This project ended on April 15th.
Final reporting documents are available for download below. See also the Training pages for descriptions.
Narrative Report | Financial Report | Communications Report | Evaluation Report | Logic Model | Partners | Needs and Assets | Youth Engagement
Activities | Gender-Aware Facilitation | Man to Man Training | Media Workshops | Gather the Men | RCMP Training | Overview Paper | Presentation Slides
Brief descriptions can be found below each link. Download each linked PDF for the full document.
Chrysalis House Association Engaging Men and Boys Project Final Narrative Report-web
Our goal was to develop and pilot an engagement model that would motivate and mobilize men to work to end violence against women and girls in our communities. Our project catchment area covers the six counties of West Hants, Kings, Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne
We looked at various approaches and it became clear that in order to effectively engage youth in a sustainable way, we needed to promote and offer training to adult leaders who work with youth so that they can keep on engaging each new year of incoming youth as time goes by. We did not want just a “one-shot” approach to the issue. We wanted to increase the capacity of local youth-oriented organizations to deliver relevant programming.
We recognized that it was more effective to work with existing organizations and conduits to youth than to try to create access from scratch. Accordingly, we trained staff from organizations that work with youth, and enabled them to leverage their existing programs, adding training and content to focus resource on engaging young men and boys in the anti-violence work.
Internet Communications for the Project
Coordinating Communications with Simple-Press
We have developed three presences on the web – our public web site, our Facebook page and the Collaborative Web Site for the team and partners.
- Project partners with solid reputations and relationships in the community and with each other, good organizational skills, and recognized expertise in the work enhance the credibility of the project.
- Expertise in the field, an academic background, solid facilitation skills, experience working with community groups, and an understanding of feminism are valuable assets for a Project Coordinator doing this work. Being a man also enhances the Project Coordinator’s credibility to have these discussions with other men.
- Without sufficient resources for project staff and administrative support that take into account the size and scope of the area where the work is taking place, the potential benefit of the project will be limited.
- Adaptability of the project approach, particularly adapting to a capacity building approach enhance the impacts of the project.
- Engaging multiple partners in addressing the issue can lead to follow-up or spin-off initiatives.
- This kind of project can increase people’s awareness and understanding of the role of men and boys in ending violence against women and girls (and of engaging them in the issue), as well as of actions they can take.
- This kind of project can address the needs of women by raising the issue and by taking action, particularly with men as key partners.
- This kind of project can address the needs of men by providing training and tools to initiate dialogue and action, as well as providing a safe space to reflect and discuss issues.
- Effective communication and relationship building are important for any future work; having the appropriate tools and skills to understand the role and impact of men and boys in ending violence against women and girls are also important.
- Project stakeholders can apply their learnings about engaging men and boys in addressing violence against women and girls in their paid work, their personal lives, and their volunteer work.
- Partnerships with organizations are important to the completion of a project’s work and its success. Because partnership development is complicated and requires time and planning to build relationships, it needs to be carried out in a strategic way, with resources allocated to support it early in a project. Identifying this as a role of the staff person or key leader(s) is important.
- Understanding organizational structures and available resources of project partners, and having the ability to be adaptable (within the goals of a project) and make changes to an implementation plan or model are important for future work.
- The use of evidence, combined with strong communication and a focus on building and maintaining relationships enhance the work of this type of project.
- Adequate time is required for key partners to absorb and digest research information to best inform planning processes.
- Engaging partners in the research and planning conversations about the project could be beneficial for developing a longer term shared understanding of the work among partners.
- Concrete supports, such as resource tool kits, websites and social media, are valuable tools for engaging partners in addressing violence against women and girls.
- Workshop/training participants can apply their learnings in their daily lives, as well as in their volunteer and paid work.
- This type of education and training can increase sensitivity about and awareness of the importance of engaging men and boys in ending violence against women and girls, and to increase their motivation to being engaged.
- Using a capacity building approach (e.g., building the skills and knowledge of youth leaders who can continue to build the capacity of youth) can enhance both the efficiency and the sustainability of the work.
- Providing resources, such as a toolkit and accessible, adaptable training, provides participants with concrete supports for moving the work forward on their own.
In terms of Males showing a significant shift in attitude towards women and violence, it is difficult to measure cultural shift. But in the dialogues stemming from the workshops with teens and youth leaders, there appeared to be a beginning of grasping of new language and appreciation of the issues. For example, one young man complained that we were ignoring the fact that women had power over men by using their “sexual power” to manipulate men. We questioned whether that was a result of excessive power, or that because of their societal status, many women felt that the only shred of power available to them was by using their sexuality, and in fact that was a depiction of powerlessness. There was a big “aha” moment for the young man. Another wondered how we could ever convince men to give up their power. We pointed out that males were conditioned to live within the “man box” that described acceptable behaviour and feelings. They were trashed if they stepped outside, and given “perks” if they stayed inside. When we compared that to rats in a maze being given kibble for good behaviour, and asked them if the traditional male role actually gave them the power of choice in their lives, there was another “aha” moment. These are two isolated incidents, but they show the power of deconstructing social assumptions in changing attitudes and encouraging men and boys to rethink their role in ending violence.
Needs and Assets
We identified a strong concern to put resources into developing a sustainable youth mentorship model, where “youth” meant teen to mid-twenties. Three key areas were identified where skills and resources needed to be developed:
- Youth Engagement
- It was stressed that this needs to involve youth in planning, training and implementation, with adult trainers and mentors providing continuity as students moved though and out of school.
- Inclusive of those not involved in the educational system
- Training in Gender Based Analysis and Gender Aware Facilitation
- There was sense of unreadiness from many to engage men in issues of violence against women due to a lack of experience or training in such work.
- Need for tools and practice to develop skills and confidence to create environments where men and women can work together to end violence.
