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Challenging Patriarchal Attitudes Among Latino Men

Founded in 1996, CECEVIM or Centro de Capacitación para Erradicar la Violencia Intrafamiliar Masculina (Training Center to Eradicate Masculine Intrafamily Violence) is a culturally appropriate intervention model for Latino men who are abusive to their partners.

CECEVIM’s theoretical foundation is based on three major constructs: 1) the application of feminist gender analysis which views patriarchal systems as destructive, oppressive, alienating and perpetuating inequality between men and women; 2) the adoption of an ecological framework for addressing domestic violence that takes into account the social, political and cultural forces that allow domestic violence to perpetuate, and 3) utilization of ancient native spiritual concepts to help men connect with each other, their families and communities and build healthier concepts of masculinity.

Using gender analysis, the program helps men to examine and change the patriarchal pacts that teach them to believe
they are superior to their partners, and then to use violence to enforce that superiority.

The CECEVIM program is divided into four phases of seventeen sessions each and classes are two hours long. Participants must pass a test before they can move on to the next phase of the program, and whether an individual has successfully passed the test is determined by the group rather than a staff member. CECEVIM is completely funded by participants’ fees, one of many vehicles by which the men learn to take responsibility for their violent behavior.

Throughout the program, participants learn to:

  • Identify the ways in which they are violent in their homes, why they become violent and strategies to stop being
    abusive; and

  • Create intimate, cooperative, supportive, democratic, and nonviolent relationships that are more consistent with a
    Latino collectivist cultural framework and far more satisfactory than relationships based on abuse of power.

The program is intended to be easily replicated and is not dependent on professionals but rather utilizes a peer education collective modality. Participants take primary responsibility for facilitating classes by presenting educational materials to newcomers, all group members provide testimony of past violent acts in class and help each other deconstruct old masculine identities that are based on patriarchal cultural mandates. As participants progress through the program they are offered opportunities to become class facilitators and peer educators so that the program can be replicated in other locations and communities.

The CECEVIM model resonates strongly with Latino men because it takes into account the impact of colonization,
internalized oppression and racism, among other forms of oppression experienced by men of color. The program has been replicated in Mexico, Latin America and various U.S. cities.

For more information visit www.cecevim.org.