This is very interesting. On one hand, the article makes the point that at least one woman was unnerved by the presence of the male volunteers when she first arrived at the shelter, given that all the men she’d known well had abused her.
But on the other hand, working with the male volunteers helped her learn that positive male role models exist and that she can trust men despite the abuse she’s suffered.
Involving men in domestic violence work also gives them skills and experiences that they can take back to their own lives and allows them to set an example for other men who may want to get involved in women’s rights advocacy.
Some research on this would be great. What are the outcomes for abused women who work with both male and female volunteers as opposed to female volunteers only? How do men who volunteer at shelters for abused women compare with men who volunteer for other causes?