- The catchment area for the project covers six counties and there may be dozens of partners working on various aspects of the project. There is need for a communication mechanism to coordinate the activities, facilitate decision-making, project development and delivery.
- A need for a cost-effective way to promote the project through web sites and social media.
Youth Engagement Model
The Four Question model that we developed helped to translate complex engagement issues into readily graspable plain language: The following questions all need to be answered (and in the order presented) before men and boys are ready to engage: “What are the issues?” (Sensitization); “Why should I care?” (Motivation); “What can I do?” (Action/Mobilization); and “Who will help?” (Partnerships/Mentoring). The training model selected appropriate exercises from the Man to Man toolkit to address these questions, and participants were led through the process steps, taking the role of teen participants. We had found that often (prior to training), people had tried to immediately engage men at step 3 (What can I do? / Action) and this failed as the men did not yet understand the issues or why they were relevant to them. (See last page of Youth Engagement Model file for info.)
Acting Together Final Report SOAR Chrysalis House
The facilitation training project was funded by a grant from the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women that Survivors of Abuse Recovering obtained with us as a main partner. We held two focus groups to assess the needs for gender-aware / gender-transformative facilitation training and found a great deal of interest from a wide range of organizations and individuals. In designing the training, we developed a model that, while it could be used with any combination of people from any gender, was specifically designed to make it unlikely that traditional male patterns of communication and behaviour would operate. We chose several facilitation tools and structures that promote equitable participation and a non-competitive environment in which people could address issues of violence against women in an atmosphere that, while challenging, was safe and productive. A detailed report is appended. (Acting Together Final Report SOAR Chrysalis House.pdf) The response from both men and women was overwhelmingly positive and we planned to deliver more such trainings as time and funds permitted. One example of this was the Into the Heart of Gender workshop in partnership with Be the Peace. (See the file: Into the Heart of Gender Poster)
Using the “Man to Man” toolkit, we conducted several events from July 2014 to April 2015. First was a three-day train-the-trainer workshop co-led by Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre trainers (the organization that developed the toolkit) and project staff (Cornwallis). Following this were three one-day facilitator training sessions (Windsor, Yarmouth and Shelburne), and one two-day training for RCMP.
Media Workshop Opportunities for Ending Violence against Women and Girls
We partnered with Creative Action and iBox Publishing to develop and deliver workshops using various creative media designed to engage youth in schools and in the community.
Goal: To engage youth using media that appeal to them in an active workshop format.
Veteran video maker Kimberly Smith of Creative Action facilitated the video improv workshops. He has a Fine Arts degree from York University and is a member of ACTRA. He has decades of experience in theatre and film, and is particularly well versed in integrating groups with diverse physical and intellectual capacities. The workshops will explore gender violence and participants will create short videos to critique violent culture and propose ways to call it out and end it. See http://moviegames.ca for details on the specific exercises.
Mark Oakley of iBox Publishing http://iboxpublishing.com is a graphic artist and creator of the popular Stardrop and Thieves and Kings graphic novels and comics. He has worked with the Nova Scotia Department of Education’s Professional Artists in the Schools (PAINTS) program and is very familiar with working with this age group. He also has experience doing graphic recording of conferences and will do some real-time illustration of ideas and stories that participants develop during the workshop.
Agenda for one day retreat for a men’s group committed to end violence against women.
We walked through the four stages and worked also with the question: “What would you have to face, what would you have to feel, and what would you have to let go of, in order to be effective in ending violence against women?” There was an acknowledgement that there is need for a long-term cultural shift as well as immediate work to change the way men see and relate to women.
Purpose: To give students interactive opportunities to examine how gendered roles create challenges in our sense of self and in our relationships with others.
Overall Objectives: (for specific learning objectives, see the six sections)
- To work towards ending gendered violence in our schools and in our communities.
- To empower students to make informed choices about how they relate to others.
- To highlight ending gendered violence as a men’s issue as well as a women’s issue.
- To see how popular culture shapes our thoughts and actions without our knowledge or consent, and how awareness of this can help us to choose our own paths.
- To provide opportunities for young men and women to speak openly on these issues.
- To raise a generation that will not tolerate gendered violence.
This series draws heavily on the Man to Man toolkit produced by the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre. The toolkit focuses specifically on engaging men and boys to end sexual violence, but the exercises and resources can also be applied to domestic violence and other types of gendered violence, and they are useful in a mixed gender setting. The full toolkit can be downloaded as a PDF at no charge (see resource section).
Review Paper by Community Psychology student Natasha Penney
Why should we engage men and boys in preventing violence against women, what strategies are under way and do they work? Educational interventions among males often invite them to become proactive, taking action to stop the perpetration of specific incidents of violence, and to reduce the risks of violence escalating and strengthen the conditions that work against violence occurring. There are also barriers to men’s role in preventing violence against women, including emphasizing traditional male privilege, which can isolate potential male supporters. Involving men in the work of preventing violence against women can also be seen as an effort to co-opt feminist agendas, or lead to the marginalization of women’s voices and leadership. But it is imperative to note that successes are being made in many areas to increase men’s exposure to sensitizing experiences with violence, and ending the “other” status that can separate men from supportive roles, or relegate them to perpetrator status. Progress is being made in areas that expose men to multifaceted, proactive approaches to ending violence against women largest established by their social networks, evolving gender roles, and tangible experience opportunities to make a difference as activists, educators and advocates. This paper discusses the evolution of men’s involvement in anti-violence campaigns, and their growing impact on equalizing dialogue and positively influencing anti-violence campaigns, as well as solidifying their role as stakeholders in the process of ending violence against women.
Presentation (Slides developed for various talks. The file below is the long version, presented to about 100 people at an NSCC-Amherst morning workshop.)