Engaging Men and Boys

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Ending violence against girls and women is everyone’s issue. From supporting the women who escape abuse, providing refuge for those needing a safe place to advocating for a community where women can live free of violence, we all have a role to play. A critical role that is not frequently discussed is the role that men and boys play in ending violence against women. Men and boys are an important ally and partner in speaking up and speaking out against gender-based violence and the need to engage with them is more pressing than ever.

As a proud partner and member of the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective (CDVC), we work collaboratively with close to 60 community partners that provide a coordinated response to domestic and sexual violence prevention and intervention. This week the CDVC published an important and informative series of video blogs (vlogs) uncovering what role men play in ending violence against women. The vlog provides a unique and thoughtful perspective from Tristan Abbott of the Calgary Sexual Health Centre who explains what engaging men and boys means, his own journey in viewing how men are societally portrayed and some of the resources men and boys have access to lead healthy lives.

The reality is that violence against women is most often perpetrated by men and the use of violence is often based on men’s own experiences with violence and commonly held versions of manhood that create barriers for men accessing support services. We highly recommend taking less than five minutes out of your day to watch the videos which we have embedded. If you want to read the blog, click here.

In 2016 Calgary saw a 36 per cent increase in domestic violence calls, making it one of its highest since 2004. The need to end domestic violence as a community is more pressing than ever. As the largest and longest serving women’s organization in Calgary, we are committed to speaking up and speaking out to end gender-based violence to ensure women can live safely in the communities they chose. In 2015, YW Sheriff King Home sheltered 212 women and 276 children fleeing family violence.