Setting the stage to transform individuals and communities
his issue of Assembling the Pieces is about transformation. Our feature article on the next two pages talks about perpetrators who have embarked on the process of change and have been able to transform their lives. We also talk with experts who have studied how individuals who commit to the process of change can become emotionally healthy and productive members of society.
We don’t often get the opportunity to hear from men who have done the work and gotten on the path to transformation. We need to know what we can learn from them. However, since we can’t always predict who will be successful in the change process, we want to be clear that hope that someone will change is not a reason for women to stay in a dangerous relationship.
We are not focusing on transformation to encourage women to stay in unhealthy relationships. This article is meant to share information with people who work with men who batter and batterers to offer hope that they can change their behavior and insight into what’s most effective – particularly what men say has been essential in their journey to change.
We interviewed men who have been in the process of transformation, their partners who can validate their changes, and others who can vouch for them as well. We also review the research and talk with men who have done the work with this population to see what they have observed.
During the next issue, we will look at how victims of domestic violence have been able to extricate themselves from unhealthy relationships and rebuild their lives. We will examine how women are able to transform by talking with survivors, practitioners and researchers.
We sadly recognize the passing of Radhia Jaaber. Radhia was an inspirational human rights activist, advocate against domestic violence and a 2003 IDVAAC Wellstone Humanitarian Award winner. We meet Ulester Douglas and learn about his work with Men Stopping Violence in Atlanta. And we meet two new members of the IDVAAC team, Associate Director Marcus Pope and Executive Assistant Angie Scheibe.
Next conference March 19-20 in Long Beach
All of the IDVAAC staff is hard at work, preparing for our next conference, “A Contract for Change,” which will be March 19-20 in Long Beach, Calif. Our focus will be on how we can transform communities by creating commitments and mobilizing leaders to end domestic violence in the African- American community.
Domestic violence intersects with other social challenges that affect the quality of life in the entire African-American community. What we have learned from our research in several communities across the country is that African-American community-based efforts to end domestic violence is limited at best. This conference will explore strategies to mobilize concerned individuals, community advocates, criminal justice representative, social services practitioners and other stakeholders to adopt a contract to reduce domestic violence in the African-American community.
Plenary sessions and workshops have been designed to facilitate knowledge, to build skill and introduce models for mobilizing change at the individual, organizational and community level.
For more details, see the back page of this newsletter. We hope you will join us for a lifechanging event, which is sponsored by IDVAAC and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence against Women.