As Father’s Day approaches, everyone at Futures Without Violence thanks the dads, granddads, uncles, father figures, and all the men who are helping us transform culture that too often emboldens harassment, assault, and abuse.
Many years ago when I began doing this work, I realized that much of the language being used in the urgent effort to prevent and respond to the crisis of domestic violence painted all men as the problem.
But I, along with the pioneering women and men I was privileged to have as partners, knew many men who wanted to be part of the solution. So our team at FUTURES began the important work of engaging men. We talked to supportive men from all walks of life – and more importantly, we listened. We made sure to invite, not indict them. And with their help, and help from allies who had been making hard-fought progress for years, we built on our shared goal to stop violence and make families and communities safe.
Our work with men has been groundbreaking and transformative. For more than a decade, our Coaching Boys Into Men program, the public policies we shaped and advanced, and our work with health care providers, business leaders, and judges, have been made possible by our brilliant, dedicated partners who are people of all genders.
Right now, with our country hurting and deeply divided, engaging men in the work to build a violence-free world is more important than ever. Those who promulgate hate are amplifying the language of violence against women, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric as they recruit young men to their cause.
We began working with men to stop violence. Today, we do it also to preserve our democracy and our country.
Our commitment will not waver.