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How Men Can Help
How Men Can Help
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This page has been prepared for men who want to learn more about what they can do to end violence in their communities.

To begin, we need to educate ourselves on the root causes of violence and examine our own thoughts and behaviors that contribute to inequality. The growing emphasis on the need to address men in ending violence against women is fueled by three key insights. First and most importantly, violence prevention must address men because largely it is men who perpetrate this violence. Second, constructions of masculinity play a crucial role in shaping violence against women: at the individual level, in families and relationships, in communities, and societies as a whole. These first two insights boil down to the point that we have no choice but to address men and masculinities if we want to stop violence against women. However, violence prevention work with men has been fueled also by a third and more hopeful insight: that men have a positive role to play in helping to stop violence against women. Violence is an issue of concern to women and men alike and men have a stake in ending violence against women.

(Dr Michael Flood, Domestic Violence Network Forum, 2008)

Learn more about the root causes of violence.
 
Become Part of the Solution
Ten Things Men Can Do to Help Prevent Violence Against Women

  1. Approach violence against women as a MEN'S issue involving all men. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as people who can confront abusive peers.
  2. If a man you know is abusing his female partner -- or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general – speak to him about it. Urge him to seek help. If you don't know what to do, ask someone who does. DON'T REMAIN SILENT.
  3. Have the courage to look inward and question your own attitudes and behaviours. Don't be defensive when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitudes and actions might be seen to be sexist or violent, and work toward changing them.
  4. If you think that a woman close to you might be being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help. Find out what supports there are available to help women and make sure she has the information.
  5. If you are, or think you might be, abusive yourself seek professional help NOW. Take the initiative to reach out to people who can help you make changes in your attitude and behaviour.
  6. Be a supporter of women who are working to end all forms of violence against women. Support the work of local Women's Centers and organizations. Support "Take Back the Night" rallies and other public events. Raise money or help organize a fund-raiser for community-based rape crisis centers and battered women's shelters.
  7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay -bashing. Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays is wrong. This abuse also has direct links to sexism (eg. the sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism is often questioned, which is a conscious or unconscious way to silence them. This is a key reason few men do speak out).
  8. Educate yourself about what is going on in our world and how it affects conflict between individual men and women. Attend programs, take courses, watch films and read about roles of men and the root causes of violence against women.
  9. Don't fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any Web site, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner.
  10. Model and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don't involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist men's programs. Start a group for men & boys and lead by example.

(This list was adapted from "Ten Things Men Can Do to Prevent Gender Violence...by Jackson Katz.)
Making Boys Violent... How Does Society Support This?
 
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Be a Mentor
Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don't involve degrading or abusing girls and women.

The boys in your life need your time and energy. Your son, grandson, nephew, younger brother. The boys you teach, coach and mentor. All need you to help them grow into healthy young men.

Boys are swamped with influences outside of the home – from friends, the neighborhood, television, the internet, music, the movies… everything they see around them. They hear all kinds of messages about what it means to "be a man" – that they have to be tough and in control. There are numerous conflicting and some harmful messages being given to boys about what constitutes "being a man" in a relationship.

Boys need your advice on how to behave toward girls. Boys are watching how you and other men relate to women to figure out their own stance towards girls. So teach boys early, and teach them often, that there is no place for violence in a relationship.

Here's How:

Teach Early: It's never too soon to talk to a child about violence. Let him know how you think he should express his anger and frustration – and what is out of bounds. Talk with him about what it means to be fair, share and treat others with respect.

Be There: If it comes down to one thing you can do, this is it. Just being with boys is crucial. The time doesn't have to be spent in activities. Boys will probably not say this directly -- but they want a male presence around them, even if few words are exchanged.

Listen: Hear what he has to say. Listen to how he and his friends talk about girls. Ask him if he's ever seen abusive behavior in his friends. Is he worried about any of his friends who are being hurt in their relationships? Are any of his friends hurting anyone else?

Tell Him How: Teach him ways to express his anger without using violence. When he gets mad, tell him he can walk it out, talk it out, or take a time out. Let him know he can always come to you if he feels like things are getting out of hand. Try to give him examples of what you might say or do in situations that could turn violent.

