#MeToo shook quite a few Men awake. It rightfully placed Violence Against Women at the forefront of our discussions and helped expose the prevalence and tactics of Power & Control in a way that we could no longer deny it exists. The movement is successful in adding to the number of Men, like those of us in the Men Against Domestic Violence Action Coalition (MADVAC), who understand that our workspaces and communities must be free of Gender-Based Violence however, there is a significant gap in knowing the problem exists and what Men can do to combat it. We know that we should better support Women, but what does that look like. What steps can we take? Here are 3 easy to do suggestions: 1. Educate Ourselves and Our PeersThere are numerous local organizations that are focused on ending Violence Against Women and many of these organizations offer free training to help you understand Power & Control. Take the time to speak with Advocates, invite them to your workplace, and then share that knowledge with your Peers. 2. Teach Our Boys.Our Young Men will be future boyfriends, husbands, co-workers, etc. It is our responsibility to ensure they have a healthy view of Girls and Women. We have to make sure they understand the dangers of objectifying Women. We have to have conversations to help them navigate Healthy vs. Unhealthy Masculinity; teach what consent is and isn’t; and how to intervene when they recognize signs of abusive behaviors. We have to have these conversations early to embed them long before Boys are in positions to engage in negative behavior. 3. Support Victims and Survivors.The majority of the “pushback” that I’ve gotten since I started working to end the violence has been “Some Women lie” and “Men are Victims, too”. Both of these statements are true and we have to address them with the understandings that for every woman who may lie, hundreds, if not thousands are true Victims/Survivors who need your support. The majority of deaths involving Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence are Women and the killers are Men. No longer can we comfort ourselves with we are “Good Men” and not abusive, therefore assuming that the Violence doesn’t affect us. #MeToo has shown us that it does. We have to get actively involved. We have to be “Better Men.”
Bobby Brumfield is Co-Founder of Men Against Domestic Violence Action Coalition (MADVAC) and works in Crisis Management as a SMB Security Advisor. His personal mission is to build Positive Peace by supporting SDG’s 5 and 16.