National Conference on Domestic Violence

NCADV's 2006 National Conference on Domestic Violence
July 9-12, 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia

Posted by Russell at 07:46 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2006

The Aftermath of Childhood Trauma

A recent study called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) points to something, again, fairly obvious:

There is a strong correlation between childhood trauma and serious adult health problems including tobacco use, substance abuse, obesity, cancer, heart disease, depression and a higher risk for unintended pregnancy.

What stands out about this study, though is the size of it, and the fact that the results were recently presented before Congressional aides. One of the more interesting and scary findings of the study was:
They found high incidence to exposure to violence during childhood among the middle- and upper-middle class San Diego population that they surveyed in the late 1990s. Twenty-one percent of respondents (25 percent of women and 16 percent of men) were exposed to sexual abuse as children, and 13 percent said their mothers were sometimes, often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped or had something thrown at them and/or sometimes, often or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard, and/or ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes and/or ever threatened or hurt by a knife or a gun.

via End Abuse - Echoes of Trauma

Posted by Russell at 09:36 AM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2006

The Ease of Stalking Through Cell Phones

An article in Guardian Unlimited details (without giving away crucial details) how anyone could track the nearly exact whereabouts of someone else by only gaining access to their cell phone for five minutes. This is clearly an important thing for those that are concerned about stalking.

via Guardian Unlimited - How I stalked My Girlfriend

Posted by Russell at 07:43 AM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2006

International Marriage Broker Act And Immigrant Battered Women

VAWA passed at the final hour....yay! But you may not know that attached to VAWA was the International Marriage Broker Act. This act will help "mail-order brides" have some legal recourse when in the United States, especially if they are the victims of domestic violence. The post below at the weblog Cool Beans is an overview of the act and at some of the gaps it may not cover.

via Cool Beans - The International Broker Act and U Visas

Posted by Russell at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2005

Boys Who Experience Violence May Suffer Later

Here is a study that proves, to me, the obvious. Yet, I do feel that it is important to "prove" the obvious sometimes. Researchers have found that boys who experience violence are more likely to grow up and suffer from depression and PTSD. They also were able to prove that these men don't grow up and have a higher number of sexual partners or more legal problems. The question that interests me which they weren't able to focus on - are these boys more likely to grow up to be domestic violence perpetrators - they couldn't ask about because they would have to report any acknowledgement of abuse.

via Family Violence Prevention Fund - Boys Who Experience Violence From a Parent May Suffer Later in Life

Posted by Russell at 06:31 AM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2005

Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence

The World Health Organization has just published a very comprehensive report on the connection between domestic violence and the health of woman world-wide. Here's the scope:

This report presents initial results based on interviews with 24 000 women by carefully trained interviewers. The study was implemented by WHO, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), PATH, USA, research institutions and women's organizations in the participating countries. This report covers 15 sites and 10 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Peru, Namibia, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand and the United Republic of Tanzania. Report findings document the prevalence of intimate partner violence and its association with women's physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health. Data is included on non-partner violence, sexual abuse during childhood and forced first sexual experience. Information is also provided on women’s responses: Whom do women turn to and whom do they tell about the violence in their lives? Do they leave or fight back? Which services do they use and what response do they get? The report concludes with 15 recommendations to strengthen national commitment and action on violence against women. Data from the report show that violence against women is widespread and demands a public health response.

WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence Against Women

Posted by Russell at 06:17 AM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2005

Social Marketing Campaigns and Violence Against Women

Social Marketing Campaign is not a term I've heard before. I more familiar with the term Public Education Campaign. Social marketing and public education campaigns are attempts to make social change through advertising - usually through the use of posters or TV ads. I suspect I haven't heard the term Social Marketing due to U.S. public health organizations avoidance (until recently) of using business tools. But marketing has an impact - usually for the negative (in my view). Why not use it for the positive?

Below is a link to a review out of Australia about world-wide social marketing campaigns focused on ending violence against women - over the last ten years. It is an exhaustive (228 pages - PDF) and valuable look at what has been tried.

via Vichealth - Vichealth Review of Communication Components of Social Marketing/Public Education Campaigns Focusing on Violence Against Women

Posted by Russell at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2005

Father's Rights on "Breaking The Silence"

A few weeks ago I wrote about a PBS documentary on children affected by domestic violence. Preceeding and following the airing of this show, father's rights activists have been targeting it as a mis-representation of the "truth". The "truth" to them is that there is as much female-to-male domestic violence as male-to-female. And, this documentary - Breaking The Silence" is biased. The Countess' blog gives a great overview of the continued attack on this show by father's rights folks. She has also set-up a great site with links related to this documentary and the issues it raises. If you want to really know more about the true "truth" read-on.

Posted by Russell at 08:24 AM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2005

Report From Roots to Wings

I returned this weekend from the first national conference on batterers intervention work in over ten years. I thought I would give a report on the conference that would focus on issues important to this site - namely the issue of can batterers change?, or more globally, can men change?

There were no specific workshops or large plenaries on this concept, but it was certainly much discussed in the question and answer portions of presentations and in between workshops, at lunches and dinners, or at the hotel bar in the evening.

