Wednesday, October 21, 2015
A Call to Men and NY Women’s Foundation Host Training Institute to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls
NEW YORK- A Call to Men and The New York Women’s Foundation hosted a two-day National Training Institute in New York on October 14-15. Held during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Institute provided advanced training on engaging men and boys in domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, and educating them on healthy, respectful manhood.
“Embracing and promoting a healthy, respectful manhood prevents violence against women, sexual assault, sexual harassment, bullying and many other social ills. Men doing this work are making a positive contribution to their families, their communities and humanity at large,” said Ted Bunch, co-founder of A Call to Men and co-leader of the Training Institute.
A Call to Men designs the Institutes to give intimate and in-depth education on healthy, respectful manhood. Research by the World Health Organization shows that men and boys who adhere to rigid, traditional notions of gender roles and masculinity are more likely to report having used violence against a partner. If men embrace a healthy, respectful manhood, many social ills – from domestic violence and sexual assault to bullying and discrimination – would drastically decrease.
In his opening remarks, Bunch explained: “A Call to Men recognizes that the underlying causes of violence and discrimination against women are rooted in the ways women and girls have been traditionally viewed and treated in our society. Men are socialized to view women as objects, the property of men, and weak and inferior to men. These ideas are taught to men and boys and reinforced by society.”
The Institutes explore the history of movement building in the United States, male socialization and its intersection with violence against women, the intersections of oppression, the politics of accountability, trafficking and demand, and community organizing. Attendance is restricted to facilitate deeper discussion.
“The only word I can use to describe the experience of these last two days at the A Call to Men Institute is ‘transformative,’” said Nora Reissig, Director, Family Services Department, New York Housing Authority. “For real change to happen, we must first start within ourselves. The group exercises and discussions enabled me to challenge my own beliefs in order to become more effective in working with communities of color to end all forms of violence against women. I am grateful for the opportunity to come together in an open and honest forum with others to challenge social norms that continue to oppress women and provide a privileged status to some while marginalizing many."
“The New York Women’s Foundation is proud to partner with A Call to Men in building the next generation of leaders working to end gender-based violence. Since its inception, The Foundation has supported a continuum of organizations and their leaders working to advance gender equity and safety for women and girls,” said Ana Oliveira, CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation. “We recognize the evolving role of men in this movement and appreciate A Call to Men's deep work with men of all backgrounds, joining with their sisters in these efforts. We appreciate the Institute’s attention to issues of race and class as critical factors to ensure that every last woman and gender-fluid young person is respected and valued. All of this work collectively adds up to forward momentum in reaching that day when all women, girls, and gender-fluid youth from every community can walk and live in our city, free from violence to celebrate our full humanity.”