REAL MEN SAY NO TO GENDER BASED – VIOLENCE
Phola recently facilitated a convocation under the Theme: O.U.T.T.R.A.G.E.D. NARRATIVE THERAPY FOR DEALING WITH ANGER, DEPRESSION AND VIOLENCE FOR MEN AND BOYS.
The initiative was in partnership with a local television station Elev8 Africa Networks. It was held in Johannesburg in the sprawling suburb of Hillbrow.
Narrative therapy is a method of therapy that separates a person from their problem. It encourages people to rely on their own skills to minimize problems that exist in their lives.
Throughout life, personal experiences become personal stories.
Hence O.U.T.T.R.A.G.E.D. Methodology empowers individuals to make changes in their thought patterns and behavior and rewrite their life stories for a future that reflects who they are, what they are capable of, and what their purpose is, separate from their problems.
The meeting attracted a huge turnout, the participants were diverse, encompassing people from all walks of life. Among attendants were psychologists, lecturers, pastors, researchers, community leaders, students, social workers, community activist, local government officials and members of the general public.
The plenary sessions gave participants an opportunity to narrate personal experiences and stories about their lives. Some of the stories touched on abuse in the hands of close family members. The abuses had been inflicted by fellow men on other men. The male figures they had looked up to for protection and nurturing were the ones who shattered their dreams and left them psychologically damaged and traumatized.
The workshop brought to the fore difficulties and heavy loads carried by men who perpetrate domestic violence, abusing women and children. The masculinity expectations that man suffering from depression are not expected to exhibit grief and pain in public. This belief is exacerbated by patriarchal nature of our society that suggests that men are not supposed to cry or breakdown.
Narrative therapy places people at the centre of the work and presumes that they are the experts in their own lives and thus honours people’s knowledge, skills, competencies, resources, abilities and values.
Male perpetrators are ‘hard to reach’ because they prefer to be in the closet and because of the stigma that might be attached to them for being known as suffering from depression, violent, dysfunctional and perpetrating domestic violence.
Violence against women is not a new phenomenon in our society. The patriarchal society that we live in makes it hard for men to open about their emotional challenges.
A North West psycho-social expert says the country is faced with a mammoth task of dealing with the increase in gender-based violence. Professor Hayley Walker- Williams says loopholes in the justice system are also adding to the scourge.
The North West University scholar says victims of gender-based violence who continue to receive threatening communication from perpetrators behind bars are not only left terrified, but they may also end up withdrawing the charges.
Conversely most men who are victims of domestic violence are reluctant to seek help because of fear or even laughed at by the society, peers and family members.
Gender based violence comes in different forms as physical abuse, emotional, verbal, intimidation and harassment.
Violence a global problem, which knows no nationality, geography or cultural boundaries. It has negative consequences for social cohesion, welfare, children and community at large.
To date much attention has been directed towards violence against women, yet there is growing body of evidence that points to the increasing violence against men.
Therefore, it is crucial to note that domestic violence affects both women and men and for equality to be met we must focus on their issues collectively without any bias.
The feelings of anger arise due to how people interpret and react to certain situations. Everyone has own triggers for what makes them angry, but some common ones include following situations.
Whether anger is about something that happened in the past or something that is going on right now, thinking about how and why to interpret and read situations can help learning to cope with emotions better. It can also help you find productive strategies to handle anger or rage.
For those who experienced particular situations in the past that made them feel angry, such as abuse, trauma or bullying and were not able to safely express anger at the time, might still be laden with those angry feelings now.
Phola helps men and boys to imagine a future where they rise above present day violence and prevent Gender-based violence, reclaim what has been lost i.e. UBUNTU, bringing back the village ethos where children belong to everyone and the vulnerable are cared for and protected; to change lives and set new directions.
Phola is the new curriculum of hope.
Phola is joining hands to form partnerships, share resources and knowledge and work with other stakeholders to beat the scourge.
Phola methodologies empower men and boys outraged by domestic violence to take a stand and speak out ‘NO TO GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE.’