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Engaging Men in Ending Gender Violence



The movement to end gender violence has traditionally been led by women.  But this issue is one that affects everyone — and an issue that should concern everyone.  At Blackburn Center, we have always welcomed men to the table; in fact, both women and men worked together back in the 1970s to launch the agency.


Despite this history, we have not done enough to make a meaningful place for men, to include men’s voices in a consistent, visible way.  Risk reduction strategies that focus on how women and girls can avoid abuse or sexual assault are not sufficient; we need to do more to get to the roots of gender-based violence.  One way to do this is to engage men to help us challenge cultural norms and the institutions that reinforce harmful attitudes. 


Although most men are not violent towards women, many men do not recognize either their responsibility or their ability to help fight domestic and sexual assault.  We need to change this!  The participation of men is absolutely essential if we hope to move from helping some people avoid or recover from violence to actually ending gender violence.  


Research shows that 88% of men think that our society should do more to respect women and girls, and that 57% of men believe that they personally can make at least some difference in preventing domestic violence and sexual assault. Our goal is to provide education and support to help men in Westmoreland County mobilize for change.


By working with men, we can help to build new models of masculinity and manhood which reject gender violence and help to build respect for women.  We can teach men how to stop violence — not only by refusing to participate, but by challenging other men who do participate in it and by challenging ideals and attitudes that support violence against women.  We can also work with men in positions of power in Westmoreland County to educate them about gender-based violence and gain their support for our mission. We want to empower men in our community to take an active role in ending domestic and sexual violence. 


One way that men can participate in our mission is to “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”  each year — a visible way for men to support the mission to end gender violence.  Beyond the walk, men can join us in our latest campaign, “It’s About the Journey” by signing our pledge against gender violence and actively committing to the principles espoused in it.  Men can also volunteer for Blackburn Center in a number of capacities, and participate in Blackburn Center events throughout the year.  Together, we can work together to make Westmoreland County a safer and healthier place for ALL residents!



Where Do I Start?


I want to join the Blackburn’s mission to end gender violence.  Where do I start? 


  • Click HERE to sign the pledge!  




  • Make a difference by supporting and/or participating in Blackburn Center events, including Walk A Mile in Her Shoes.


  • Talk to friends and family members about Blackburn Center’s mission, and invite them to join you in your work to end gender violence!


  • Invite us in to your workplace or community group to do a presentation

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