Forms of Violence

  • Objective: To understand the forms of violence within a given context, affecting young men and women.
  • Materials/Preparation: Flipchart paper, idea cards, markers, tape or stones.
  • Participants: Gender-segregated groups of similar well-being groups.


This exercise is described in the context of a Masculinities and Violence workshop conducted with urban adolescent boys. It could, however, be adapted for use with other groups:

Following introductions or warm-up exercise, the facilitator asks participants to brainstorm the types of violence in their community. Each is written on either idea cards or flipchart.

Once a list has been developed, the facilitator asks participants to group similar forms of violence. Through the process, the facilitator may help to classify or categorize forms of violence as sexual, emotional, physical, etc.

For each type of violence, the facilitator probes into:

  • Where do different types of violence occur?
  • When is violence tolerated or not tolerated? Why?

Wrapping up the discussion, the facilitator may probe into the role or value of using violence and perception of violence within the community. Questions may include

  • What is the role or value of using violence to young men (power, pain, and pleasure)?
  • When is it acceptable to talk about certain types of violence and when is it not? Where are the silences and where are the bragging points?
  • For men who don’t use violence, what are the factors supporting and consequences related to that behavior?