The sense that I got was that there was an "old guard" of batterer intervention or battered women program providers that felt that work with batterers is strictly a function of the criminal justice system. These men committed a crime and they are providing a bit of a holding space while their victims are given a chance to leave the relationship. I am representing an extreme description here, but for some programs this is what the tone of their program seemed to be. The representatives of this perspective are the New York Model's Phyllis Frank and long-time battered women's advocate Barbara Hart.

The "old guard" was given more overt space at this conference. But, the more "respect-based" programs were given some space and were more vocal as the conference went on. Respect-based batterer intervention programs believe that their clients have the capacity to change - and, in general, that men can change. The concern with these programs is that they may be so supportive that they collude with client's violence. My estimation of the programs I saw is that they all take the safety of the partners and ex-partners very seriously. And, they all provide an atmosphere where change is a possiblity. The programs that represent this perspective are Men Stopping Violence in Atlanta and my own Moving Forward program in Western MA.

I was happy to find that there seemed to be a healthy "disagreement" going on between these two perspectives. My hope is that in future conferences this disagreement will be more overt. I also hope that the more criminal justice-based programs will be willing to change their perspectives - because I truly believe that if we are to reduce if not end domestic violence, we need to believe in and encourage men who use violence to change.

Posted by Russell at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2005

Breaking The Silence

PBS has just released a new documentary called Breaking the Silence. It is about the effects of domestic violence on children and the ways that the court system has not been successful at protecting children from their abusers.

I have not seen this documentary, yet. But I have heard alot about it. Apparently there has been a big father's right's campaign to contact PBS stations and ask that they not air this show. It has largely been an unsuccesful campaign - though in some areas they are airing it at times in which very few people will watch it (noon on a weekday, for instance). If you would like to get a sense of some of the controversy and discussion around this documentary and around this issue - check out Hugo Schwyzer's blog.

Finally, here is the press release (note: PDF form) for the documentary if you want to read the producer's words. And, if you want to see when your local PBS station is playing Breaking The Silence, here is the PBS Station Finder

Posted by Russell at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2005

Men's Walk To End Abuse

This past Saturday I finished a three-day walk to start off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is the Men's Resource Center for Change's third annual Men's Walk to End Abuse. The walk moves through the communities of Western Massachusetts that the organization, and most importantly, their batterer intervention program works in. The goals of the walk are two-fold: 1) To raise money for the batterer program and to raise money for the five women's centers in the three counties we marched through. 2) To be a visible presence of men walking through the community showing that not all men are hyper-masculine aggressors. As well, and most important to me, we were a visible presence of men who do not stand idly by as other men either take part in violence against women, openly put women down, or even just laugh at a really demeaning sexist joke. My personal belief is that every time one of those acts takes place in the presenece of other men and no one says anything (though I believe that most men would like to) they have all just condoned that act.

What I enjoyed most about the walk this year was the amount of attention we received. Most of the area TV news and newspapers covered the event. We also had numerous people honking or waving at us. Even a few stopped to thank us personally. There were only a handful of "thumbs-down" or worse gestures (the "pro-domestic violence contingent" I guess).

I often think of the work of ending domestic violence, violence against women, and violence in general as my lobbying senators or writing large grants to fund comprehensive programs that work with perpetrators. Those are all important. But I often forget the power of being out in the community and talking to or being seen by individuals who may or may not be in need of our services. This is also a key aspect of the formidable job of changing a culture.

Local newspaper coverage of the walk - via Masslive.com - Men's Resource Center Holding Benefit Walk

Posted by Russell at 07:05 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2005

Renunciation of Family Violence

Recently, in an online discussion group sponsored through Men's Resources International (Interested? Click on MRI's logo above or the link on the right) Ichiro Numazaki, a professor in Japan, posted an intriging idea. He is proposing the taking of article nine of Japan's constitution, which is the renunciation of war, and re-writing as a renunciation of family violence. Here is his posting:

I wonder if you know about the article nine of the Japanese constitution, the renunciation of war article. It reads like this:

Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

I recently realized that the same principle must be applied to peace in the family and rewrote this article as follows:

Aspiring sincerely to a domestic peace based on justice and care, we the Japanese men forever renounce violence as a patriarchal right of men and the threat or use of force as means of settling domestic disputes.

In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, physical, psychological, and economic control, as well as other power for domination, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of men will not be recognized.

Right-leaning politicians (not only ultra-nationalists but also more moderate conservatives and some even not a few neo-liberals) intend to amend the Japanese constitution, especially this article nine, and renounce the renunciation of war!

We are opposing such a backward amendment to the constitution that kept Japan out of any foreign war for sixty years after World War II. I would like to link that anti-war movement to men's movement against all violence towards women and children, so I'm going to use my rewriting of article nine to show that link.

Just a note from Japan

Ichy Numazaki

It was also pointed out on the online discussion group that there is a similar movement happening in the US - though not focused specifically on domestic violence. And, that is the proposal for a Department of Peace.

Posted by Russell at 07:48 AM | Comments (0)




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