Statement on Non-Violence

The whole premise of men's group work is Non-violence - if we cannot make group a safe place to come, then men will not come, or will stop coming, and rightly so - this is not about subjecting ourselves to abuse.

Every man here, by taking his seat in this group,
commits to non-violence.

Signed by the members of this group:


The reason is simple:

Violence, threats of violence or intimidation and the resulting pain and wounds they cause are at the root of what keeps men separate and isolated from each other

Here in group, we are exploring a new way of being together and supporting one another that does not cause further pain and wounding.

This does not mean that we have to hide some of our feelings away; on the contrary -good group work is about validating, allowing and finding appropriate ways of expressing all of our feelings - 'appropriate expression of feelings' meaning we do not harm or abuse another person in any way.

If you 'feel' the need to be violent towards someone in group, perhaps the most appropriate way of dealing with it is to take a 'time-out' to cool-off, or release energy; this may take 5 minutes of stepping outside - it may take the rest of the meeting - or perhaps several meetings - until you find some clarity about what that violent impulse was about -perhaps a third party can assist you in naming your anger or rage and where it came from - and then returning to group when you can express your feeling appropriately.

If a man is unable to voluntarily take a time out - then the group collectively has an obligation to every individual man in the group to intercede to prevent an act of violence from occurring and require that man to step-outside and cool-off.

If violence or threats have occurred that man must be excluded from group until such time as all members agree on his return, and he is able to re-commit to non-violence, and to the intent of finding non-violent means of self-expression.

Non-violence is the fundamental basis of men's group work, without which it will be almost impossible to create a meaningful group process, and will almost certainly cause the group to collapse.