For men’s violence against women to end, men need to talk to other men about change and responsibility. At the same time, many men who are abusive, have often experienced their own traumas at the hands of their parents or society at large. An emerging voice in the effort to invite men to healing is Matt Brown, co-creator with his wife, Sarah Brown of the “She is Not Your Rehab” global movement.
Matt believes that because so many boys & men are traumatized & wounded in relationship with parents/caretakers, taking radical self-ownership of their own healing journey, their own behaviors is the best way to heal that trauma. This self-ownership never excuses abuse even when it recognizes the trauma & learned behaviors of abuse which can be an attempt to protect from pain & fear by inflicting pain & trying to control others.
In this conversation with Ruth and David, Matt a barber, speaker and author of the bestselling book, “She is Not Your Rehab,” talks about how he translated his own healing journey into a message of personal responsibility, behavior change and healing for men so they may step more deeply into connected, healthy, nourishing relationships which do not continue the cycle of violence.
Read the 7 Principles of the “She is Not Your Rehab” global movement
She is not responsible for your emotional rehabilitation.
Your healing is your responsibility and yours to take initiative for and manage.
Any healing needed for you, cannot come at the expense of her healing, health and wellbeing. (David & Ruth’s personal favorite!)
She can support you but she can never do more for you than you are prepared to do for yourself.
Regardless of what anyone has done TO YOU, it is now time FOR YOU to take ownership of your own life and be committed to living it wholeheartedly enough to do any work needed. Your childhood trauma wasn’t your fault but your healing IS now your responsibility.
True change comes from genuine growth. Growth happens once we heal. Healing starts when we begin to FEEL our pain.
Hurt people inevitably hurt people because what we will not transform, we transmit on those around us and healed people do indeed heal people. The question is WILL YOU have the courage to heal?
You asked, we answered. Amidst our current, global political and social upheavals, during movements, activism and testimonies, legal cases, fear and victim-blaming – we’ve heard your voice asking for clarity, insight and thoughts about how all of this is reflected in the Safe & Together Model. Many of the stories and news pieces we hear about from our partners all over the world involve complex questions, yet the beginnings of change and hope are based on the sound, simple principles of the Model.
To that end, in our new podcast, “Partnered with a Survivor,” S&T’s Executive Director and Founder, David Mandel and Ruth Stearns Mandel offer a raw and intimate glimpse into their personal and professional partnership and what it means to truly partner with a survivor, raise a family based on S&T principles and engage in social change at every level. This is a podcast for practitioners and parents, partners and employers, coworkers and friends – and anyone else who may want clarity, understanding, hope and healing.
What does it mean to give consistent consent? What is coercive control? How do you probably see it or feel it every day? This is a podcast you’ll wish you had heard when you were a teenager. In unsure, confusing times, it’s our goal to widen the audience for the Safe & Together Model-associated material to survivors, their family members, and even perpetrators. For professionals familiar with the Model, it will offer another angle on the issues addressed by the Model. For those who don’t know Safe & Together, it offers a connection to the themes and ideas behind the work.
These podcasts are a reflection of Ruth & David’s on-going conversations which are both intimate and professional and touch on complex topics like how systems fail victims and children, how victims experience those systems, and how children are impacted by those failures. Their discussions delve into how society views masculinity and violence, and how intersectionalities such as cultural beliefs, religious beliefs and unique vulnerabilities impact how we respond to abuse and violence. These far-ranging discussions offer an insider look into how we navigate the world as professionals, as parents and as partners. During these podcasts, David & Ruth challenge the notions which keep all us from moving forward collectively as systems, as cultures and as families into safety, nurturance and healing.
Note: Some of the topics discussed in the podcast are deeply personal and sensitive, which may be difficult for some people. We also use mature language to describe some feelings. Finally, we use gender pronouns like “he” when discussing perpetrators and “she” for victims for two reasons: 1.) statistically, more men are perpetrators than are women when it comes to domestic violence, abuse and coercive control; and 2. For clarity’s sake, sticking with one pronoun causes less confusion for the listener. We know there are many men who are in abusive relationships and we are not invalidating their situations.
About the podcasters: David and Ruth are committed to creating systems and cultures of nurturance and safety. David Mandel founded the Safe & Together Institute which trains systems in domestic violence aware practices from a child safety lens. Ruth Stearns Mandel is a survivor of complex abuse, child abuse and domestic abuse growing up in a cult. She is a former teacher and trainer using her experience to clarify messages and complexities around abuse and survivors.