Because women are its primary victims and survivors, domestic violence is commonly framed as a ‘women’s issue.’ But domestic violence is also a ‘men’s issue,’ “and if we are to change this destructive expression of sexism, then men must join women in the struggle to become a part of the solution,” states Johanna Bos
, professor of Bible and Old Testament and director of the Women’s Center at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Through its Women’s Center
, Louisville Seminary will contribute to the national Domestic Violence Awareness month by offering a series of workshops, called “Domestic Violence: It Is Your Business – Why and How Men Should Care.” Offered primarily for men but open to all persons, the three workshops will be held free of charge October 26, November 2, and November 9, 7-9 p.m., at Gardencourt, Room 206.
Participants will be invited to address tough issues such as gender dynamics and violence; “manhood” as performance and what this performance means in terms of sexism and domestic violence; the barriers that must come down in the struggle for liberation from domestic violence; and how in these efforts preachers, counselors, and others can become allies instead of bystanders.
Bos, who has planned the event as a program of the Women’s Center enlisted Rus Ervin Funk, research and education specialist for the Center for Women and Families
of Louisville, Ky., and a nationally recognized expert in the field of domestic violence research and education, to lead the three sessions on the Louisville Seminary campus. The Seminary’s Center for Congregations and Family Ministries
helped to fund the program through a grant to the Women’s Center.
Funk is the author of Stopping Rape: A Challenge for Men
(New Society Publishers) and recently founded Mobilizing to End violeNce (M.E.N.) in Louisville. He is the co-founder of the Indiana Men’s Outreach Working Group, the coordinator of the Pornography Task Force for the Jefferson County Chapter of NOW, and sits on the boards of directors of the Fairness Campaign in Louisville, the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. He has also written a new manual, Reaching Men: How to Talk with Men about Sexism and Violence,
which will be published by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence in the fall of 2005.
The Center for Women and Families in Louisville, Ky., was established in 1977 and serves 14 counties in Kentucky and Indiana. The Center offers tools and support that allow women and their children to rebuild their lives through shelter, counseling, and educational programming at no cost to the victim and their children.
By offering this program the Louisville Seminary Women’s Center seeks to provide “information and education that will promote networks of solidarity across race, class, and gender that are crucial for bringing about change in current structures of injustice and inequality.”
“Women have been in the forefront of the struggle against this form of abuse that takes place in all societies across the world. Through our explorations and discussions it should become clear that eradicating domestic violence will require a partnership between women and men,” said Bos.
Reservations will be required for the free workshops. Participants may sign up for one, two or all three of them. Contact Johanna Bos at 502.895.3411, or by email:firstname.lastname@example.org
. For workshop descriptions and a schedule visit the Domestic Violence Workshop