What are we doing?
What we think needs to be done:
Centring and amplifying survivors: We need those who have experienced harm (be that sexual violence, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, rape or male violence) to be leading on and informing the decisions made and work we do around this. We need to be bringing intersectionality into the discussions.
We need to centre, consult and platform survivors and our experiences in campaigns and all media around this issue. Currently this rarely happens. Instead we see unrealistic and harmful portrayals of both survivors and perpetrators (and rape culture in general) which disconnects us from understanding the real issues.
Change who is in focus: We are still portraying male violence as a “women’s issue”. We still use language like “violence against women” as opposed to “male violence”. While there has been some movement more recently to reframe it as a men’s issue and encouraging men to take more accountability and action, there needs to be more done to shift towards this.
Bring men into the conversations: We need to be discussing the issues collectively. We need men in these conversations; leading on some of the conversations and listening in others. We need men to hear from those most affected and understand the impact and scale of the problem. We need to listen to men to understand how patriarchy and sexism impacts them. We need to understand the expectations it places on masculinity and how harmed men are by this – particularly in terms of mental health, male suicide and male violence towards men.
Men taking action: We need to collectively empower men to understand what they can do, know how to hold each other accountable and see how to model positive masculinity.
Offering alternative narratives: We need to see campaigns that challenge the stereotypes of one-dimensional victims/survivors and perpetrators. We need to offer diverse and varied representations of what someone who has experienced harm might look like and what someone who has caused harm might look like, so that people can better relate to these experiences. We need to see this in our media; in film, tv, radio, journalism, podcasts, art, literature. We need to show that a victim/survivor can be anyone, and that anyone can cause harm.
What we currently do:
We start by listening directly to those who are central to male violence and rape culture: through conversations, research and learning spaces we listen to those most impacted and most connected to these issues – through being harmed or causing harm.
SLEEC’s work is:
We are developing and undertaking different types of research and conversations looking to deeper understand the roots of male violence and its impact.
Within this we are also exploring alternative forms of justice, ways men can hold each other accountable and use their privilege/power/platforms to take action.
We are working to conduct research with groups of survivors across the whole of the UK to understand from the perspective of those with lived-experience the current challenges, experiences and needs. Check here for latest events and call outs.
We started research with men last year, exploring where male violence comes from, how to prevent it and what community accountability and alternative justice can look like. Check here for latest events and call outs.
Education: We run a diverse range of training (including tailored in-house training) as well as courses for men where we work with them to explore the root causes of sexism, misogyny and male violence.
Informing campaigns and media platforms: Platforming and centering the right voices
We offer consultancy on campaigns, projects and media around male violence, rape culture and survivors experiences and representation.
We have a wealth of knowledge and lived experience as survivors, as well as individuals who have worked extensively in the rape and sexual violence/male violence sector, the criminal justice system, campaigns and in the media itself. We offer specialist advice and support.
If you would like to consult with us for your project or work, please get in touch and we can discuss your needs.
Campaigning for better representation of those harmed and involved in male violence:
We campaign to dismantle harmful narratives and stereotypes and change the language and conversations around rape culture and male violence. If you would like us to speak at your event or platform about any topic around male violence and rape culture get in touch.
Our Survivor Network: We are currently setting up a national network of survivors across the country who want to speak out on issues around male violence and rape culture as well as lived-expeirence of intersecting oppressions.
Our network includes our Consult Survivors Community of over one hundred individuals, which was set up to offer advice, ideas and feedback in the work that SLEEC does. If you would like to request advice, ask questions or use this community for consultation in your own work then get in touch.
Our community is made up of survivors from across the UK. We currently hold meetings online.
The Disobedient Survivors: A space to hold unfiltered and honest conversations on topics rarely discussed in mainstream media, TDS is a blog and a podcast platforming different ideas, experiences and perspectives. It exists to unpack the complexities within male violence and systems of support, while offering alternative ideas, dreams and possibilities of what needs to change.
Supporting those harmed by male violence:
The Resilience Fund – Our fund for survivors of sexual violence is where SLEEC started. We believe recovery shouldn’t be a luxury.
Set up as a mutual aid fund, The Resilience Fund provides mini grants of up to £20 to survivors of sexual violence and assault. This can be spent on whatever someone needs, wants or desires; we don’t determine what that looks like for someone’s healing, recovery or wellbeing.
Online Survivor-Led Support Space – From listening to the needs of our community, we built our free-to-access online mutual support space. It particularly centres those that have felt previously excluded from the wellbeing world. The group meets every two weeks and is currently a closed group. The space is facilitated but led and shaped by those within it; too often support spaces are predetermined by someone else.