Mothers, sisters, and daughters are victims of domestic violence. Wives, live-in partners, and girlfriends are victims of domestic violence. Teen girls are victims of dating violence.
Throughout history it’s been women at the forefront for change at the grassroots level and at our nation’s capital as they marched for police, the courts, and the government to pass and enforce laws to prevent and intervene in family violence.
Where are the male voices? Why aren’t men involved in preventing domestic violence? Will men listen to men?
“Now, when it comes to men and male culture, the goal is to get men who are not abusive to challenge men who are,” proclaimed Jackson Katz. He continued the TED Talk, “We need more men with the guts, with the courage, with the strength, with the moral integrity to break our complicit silence and challenge each other and stand with women and not against them.” (TED.com)
Anna Moore, journalist for The Guardian, interviewed Patrick Stewart (Star Trek’s Captain Picard) at a 2018 domestic violence charity event before he took the stage. Moore asked why Stewart is speaking out. “Because domestic violence is a man’s problem. We are the ones who are committing the offences, performing the cruel acts, controlling and denying. It’s the men,” Stewart commented after sharing that his father abused his mother.
Men Speak Out in Ohio
The Ohio Men’s Action Network (ohman) is about the prevention of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and other types of oppression. There is a unifying effort in Ohio to reach boys, young men, and men to prevent all forms of violence. Contact Engaging Men Coordinator, Justin Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Ohio Domestic Violence Network at www.odvn.org/
The following are 10 things men can do to end men’s violence against women:
One: Acknowledge and understand how sexism, male dominance and male privilege lay the foundation for all forms of violence against women.
Two: Examine and challenge our individual sexism and the role that we play in supporting men who are abusive.
Three: Recognize and stop colluding with other men by getting out of our socially defined roles, and take a stance to end violence against women.
Four: Remember that our silence is affirming. When we choose not to speak out against men’s violence, we are supporting it.
Five: Educate and re-educate our sons and other young men about our responsibility in ending men’s violence against women.
Six: “Break out of the man box” — Challenge traditional images of manhood that stop us from actively taking a stand to end violence against women.
Seven: Accept and own our responsibility that violence against women will not end until men become part of the solution to end it. We must take an active role in creating a cultural and social shift that no longer tolerates violence against women.
Eight: Stop supporting the notion that men’s violence against women is due to mental illness, lack of anger management skills, chemical dependency, stress, etc. … Violence against women is rooted in the historic oppression of women and the outgrowth of the socialization of men.
Nine: Take responsibility for creating appropriate and effective ways to develop systems to educate and hold men accountable.
Ten: Create systems of accountability to women in your community. Violence against women will end only when we take direction from those who understand it most, women.
“Men have been waiting to have authentic conversations about what it really means to be a man with other men. Thus we need to create, embrace, and foster these communications, campaigns and support groups to ensure these conversations happen all across Ohio.” Visit www.ohman-ohio.org/
This is a call for men in Ohio to stand up and help prevent domestic violence!
Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She resides in southern Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.