Strategies for Engaging Men as Anti-Violence Allies: Implications for Ally Movements

Erin Casey

Abstract


As ally movements become an increasingly prevalent element of social justice efforts, research is needed that illuminates effective strategies to initially engage members of privileged social groups in anti-oppression work. This study presents descriptive findings regarding ally engagement strategies and barriers from a qualitative study of a particular ally movement – male anti-violence against women activism. Twenty-seven men who recently initiated involvement in an organization or event dedicated to ending sexual or domestic violence were interviewed regarding their perceptions of effective approaches to reaching and engaging other men in anti-violence work. Participants viewed tailored engagement strategies that tap into existing social networks, that allow men to see themselves reflected in anti-violence movements, and that help men make personal, emotional connections to the issue of violence as most effective. Implications for engaging men in the project of ending violence against women, and for ally movements more generally are discussed.

Keywords


Ally development, engaging men, domestic violence, sexual assault, prevention

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