Work With Men to End Violence Against Women: Critical assessment and future directions

Stream: Working With Men/ Perpetrators to Address Violence against Women
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Time: 3.15 pm – 5.00 pm

Abstract

This paper provides a critical assessment of efforts to involve men in the prevention of men’s violence against women and an outline of key future directions. Although there is a substantial evidence base attesting to the effectiveness of some interventions, this field also is limited in important ways. Violence prevention efforts rarely have sought to transform structural and institutional inequalities. Many interventions treat men as an homogenous group despite men’s diverse masculinities, sexualities, and experiences of violence perpetration and victimisation. ‘Work with men’ sometimes has ceased to be the strategy and has become the goal. The paper complicates several assumptions which are common in men’s violence prevention. One is that it is in men’s interests to support progress towards non-violence and gender equality. Instead, systemic male privileges pose real challenges for men’s engagement in violence prevention. Another assumption is that the best people to engage and work with men are other men. The research evidence is more mixed. A third assumption is that the goal is to encourage new, positive masculinities among men, but this risks too great a complicity with the gendered subjectivities and power relations which sustain men’s violence against women. What, then, are the ways forward?

Author

Michael Flood (Presenter), University of Wollongong
Dr Michael Flood is an internationally recognised researcher on men, masculinities, and violence prevention. He has made a significant contribution to scholarly and community understanding of men’s and boys’ involvements in preventing and reducing violence against women, and influential contributions to scholarship and programming regarding violence against women and its prevention. Dr Flood also is a trainer and community educator with a long involvement in community advocacy and education work focused on men’s violence against women. Dr Flood has worked with sporting and military organizations, community services, and governments, participated in international expert meetings, and contributed to social change campaigns.