GRWs New Direct Service–Men’s Domestic Nonviolence Program
By Patricia Cumbie, Communications Manager
November 9, 2020
We are excited to announce that Global Rights for Women has expanded its work to incorporate Pathways to Family Peace–a program aimed at achieving transformational change for male domestic violence offenders. Pathways to Family Peace will now be offered as a direct service of the organization.
The program is led by Melissa Petrangelo Scaia, Global Rights for Women’s Director of International Training, and creator of Pathways to Family Peace, and Jon Heath, the Director of Menswork, the Certified Batterer Intervention Program at the Family Violence Project. Both Scaia and Heath are recognized internationally for their groundbreaking work conducting men’s non-violence batterer intervention programming using videoconference technology.
Scaia and Heath (United States) pioneered a pilot project with Professor Nicole Westmarland and PhD candidate Rosanna Bellini (United Kingdom) to research whether or not men’s domestic violence offenders should be able to use videoconference technology for court-ordered education groups in January 2019.
During the Covid-19 crisis, this work became even more imperative for the continued safety of victims of domestic violence. To address the crisis, both Scaia and Heath acted quickly to share their expertise globally. In March, GRW partnered with the European Network of Perpetrator Programs to present on-line trainings to hundreds of participants from around the world on how to deliver these programs remotely.
Pathways to Family Peace uses the Duluth Model of abuse intervention, which identifies common coercive control tactics used in intimate partner violence to create the curricula for changing behavior. Because sessions are held virtually, it makes it easier for men from any location to attend a court-ordered class.
An important aspect of Pathways to Family Peace, and the work of Global Rights for Women, is that it is based on a victim-centered approach to solving the problems of domestic violence and creating systemic reform. Scaia said, “This is what we learned from the victims in our community and this is how we partnered with them to develop this strategy that works to solve a problem.”
“Men are part of the solution,” said Cheryl Thomas, Executive Director of Global Rights for Women. “We are committed to changing gender norms at all levels of society.”
Richard Ihrig, board chair of Global Rights for Women, said, “Abusive men must change how they think about and act towards women. Pathways to Family Peace is a step in the right direction.”
Patricia Cumbie is the communications manager for Global Rights for Women.