The Training Institute for Mobilizing Men (TIMM) came to a close on May 20, 2009 with a final gathering that took place in New York City.

The eight participating coalitions (Idaho, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Texas) and their community partners spoke thoughtfully with the social change organizations that offered them technical assistance during this two year process: Men Stopping Violence and A Call to Men. Representatives from the Office on Violence Against Women, the sponsoring entity, were also present supporting the work of the TIMM Initiative.

The TIMM Initiative sought to reinforce the work of domestic violence coalitions in engaging men and boys through community partnerships to end violence against women. Each coalition was paired up with a representative from either A Call to Men or Men Stopping Violence. The technical assistance coalitions received from these organizations varied depending on need. Some of the struggles that were shared about the kind of technical assistance people received included discussions on privilege based on gender, race and sexual orientation. Another challenge that was presented was the issue of accountability to women and following women’s leadership. Men Stopping Violence and A Call to Men worked with coalitions and community partners to help them work through these issues to strengthen their collaborations.

There were many lessons learned as a result of this process. Men Stopping Violence will be providing a final draft of those lessons to groups interested in engaging and mobilizing men. In brief, some of the lessons learned included:

1.) The assumption of using a heterosexist paradigm when engaging men and boys needs to change.
2.) There is a great need for national organizations that engage and mobilize men and boys to work collaboratively to build a stronger branch of the violence against women movement.
3.) A greater understanding of why statewide domestic violence coalitions do not seem interested in engaging men and boys to end violence against women needs to be found.
4.) It is necessary to work in real solidarity with women in order to further the VAW movement. What does true solidarity look like?

TCFV benefited from the technical assistance of John Trammel from Men Stopping Violence who helped them in framing and editing their Guide to Engaging Men and Boys in Preventing Violence Against Women. This guide will be available electronically in the Fall of 2009