We aim to build a new generation of male leaders who will model strength without violence and serve as positive change-makers in society – taking their communities from awareness to action.
We want boys to break the mould on the men our boys can be and be empowered bystanders in the prevention of violence in our community.
In our 2019 joint research study with IPSOS of 300 Singaporeans “Challenge the Apathy: Shedding Light on Domestic Abuse in Singapore”, 1 in 4 participants do not consider the behaviour of hitting a spouse to be domestic abuse. As such, the shifting of society’s perception towards zero tolerance for violence against women is sorely needed.
Violence against women begins in childhood. It is a manifestation of power and control and is used as a tool to maintain gender inequalities.
Studies have found that the development of intimate partner violence perpetration is linked to individual, family and peer factors that often merge or are experienced in childhood. Children are exposed to these social norms from their earliest interactions with their parents, other key people in their social environments, as well as social and cultural institutions (e.g. government, schools, faith-based organizations, media). This goes beyond the exposure to violence in childhood and includes, for example, the beliefs and attitudes that contribute to both the perpetration of violence against women and toleration of it.
The belief that it is socially acceptable for a spouse to hit his partner is influenced by the social norms around what it means to be a man and a woman in a society. The elimination of harmful gender norms and practices can only be achieved through the early engagement with boys.
Our aim is to involve boys and men of all ages and socio-economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds to be empowered individuals who can confront abusive peers and prevent violence in our society. To achieve these goals, we will combine public education through social media, advocacy and targeted workshops for boys between the ages of 12 to 16 years old.
Our initiative will invest in creating safe spaces for boys to unpack and examine the things that they have learned from our program about masculinity and what it means to be a man. The goal is to help boys to unlearn some of the notions that may lead to harm enacted toward others and toward themselves.
Underserved Boys – At-risk youths or boys in need in boys’ home, orphanages and shelters
School Boys – Boys in schools including home schoolers and madrasahs
Community – Community outreach through social media, influencers and community leaders