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Domestic Violence Activist Speaks in Spokane

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

One of the leading voices in the gender violence debate says men need to play a more vocal role in speaking out against domestic violence and people who abuse their partners.

Jackson Katz made the case to a large crowd at Gonzaga University Monday night and at a smaller gathering in Spokane on Tuesday.

Katz says men responded to the #MeToo intimate partner violence movement in three ways. Some enthusiastically embraced the message and looked for ways to advance the cause. Some were openly hostile, including those who attacked the masculinity of those who responded positively. And then, Katz says, there are the men in the middle, part of the #NotAllMen group.

“I think there’s a lot of potential with that category because these men aren’t in complete denial. They’re not openly hostile. They have some growth in front of them, but they are potentially moveable into the first category," Katz said.

He says advocates should focus their energy on educating those men. He was in Spokane in part to help local groups, such as the YWCA, strategize.

“There are an awful lot of people in this community, including powerful men, who said they were wanting to think about how they could go to the next step," he said. "The first step is to sit them down around a table, talk to women, like the women who run the YWCA, who are leaders in the community and have been at the forefront of this kind of work, and then figure out how we can work together, how we can collaborate. There’s so much potential.”

The YWCA is affiliated with a group called Good Guys, comprised mostly of men, to speak out against domestic violence.