The Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence created Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence. Shift's goal is to significantly reduce and prevent domestic violence in Alberta. The name Shift represents the spirit of this innovative project designed to create transformational change using a primary prevention approach to stop first-time victimization and perpetration of domestic violence. In short, primary prevention means taking action to build resilience and prevent problems before they occur.
The purpose of Shift’s research is: to contribute to building a primary prevention framework in Alberta; and to enhance the capacity of policy makers, systems leaders, clinicians, service providers and the community at large, to significantly reduce the rates of domestic violence in Alberta. We are committed to making our research accessible and working collaboratively with a diverse range of stakeholders, to inform and influence current and future domestic violence prevention efforts, through the perspective of primary prevention.
Men have a role to play in the prevention of violence against women; however, there is increasing awareness that the social service sector has failed to adequately engage men in violence prevention programming and advocacy. This study used semi-structured interviews to explore the challenges that a sample of Canadian violence prevention practitioners and organizations face in engaging men in preventing violence and generating practice recommendations for what is needed to better equip practitioners. At an organizational level, findings indicate that more capacity-building around emerging research, strategies, and tools in working with and engaging men in the prevention of violence is required. Challenges around recruiting male staff, in what is primarily considered a female-dominated profession, were also noted. Practitioners also discussed the role of masculine gender norms as barriers to men’s help-seeking and engagement in violence prevention advocacy. Recommendations include expanding social work curriculum and training to include information and resources on working with men, as well as increased research on best and promising practices to support organizations and practitioners in their engagement efforts.