Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Men and Bystander Intervention

"There are many great empowerment-based self-defense classes that can give women strategies for avoiding, interrupting, and stopping harassment. In Chicago, Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP and IMPACT Chicago are great resources.  For all the men who wish to be allies to women who experience harassment, I'd suggest reading a bit about how to do so in a way that doesn't dis-empower women." Marie O/Brien
Marie suggests reading Colorado State University Men and Bystander Intervention: "Because most perpetrators of gender violence are men, many bystander intervention programs focus on the ways that men  can intervene when they see other men committing gender violence. This can be an effective 
approach but it’s important to take masculine socialization into consideration as to not encourage a strategy that will cause more harm. Most men have been socialized to protect women … and it’s not a bad thing necessarily to want to make sure people are safe (regardless of gender)…Men often make the mistake of assuming that women need the help of men. Sometimes women would appreciate some help, other times it’s unwarranted… The organization Men Can Stop Rape offers some suggestions for men who want to intervene in a way that doesn’t take agency away from the person on whose behalf you’re considering intervening. Note that these tactics involve things like checking in with that person, using low-key methods like calling her cell phone, and generally keeping the intervention fairly covert as to not escalate the situation."

Monday, December 21, 2015

Domestic Violence Survivors Speak Out About Law Enforcement

The National Domestic Hotline with the assistance of TK Logan, University of Kentucky, surveyed 637 survivors of domestic violence who called the Hotline. The average of participants was 30 and mostly white (56%) with 15% Hispanic and 11% African-American.

Twenty-five percent of the women who had called the police in the past said they would not call again. Both women who had called the police and women who hadn’t stated calling the police would make things worse (1/2) and expressed fear that the police would not believe them or do nothing (2/3)

The report recommends that law enforcement responses to survivors must be based on the following principles:

• Treating survivors with dignity and respect

• Giving survivors their “voice” during encounters

• Being neutral and transparent in their actions”

For more information or to read the full report: National Domestic Violence Hotline, Who Will Help Me? Domestic Violence Survivors Speak Out About Law Enforcement Responses. Washington, DC (2015).

Monday, December 14, 2015

Caring for Each Other After Violence

In “Caring For Each Other After Violence: 4 Things We Can Do To Create Trauma-Informed Communities in Our Schools, Organizations and Activist Groups,” CarmenLeah Ascencio identifies four things we can do to build trauma-informed communities:

1. Build on and affirm our cultures and history

2. Increase physical and emotional safety

3. Build trust

4. Foster collaboration, power sharing and choice

For the details about each of these four things, check out her essay on the reader-funded, non-profit project Black Girls Dangerous (BGD).

Monday, December 7, 2015

Who Benefits from Dissing Self-Defense Training?

In Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do About , Kate Harding presumes that self-defense blames victims, restricts women’s freedom, and is not part of the anti-violence movement. See Jane Fight Back responds to Harding’s distorted views of self-defense reminding everyone that: “…making women aware of their rights to defend themselves, and offering them training in self-defense skills, empowers women to move freely about the world and make the choices that are best for them – choices like how short to wear their skirts, or what beverages they consume, or which neighborhoods they frequent, or yes, whether to go for the groin or the solar plexus if someone is trying to assault or rape them. “

For more
Harding, Kate. September 17, 2015. “We demand that women live in fear and behave impeccably to avoid ‘asking for it.’” The Guardian. 

See Jane Fight Back. September 19, 2015. “Protest the ‘Asking for It’ Rhetoric by Dissing Self-Defense ?