Why Men Need To Be Involved
Although most perpetrators of domestic violence are men, most men are not violent. But most nonviolent men don't feel connected to this issue. Many think it only pertains to women and those "other" men who are violent. However, all men grow up internalizing the same messages and pressures from society regarding "what it means to be a man". Nonviolent men often don't realize that certain notions about "manhood" and certain behaviors they may take part in or remain silent around are also part of the problem. Tony Porter puts it well when he calls this "the collective socialization of men".
We need men to get involved, promote gender equity and redefine masculinity in healthy new ways. If more men stand up and speak up, other men will listen and model after them. But in ordr to see this shift occur, we need primary prevention programs and practices.
All men can get involved in the prevention of domestic violence by speaking up:
It is essential for older men to become positive, nonviolent role models and mentors for young people, especially the young men and boys in their lives, shaping norms for future generations. Most men are nonviolent, but this message is not the mainstream. It is up to these men to challenge inappropriate behaviors and change the conversation around manhood. For more information on what men can do, visit our resources page or 10 Things Men Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence.