Every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, men gather in GLIDE’s Freedom Hall to learn about the importance of intimacy. “Intimacy is the ability to listen and disclose. To be 100 percent attentive and respond authentically, rather than react,” says Ray White, GLIDE Security Supervisor and Men in Progress Facilitator.
Men in Progress is GLIDE’s violence cessation program for men and recently expanded from a once per week to a twice per week course, offering two phases of violence intervention education. This expansion is a testament to the success of the program, with several men completing the intensive 52-week Phase I course and moving on to Phase II.
The program is peer-facilitated, empowering men who have been in the program the longest – Senior Advocates – to impart personal knowledge and experience for the benefit of new participants.
Acknowledgement of one’s violence is at the base of Men in Progress. Hamish Sinclair, Men in Progress Facilitator shares, “We realize our violence separates us from our true selves and from those we love. So, the first step on the road to greater intimacy is to acknowledge the truth about our violence. Until we stop our violence, we can’t achieve the intimacy we seek.”
Often, men are surprised to learn the many ways in which they express their violence when they take a look at the list of coercive behaviors. Check out this partial list:
-Monopolizing shared space (playing loud music when your partner is reading
-Last-wording (always having to have the last word in a discussion or argument)
-Usually being late for appointments with your partner
-Walking away (a reverse chase)
-Withholding work that was promised (delaying start-ups and completions)
-Defining the truth (You don’t know what you’re talking about)
-Blaming something else for what you do (I just lost my job/I just started a new job)
-Mimicking your partner (imitating your partner’s tone of voice when he/she is angry)
-Running on (repeating over and over again what you have already made clear)
-Ignoring your partner
-Thumping, pounding or slapping objects in front of your partner
-Making abrupt forceful body movements in your partner’s presence
-Restricting your partner’s physical movements (sitting him/her down)
-Pushing your partner