Battered Husbands Support

Battered Husbands Support

United States
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Battered Husbands Support provides direct peer support to men who are victims and/or survivors of battering by their female partners.

About You
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Your idea
Year the initative began (yyyy)

1998

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Plot your innovation within the mosaic of solutions
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic:

This field has not been completed

Innovation
Describe your program or new idea in one sentence.

Battered Husbands Support provides direct peer support to men who are victims and/or survivors of battering by their female partners.

What makes your initiative uniquely positioned to create change in your community?

Battered Husbands Support was the first internet support group for battered men, and remains the only one that will accept any man who can access email and communicate in written English. Every other group either requires a higher level of technical resources (such as web access) or is more narrowly focused (such as providing a religiously-biased form of support). Our group is the only one which is accessible to anyone who can read English email, regardless of where, how, or what their personal religious or political views are.

We help men move from being victims of domestic violence to survivors, by peer support and guiding them to the few resources that are available to men.

Describe how you organize and carry out your work?

Our name ensures that we will appear in any search for online resources for battered men. Since we are an email-based support group, our members communicate constantly through the group, providing each other with a continuous flow of ideas and feedback. Our impact is measured by the men who have told us that our existence has made it possible for them to escape from abusive situations or even to escape death or serious injury at the hands of their female abusers.

What is your plan to scale and expand your innovation into your community and beyond?

Our first goal is to organize as a nonprofit corporation, so that we can organize more effectively, rather than relying on ad-hoc actions to bring about the support activities our members need.

Main Obstacles to Scaling Up: The two main obstacles to scaling up my program are:
Organizational: converting from an ad-hoc peer support group to a non-profit corporation that could expand into other areas, in addition to our central peer support focus, and
People: bringing together people who are able to devote more time and energy to the operation of the organization than we have to this point, so that it can expand its reach and effectiveness.

What other resources, institutional, or policy needs would be necessary to help sustain and scale up your idea?
Impact
Describe your impact in one sentence, commenting on both the individual and community levels.

By early 2007, at least 648 people had directly benefited from Battered Husband Support, with at least as many indirectly, due to the children whose fathers have been helped by our support.

What impact has your work achieved to date?
Number of individuals served

Of that 648, 229 are new members from 2006, who are receiving the first support that many of them have received - from any source - in their lives.

Community impact

Our direct peer support is the primary feature of our program, and therefore is the element which has the most effect on our members.

Society at large

By early 2007, at least 648 people had directly benefited from Battered Husband Support, with at least as many indirectly, due to the children whose fathers have been helped by our support.

Unfortunately, the cultural attitudes regarding domestic violence are still too anti-male for our support to have changed any policies, but because we exist, more men have been enabled to speak out about their experiences and give a voice to the destruction of their lives.

What measure do you use to gauge your impact and why?
Sustainability
How is your initiative currently being financed and how would you finance further expansion and/or replication?

Our program is entirely at no cost to any member. All of our members voluntarily assist each other, without any fee of any kind.

The initiative is financed entirely by the founder. In its current state, it is self-sustained, as it uses free mail/web hosting and therefore there is no monetary expenditure.

Provide information on your current finances and organization:
Who are your potential partners and allies?

When Battered Husbands Support was founded, there were no other groups to partner with. Since then, we have had representatives of Shattered Men and Stop Abuse For Everyone join the group as active members, but their role is the same as every other member - peer support.

Who are your potential investors?
The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

“In spring of 1998, I had finally come to recognize (with the help of several friends, all of whom told me that if I had treated her the way she treated me, I would be in jail) that my wife's treatment of me was abusive, and fled over 2,000 miles to get away from her. Once I had managed to get away from her, and was helped by a friend into getting a room where I could stay because there were (and still are) no shelters available for battered men in the city I fled to, I sought help from the local domestic violence agencies, only to be repeatedly steered toward programs for abusers, because they not only had no programs for abused men, but directly told me that there was no such thing as an abused man - only abusers trying to conceal their guilt. I realized then that I couldn't be the only man in my position, and so created Battered Husbands Support.”
- William Hartwell; Founder of Battered Husbands Support

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material.

Note: All responses in this entry form were originally compiled by William Hartwell; however Gordon Finley can be contacted regarding this initiative.

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