Nearly 2,500 males over 18 years of age took the Alberta Men's Survey. Join us for an engaging discussion on what we've learned from the survey, why it matters, and what happens next. The evening will feature guest speakers from the survey leadership team, visual representations of the results, performances from local artists, and opportunities to connect to other community members and find out how to get involved. All are welcome to attend this free event on a topic which affects us all.
November is Family Violence Prevention Month in the City of Edmonton, while November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Edmonton and Alberta as a whole, has been plagued by extreme rates of domestic violence severely affecting families, workplaces, and communities. The majority of the most severe forms of this violence has been perpetrated by men against women. It is time to explore what this means for our city and province and what can be done to improve the situation at the level of primary prevention (addressing root causes) and interventions aimed at engaging men and boys in domestic violence prevention. Engaging men and boys in domestic violence prevention has been labelled as a priority by the provincial and municipal governments in working towards healthy and safe communities.
THE STORY OF THE SURVEY
The Alberta Men's Survey was developed through a community based research model led by the University of Calgary, with the goal of better understanding what men need in order to develop and maintain healthy relationships free of violence and abuse, and healthy personal well-being. The survey leadership team from Calgary connected with agencies and community members across the province to inform the development of the survey, eventually forming the leadership team composed of representatives from:
Edmonton/Evergreen Family Violence Committee
Calgary Immigration Women's Association
As well as inviting many others and welcoming others to join throughout the process.
Building the capacity of men to be leaders in gender-based violence prevention is long overdue since men are often seen as the source of violence, yet are rarely the target of capacity building and strength based interventions aimed at reducing gender-based violence. Research has shown that racism, discrimination, social isolation, poverty and domestic violence are inextricably linked and that these issues must be addressed in concert with one another. While there is recognition of the important role of men in family violence reduction initiatives, very little data exists in terms of what men need in order to build and sustain healthy relationships.
This lack of data contributes to the barriers men face accessing existing programming related to healthy relationships, as well as gaps in developing new services to address men's needs. The Alberta Men's Survey is a community-initiated collaborative project that started from pockets of conversation of men and their women allies regarding domestic violence, gender equality and masculinity. These groups of men and women from Calgary, Edmonton and other counties initially met on February 2014 and since then collectively worked together to mobilize other members of the community, agencies, and the academe to look into the issue, learn about community research, and participate in the whole research process.
From an initial core group of 27 men and women, the initiative grew to 70 individuals actively involved in the survey tool development, translation of the survey into four languages, development of the website, promotion and recruitment of participants, survey, encoding, analysis and this presentation. The survey/data collection started on July 8, 2015 and ended October 20, 2015. The Alberta Men's Survey Leadership Team believe that the results of the men's needs survey and the ensuing dialogues will increase the community's understanding of the needs, perspectives and strengths of the men in Alberta, leading to the removal of barriers to, and creation of preventative services for men. It will also provide the men with the opportunity to engage in open dialogue on healthy relationships and increase their awareness around domestic violence prevention.