Bring It Up: A kid will never approach you and ask for guidance on how to treat women. But that doesn't mean he doesn't need it. Try watching TV with him or listening to his music. If you see or hear things that depict violence against women, tell him what you think about it. Never hesitate to let him know you don't approve of sports figures that demean women, or jokes, video games and song lyrics that do the same. And when it comes time for dating, be sure he knows that treating girls with respect is important.

Be a Role Model: Fathers, coaches and any man who spends time with boys or teens will have the greatest impact when they "walk the walk." They will learn what respect means by observing how you treat other people. So make respect a permanent way of dealing with people – when you're driving in traffic, talking with customer service reps, in restaurants with waiters, and with your family around the dinner table. He's watching what you say and do and takes his cues from you, both good and bad. Be aware of how you express your anger. Let him know how you define a healthy relationship and always treat women and girls in a way that your son can admire.

Teach Often: Your job isn't done once you get the first talk out of the way. Help him work through problems in relationships as they arise. Let him know he can come back and talk to you again anytime. Use every opportunity to reinforce the message that violence has no place in a relationship.

Become a Founding Father: Show him how important the issue of violence against women and children is to you. Join thousands of men across the country who are taking a stand against violence.

Adopted from the website of the US Family Violence Prevention Fund
 
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Support Women
Support Women who are working to end violence in Labrador communities. To find out how you can help, contact the local women's center or shelter in your area.

Mokami Status of Women Council / Women's Centre
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL (709) 896-3484

Labrador West Status of Women Council / Women's Centre
Labrador City Community Centre Phone:(709) 944-6562

Tracy Ann Evans
Annait Ilitagijaugutinganut Aulatsijik
Nunatsiavut kavamanga
Status of Women Coordinator
Nunatsiavut Government
Makkovik, Nunatsiavut, NL Tel: (709) 923-2365
 
Think You May Be Abusive?
If you think you may be abusive, the following is a checklist of violent and controlling behaviors:

Physical Violence

Physical Violence
____ Slap, punch, grab, kick, choke, push, restrain, pull hair, pinch, bite
____ Rape (use of force, threats to get sex)
____ Use of weapons, throwing things, keeping weapons around which scare her
____ Abuse of furniture, things in the home, pets, destroying her things
____ Intimidation (standing in the doorway during arguments, angry or threatening gestures, use of size to intimidate, standing over her, outshouting, driving recklessly)
____ Uninvited touching
____ Threats (verbal or nonverbal, direct or indirect)
____ Harassment (uninvited visits or calls, following her around, checking up on her, embarrassing her in public, not leaving when asked)
____ Isolation (preventing or making it hard for her to see/talk to friends, relatives, others)
____ Other (please list)

Psychological and Economic Abuse

____ Yelling, swearing, being lewd, raising your voice, using angry expressions or gestures
____ Criticism (name-calling, swearing, mocking, put-downs, ridicule, accusations, blaming, use of trivializing words or gestures)
____ Pressure Tactics (rushing her to make decisions, using guilt/accusations, sulking, threatening to withhold financial support, manipulating children, abusing feelings)
____ Interrupting, changing topics, not listening, not responding, twisting her words, going on and on
____ Economic coercion (withholding money, the car, or other resources; sabotaging her attempts to work)
____ Claiming "the truth," being the authority, defining her behavior, using "logic"
____ Lying, withholding information, infidelity (having sex with others)
____ Using pornography (e.g., magazines, movies, strip shows, home videos, etc.)
____ Withholding help on childcare/housework; not doing your share or following through on your agreements
____ Emotional withholding (not expressing feelings, not giving support, validation, attention, compliments, respect for her feelings, rights, and opinions)
____ Not taking care of yourself (not asking for help or support from friends, abusing drugs or alcohol, being a "people-pleaser")
____ Other forms of manipulation (please list)

Adapted from EMERGE, Boston, Massachusetts

Finding Help

If you want to seek help, there are options and supports available within Labrador.

To find out what your options are, the following are contact numbers for Labrador-Grenfell Mental Health and Addictions services that offer support and programs to help families and individuals who are abusive and want to change.

Churchill Falls – 925-3377
Happy Valley District – 897-2343
Labrador City – 944-9330/9251
Forteau – 931-2450 ext. 231
Port Hope Simpson – 960-0271 ext. 230
 
Links - Additional Information
 
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