Organizing a Men Against Violence Group

Consider the Following When Implementing a Men Against Violence Group

The Benefits of Creating a Men Against Violence Group

  • Men as allies
  • Societal change
  • Most men are not abusive: they want to take action
  • See our Guys Getting Involved Page for more information.

Some Challenges in Creating a Men Against Violence Group

Avoiding glorification
It is important to explain to men that this is not an opportunity to “win points.” Recognize the tremendous work of women activists and do not seek to undermine that work.

Screening
Screening is imperative for a successful men against violence group. Unfortunately, there are some men who use MAV to hide their abusive behavior or as a platform for their anti-feminist backlash. Best practices indicate the importance of requiring additional screening to assess defensiveness about discussing men’s violence against women, self-awareness regarding “rape culture” and motivation for joining. In some cases, these screening tools have identified perpetrators of gender-based violence who are applying in order to manipulate a partner. Therefore, additional screening of male candidates should be integrated into the interview process. Here is a sample screening tool: Sample Screening Questions

Training
Members should not be able to represent the group until they have had extensive training on the issue; a minimum of 16 hours of training by an expert in the field and preferably 40 (or a class) should be required. The training should be maintained throughout the year.

Maintaining Collaboration with Women’s Groups
This should not become a “fraternity” that excludes the input and expertise of women activists. One of the important components of ending gender inequality is the ability for men and boys to learn from women and respect them as equals; ensuring that an intentional collaboration with women’s groups is established is a great step towards this movement.

See our manual for creating an intern program for some organizational tips.

Policy

You Should Use This Policy when Recruiting New Members
The following entails MAV’s policy concerning prospective/current members and acts of violence against women. As an organization dedicated to the end of all forms of violence against women, MAV cannot accept members who have previously committed, or currently commit, acts of violence against women. A member of MAV is a representative of not only the entire MAV organization, but MAV’s fundamental and foundational principles of Justice, Equality, and Non-violence. As such, all members of MAV are subject to the two following rules:

  1. MAV cannot and will not accept members who have previously committed or engaged in acts of rape, relationship abuse, and/or assault (physical or sexual) against women. This is by no means an exhaustive list as any act of violence against women involving power and control is condemned by MAV at ___________ University.
  2. This policy is primarily self-policing as MAV does not run background checks. Even then, these would fail to identify all such violent acts as most violence against women goes unreported. That being said, if it comes to the attention of MAV or any of its members that an individual affiliated with MAV has engaged in act(s) of violence against women, it will result in an automatic dismissal from MAV coupled with any appropriate legal action.

For a full pdf version, click here.

Sample Discussion Topics

Each week, we recommend that you discuss a new topic on these issues. Check out our Rape CultureAvoiding Victim BlamingWhat Causes Relationship Abuse, and Feminism 101 pages for ideas.

Fraternity Men

Create a Men Against Violence Coordinator in your house!
If you would like to be a leader and bring about positive change in campus culture, work with your campus sexual assault and relationship abuse office and start this position in your fraternity!Here is a sample application to use: Download the application as a PDF Document