Partnering with Programs for Fathers & Abusive Men

picture of girl holding dad's legIt is important for domestic violence advocates to work in partnership with programs working with men who use violence. Most importantly because the women we serve want us to not only be working to support them and their children, they want us to help stop the violence. As advocates we may not see our role as working directly with men who use violence however it is our role to ensure that the voices and experiences of women and children are shared and integrated into the work of those who are working with abusers. We know that if we don’t work with men who use violence, women will continually be blamed and held responsible for the violence. Working with men who use violence, in particular those who are fathers is important for children. Most children want to have a relationship with their father and most mothers want their children to have a relationship with their father, they just want everyone to be safe. Advocates can have an integral role in supporting women and children’s safety and well being by working closely with positive fatherhood, batterers intervention and supervised visitation programs.

Considerations:

  • How do fatherhood programs, batterers intervention and supervised visitation centers safely keep the lived experiences of women and children at the center of their work?
  • What type of training and on-going supervision does staff receive about domestic violence and children’s exposure to domestic violence?
  • What is each programs philosophy about domestic violence and battering?
  • What is each programs approach to engaging with the partners and children of the men they are serving?
  • How do programs work towards holding men who use violence responsible for their behavior while supporting opportunities for change and healing?

Strategies for working together:

  • Cross training and learning about each programs roles and limitations.
  • On –going mechanisms for support and consultation.
  • Meaningful linkages between partners that support safety and confidentiality for women and children.