Constructing hope and safety on Nauru:Challenging men to shed abusive behaviours and attitudes.

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

Abstract

In July 2014, the Office of Women’s Affairs in Nauru hosted a series of workshops for workers to engage in men’s behaviour change, to shed abusive beliefs and violence. This paper will look at the issues of starting a men’s behaviour change program, as part of an integrated response to family violence in Nauru that includes Corrections, Police, Prosecutors, Probation officers, NGOs and DV Support Services. The cultural context, the felt need in the community, the growing awareness of the impact of men’s violence and the political will to do something, all combine to influence whether such a program starts and is effective, or not. The program philosophy, based mainly on Personal Construct Theory, is examined. The SHED tools used in assessing and working with men who use violence, are discussed and their strengths and limitations outlined. Stories of hope about men engaged in behaviour change in their communities are used to build alternatives to abuse and violence in Nauru and to counter the influence of patriarchy.

Authors

Edward Grundler (Presenter), Office of Women's Affairs, Nauru
Edward Grundler is 35 years old, the father of four children, and has worked with Nauru Woman's Affairs since 2009 as a Male Champion from the White Ribbon Campaign. Since July 2014 he is working for the Nauru Women's Affairs to accommodate their new SHED (Self Help Ending Domestics) Project for men’s behaviour change. His position is Project Officer/ SHED Coordinator involving assessing, counseling, mentoring, group facilitation and networking.

Chris Laming (Presenter), Federation Uni Australia
Chris Laming PhD, is a social worker and academic who has challenged men's violence against women and children for more than twenty years. He teaches at a regional university in Australia. His research looks at constructivist approaches that enable men to change, within the context of an integrated family violence service system response.