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Seminary offers workshops to address domestic violence as a men’s issue

by Louisville Seminary | Jan 17, 2007
Domestic violence is most commonly understood as a “women’s issue.” It is, after all, largely women who are victimized. Most research indicates that more than 90% of domestic violence victims are women. It is largely women who have responded to domestic violence, and the organized response to domestic violence has grown out of the feminist movement. This understanding of domestic violence as a women’s issue ignores the fact that men have a crucial role to play in responding to and, in particular, preventing domestic violence.

The Women’s Center at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will offer a program, designed as a four-part series, to address the issues of understanding domestic violence as a men’s issue, and examine how men can be actively involved as allies with women to address and prevent domestic violence. Men and women are encouraged to attend, but the focus of the training will be on what men can do. This workshop is designed as a series, so participants are encouraged to attend all four.

The four workshops will be held on two Saturdays, February 10 and 17, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with lunch provided at noon. Participants will meet in the Women’s Center at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, which is located in Nelson Hall. The cost for one day is $30. Students may attend free of charge.

Leading the series is Rus Ervin Funk, MSW, a consultant who works with communities, campuses and organizations across the country on preventing sexism, racism, homophobia, and engaging and mobilizing men to end sexual assault and domestic violence. He recently co-founded a new Metro-Louisville-based men’s organization called Men’s Work: Ending Sexual and Domestic Violence, and he is also the chair of the Indiana Men’s Working Group.

Funk currently serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence; is on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, chairs the Batterer’s Service Committee for the State of Indiana, is on the Steering Committee for the Louisville Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and is active with the Fairness Campaign. He is the 2000 recipient of the Frederick Douglass Award from Men Can Stop Rape, Inc.

He is the author of training manuals, articles, and several books including, Stopping Rape: A Challenge for Men (1993), the first book written by a man for men about stopping rape, and Reaching Men: Strategies for Preventing Sexist Attitudes, Behaviors and Violence (New York: Haworth, 2006).

His workshops will include:

Overview of Domestic Violence, understanding the dynamics of domestic violence, domestic violence as an expression of sexism, and a brief history of the domestic violence movement.

The Construction of Masculinity, examining how masculinities are constructed and created, and exploring the different expressions of masculinity (based on culture, region, and other factors). Exploring how the expressions of masculinity relate to men as perpetrators of domestic violence.

Men As Allies, an examination of ally theory, what it means to be an ally, and how men can act as an ally to women and other men. Exploring the barriers that prevent men from being allies with women and other men and to end domestic violence.

What Men Can Do, Are Doing, and Could Do More of…, an effort to generate concrete and specific suggestions of what men can do to work with women to end sexism and violence. What are some activities that men and men’s groups around the country, and in other countries, are doing to take collective and public responsibility for ending sexism and domestic violence?

Individuals may register for these events by contacting the Director of the Women’s Center, Dr. Johanna Bos jbos@lpts.edu, or the student coordinator for the Women’s Center, Sarah Bishop sbishop@lpts.edu. They can also be reached by calling Louisville Seminary at 800.264.1839 or 502.895.3411.

For more information about the event or the Women’s Center at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, visit their webpage.

Download full brochure (PDF): Online Brochure.

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