Emily Mason wrote -I have spent the past 15 months volunteering with RAVEN Non-Violence Education. They have provided me with invaluable experience, and have given me the freedom to conduct original research as an undergraduate student. RAVEN really has been an essential part of my educational and personal experience over the past year.Please see below for a description of the RAVEN program.
RAVEN strives to foster peaceful relationships, families, and communities by increasing self-awareness, challenging abuse and control, teaching alternative behaviors, and promoting personal responsibility.
We are the 2nd oldest program of our kind in the US, founded in 1979 by a collective of men who had become too familiar with women in their lives suffering at the hands of an abusive partner. At RAVEN, while we technically serve the men who have been abusive, we truly see our "clients" as the women and children affected by their violence. RAVEN is in partnership and solidarity with domestic violence/sexual assault service agencies in St. Louis that work to support and empower women and children survivors of abuse and violence. In line with the feminist-rooted Duluth Model, (and the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence) we operate from the premise that violence against women is based in the institutional imbalances of power between men and women, in sex-role stereotyping, in gender-based values, and in misogyny.
RAVEN conducts adult men's violence intervention groups five days per week focused on exploring abuse, violence, physical/sexual violence, denial, accountability, triggers, power and control, beliefs and entitlement, as well as parenting, respectful communication, and developing a plan for non-violence in all relationships. Our programming is currently 48 weeks in length and the only program in the region to operate on a sliding scale and to offer work exchanges wherein our clients can do housekeeping at RAVEN to cover the cost of some of their programming. We have the ability to serve Spanish and French speaking clients on-site with a voluntary interpreter.
RAVEN offers a 15 week violence prevention program for youth (ages 12–17) providing group education on assertive communication, dating violence, healthy relationships, etc. along with the tools and skills necessary to avoid the use of abuse and violence in all settings. We have contracts to provide services at Riverbend Family Ministries, St. Vincent Home for Children, and for the St. Louis City Family Court, but we are open to customize youth non-violence education appropriate in topic and length for a variety of settings should there be interest from other community organizations.
WHAT SETS RAVEN APART:
RAVEN staff and volunteers are highly engaged in the movement to end violence against women through participation in multiple committees within the St. Louis Ending Violence Against Women Network (SLEVAWN), college campus involvement, community speaking engagements, batterer intervention research, and volunteerism at local victim-serving agencies.
In order to continue to provide these essential services, as well as support my research project, RAVEN is in need of additional funding. This organization has been a second home for me for the past year, and I have every confidence in the work that they are doing. Please join me in supporting this amazing organization!