YOUNG MEN’S WORK: BREAKING THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE (SESSION P)
Young Men’s Work is a group discovery process where male youth, 9-13 years, develop an understanding of gender violence and the cultural costs of male training. An adult male survivor inspires them to break the cycle of violence in their generation.
Young men are proclaiming victory over childhood maltreatment and exposure to domestic violence. In the context of a small group, the adult male first voice co-facilitator shares his compelling story of trauma, survival and victory in overcoming the adverse impact of childhood abuse.
Over the course of 15 weeks, youth gather together weekly to engage in a process of self-discovery, learning and empowerment; voicing their thoughts, feelings, core beliefs and ideas in the safety of the group. They have an opportunity to explore and celebrate their individual traits and strengths that make each one unique through creative activities and role plays. They learn strategies for self-care, emotional self-regulation, healthy relationships, effective interpersonal communication, skill acquisition and increased self-efficacy. They develop an awareness and understanding of gender violence power, private and public danger, high risk behaviors and the cultural costs of male training. They will be able to acknowledge, describe and understand how violence affects young females and how they can safely intervene, becoming their allies. They will be able to differentiate between leaders and bullies developing an action plan for staying safe, empowering bystanders and getting help when violence erupts. Through skills development they are able to interrupt violence pledging to break the cycle of violence in their generation.
Weekly sessions provide youth with new methods to strengthen their capacity to resist violence by expressing, processing, and validating their grief as a prerequisite to a cathartic release of rage, pain and injustice. Confrontation in this sense shapes and creates rather than attacks and destroys. Youth will also understand how connecting with their community creates a catalyst for resilience. Youth will learn that survivors of violence have a distinct shared experience on which to build a network of pro-social support. This network constitutes a community of youth that will stand on behalf of their generation to break the cycle of violence.