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To end gender-based violence: ‘It’s a political act as well as a therapeutic one.’

Posted on: 26 November, 2020

Written by Clare Maryan, alongside the contribution by Phillip Price.

In the second part of our series we put the spotlight on a Cranstoun employee working to support the end of gender-based violence, Phil Price.

Phil Price, Cranstoun’s Service Manager for our Men and Masculinities programme, joined Cranstoun in December 2018. Phil has worked with men using violence and abuse for the last 20 years, the majority of the time working at DVIP. It was there he built up his knowledge and expertise working as a Violence Prevention Programme Worker. As a manager overseeing different violence prevention programmes, he built on his experiences by leading a great team. Before joining Cranstoun he spent some time working with Independent Domestic Violence Advisors and saw the amazing work they do with victims of abuse. It continues to resonate in his work today as to the importance of victim support and the need for greater, sustained funding.

Talking to Phil I got a sense of someone who feels, as a man, he is an intruder into the women’s space of this #16Days campaign. He doesn’t want to perpetuate patriarchy and that is reflective, for those that know and work with him, of how he presents himself: quiet, unassuming and respectful. Giving space to the voices of women who have experienced abuse is core to his beliefs.

Quiet doesn’t mean Phil is any less driven or motivated and he channels this through the meaningful work he does with men to promote the safety of women and children. His 20 years’ of working with men, evaluating the work and seeing the outcomes has shown him that men’s behaviour can change, they can be held to account and they can go on to have healthy relationships. This supports the narrative, rightly so, away from ‘why doesn’t she leave’ to ‘why doesn’t he change’.

Phil co-created the Men and Masculinities programme with Maria Cripps and the rest is history as they say (read more from our first spotlight article). He now manages this Respect-accredited and independently evaluated programme delivering in Sutton, Ealing, Hounslow, and Barking and Dagenham. So what does the 16 days of activism mean for Phil?

“A few years ago I attended a training delivered by the Women and Girls Network on working with victims from within a trauma-informed framework. There was one slide that I will never forget. It flatly and straight forwardly outlined the extent and severity of violence against women and girls across her life cycle. From FGM, sexual abuse, trafficking, honour based and economic abuse, domestic abuse and elder abuse. This is just the violence and leaves out all of the other systemic inequalities rooted in gender.

We can never stop campaigning.

I feel very privileged to be involved with and doing the work that I do. As described, over the years that I have been involved with Men and Masculinities, I have seen many individual men make massive changes, seen the traps they have set themselves, the harm they’ve caused and the intimacy they have lost.

I should add, however, I have also seen many men not change. This is why we would never work with a perpetrator without being able to offer support to his (ex-)partner. He may change, he may not, but the programme exists to promote the safety of women and children. It’s a political act as well as a therapeutic one.”

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