Engaging Boys and Men in Violence Prevention

Whilst most men are not violent, most violence is perpetrated by men. The level of men’s violence against women in the UK and around the world is at pandemic proportions as reported by the UN and most governments. In the UK two women a week are murdered by a male partner or ex-partner.

Yet most efforts to reduce this violence target women and girls. This is problematic and often men and women perceive violence against women as a women’s issue. If you are a bloke than you may think it has nothing to do with you. That’s understandable, as despite our collective best efforts to date, this misconception of it  as a women’s issue has stuck. 

What is SAFE doing to help?

At SAFE we recognised that this needs to change if we are ever going to end domestic violence and abuse. Although most men are not violent toward women or other men, many men have not been offered the opportunity to join prevention efforts, or realise that it is indeed their problem too.

This is a problem that affects all of us. It is a men’s issue. It is only together that we can change it. 

When we (at SAFE) heard about the organisation A Call to Men UK and the Making Good Men conferences they were doing around England we couldn’t wait to team up and bring the conference to Devon. So we did -  last November we held a conference at Sandy Park in Exeter and over 100 delegates attended.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Even better, there were many men who chose to participate. There was also a clear call for action from many who attended to do more. And some have – in fact, one of the conference delegates has joined our team at SAFE and he now works with children and their families who have experienced domestic violence.

We agreed to invite interested delegates to get back together, men and women, to do more. On the 20th July we held our first Engaging Boys and Men in Violence Prevention Devon Network. Eight men and eight women attended this first meeting and we received a number of apologies from others who could not attend on the night.

As it was our very first meeting we had an engaging discussion on the issue, the root causes, and our experiences both personally and professionally. Those who attended were keen to keep the momentum going. All who attended agreed another conference to build on the first was a good next step – and they were ambitious – calling for it to be a national rather than local conference. 

If you would like more information contact Jacinta at SAFE on 01392269543 or email info@safe-service.org.uk.