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HEALING TOGETHER: Healthy Manhood & Fighting for Gender Justice in Our Community

Together we’ve taken a fearless look at the responses we’ve created over the last 40 years with the aim of preventing and ending domestic violence—and we keep returning to the central premise that we must center the voices, lived experiences, wisdom and wishes of those most impacted by this issue.

Many survivors strongly assert they want the abuse to stop—while at the same time expressing love and hope for a healthy relationship. These survivors don’t always find long-term support when they reunite their families. Many reach out to find help for the person who is harming them. They seek support for rebuilding a safe and respectful relationshipand preventing abuse from ever occurring again.

California’s movement to end domestic violence, in partnership with boys and men of color, is seeking to honor these survivors’ desire to connect accountability alongside a commitment to the well-being of their whole family. This led us to some central questions:

  • What would it look like for more boys and men to promote this accountability for peers who cause harm?

  • How can we move toward a future where people who harm do the deep, introspective work needed to change their behavior, and work to be accountable to survivors AND the community around them?

  • Can more people who have caused harm assist in preventing future violence? Can they use honesty and vulnerability in efforts to shift attitudes among their own social groups?

We know that many work hard to expand the movement and be ever-more inclusive, stressing that everyone has a role in ending domestic violence. If we are to end domestic violence, we must gain more public commitment from people who have caused harm, and look at how they can contribute to the movement.

At these regional institutes, we’ll explore holistic methods of accountability that also include hope and healing. The overwhelming response to this year’s Shifting the Lens Conference was a desire to continue this complicated and, perhaps uncomfortable conversations with other social justice movements. In response, we are prioritizing depth versus breadth by hosting this series of two-day intensive trainings throughout the state. The next Shifting the Lens Conference will take place in Fall 2020.