Garth’s research into what #Me Too asks of men Posted 02.11.18 by Garth Baker

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Garth has had a new article published in the international Voice Male magazine on what #Me Too asks of men. This is the lead article in the magazine’s latest edition and it can be read at

This article summarises a much large research report Garth has written for New Zealand’s White Ribbon organisation for their campaign this year. It is publicly available from

New report on involving Pacific men Posted 29.08.18 by Garth Baker

Great to see a new report out about involving Pacific men in preventing violence. This references Garth’s paper Effectively involving men in preventing violence against women which is available here.

It’s clear that to prevent men’s domestic and sexual violence against women we need to connect with men, and this is best achieved by drawing on their identity and cultural values.

New research – how men can support #Me Too Posted 29.08.18 by Garth Baker

Garth has recently researched and written a report for White Ribbon NZ on how they can align with the #Me Too Movement.

The report generates new understanding as it discusses the development and impact of #Me Too, and argues it’s now up to violence prevention campaigns to build on the heightened public awareness and promote the specific actions #Me Too asks of men.

Men need to:
– Transform their ideas about masculinity to be more open, respectful and healthier.
– Lsten to and believe women’s experiences of men.
– Reflect on past behaviour and commit to being more respectful.
– Disrupt other men when they disrespect or threaten women.

There’s a link to the report here. This page also describes how this year’s White Ribbon campaign will action this research – this is what Garth’s working on right now.

While this report is for White Ribbon, it is valuable to anyone involved in preventing men’s violence against women.

What men can do to prevent sexual violence, and how can we promote this effectively Posted 06.06.18 by Garth Baker

Garth recently facilitated a webinar on What men can do to prevent sexual violence, and how can we promote this effectively.


This was for staff of sexual violence services and provided by their national organisation TOAH-NNEST.


Along with info Garth has developed over the last few years, there were new ideas about specific behaviour we want men to use.


You can view this webinar on


Garth notes, “While it’s easy to talk about male power and privilege, identifying and implementing strategies that actually change male behaviour is what will make a difference. Here’s how to do this”.


Wow! – ‘Raise Our Men’ film Posted 15.01.18 by Garth Baker

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Garth has been developing White Ribbon NZ’s brilliant Raise Our Men film.

The film is revolutionary – interviews with New Zealand men about their experience of male socialisation and changes they have made. It is informative, tells men’s personal stories and includes experts briefly introducing the issues. It is a positive story of hope.

The film was publicly released during the November 2017 White Ribbon campaign and was shown twice on Maori Television and in many other settings.

The film targets key risks for men’s violence against women; gender inequality; rigid gender roles; men tending to only express aggression; and males taking their masculine identity from their peers.

This reflects the ‘gender transformative’ approach Garth has worked on over the last ten years, particularly for White Ribbon’s Respectful Relationships campaign. He undertook the initial research and wrote the brief for the film producers, was interviewed for the film and has produced a discussion guide to accompany the film.

Professionals working with men have quickly realised the value of the film to prompt discussion about very relevant issues and have incorporated the film into their work.  “I hope the film has a long and varied life’ says Garth, “and gets into  many diverse settings to be used in new ways to promote positive male behaviour with as many men as possible. It really has that potential”.

The film can be seen here or contact White Ribbon if you want to use the film with a group – for free (via

Incidentally, the most similar film produced in New Zealand was the Expressions of Sexuality television programme about men’s sexuality that Garth was the researcher and interviewer for, 34 years ago. A big shout out to Allison Webber, the series producer, for such a brave project way back then.

“Hopefully it won’t take so long to get much more media exploring masculinity in a real and positive way” says Garth.

‘Developing respectful, healthy and happy men’ Posted 15.01.18 by Garth Baker

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Training for social workers

Garth facilitated a webinar for the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers in how social workers can develop respectful, healthy and happy men. This was part of their series on working with men.

It was an great opportunity to present the approaches Garth has been working on over the last ten years to a new audience, who’re in a position to make a real difference for men.

The timing, in early November 2017, was ideal to include some of the White Ribbon approaches and resources Garth has been involved in developing.

Participants rated the information and the facilitator as excellent, and enhanced their professional knowledge.

For members of the association, the webinar presentation is on your website.

Garth is available to present similar webinar and training.

Association of Social Workers

New advisory role for Garth Posted 20.03.17 by Garth Baker

Garth has recently been appointed to the government’s Expert Reference Group (for Sexual Violence Prevention). This voluntary role will advise the Sexual Violence Prevention Advisory Board and Ministerial Group on the viability and effectiveness of specific sexual violence prevention initiatives and activities. This will include whether proposed initiatives have an evidence base, are best practice, the potential for them to be scaled and targeted and if they will have an impact in preventing sexual violence. Garth was nominated for this role by White Ribbon NZ for his expertise in engaging men in effective violence prevention. “It’s men’s behaviour we really need to change to prevent violence so I’m looking forward to contributing towards our National Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy” says Garth.

New resource for fathers – to develop their son’s respectful sexual behaviour Posted 23.11.16 by Garth Baker

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As part of his continuing work with White Ribbon’s violence prevention campaign Garth has recently developed a totally new resource for fathers – to support them in building their son’s respectful sexual behaviour.

This grew out of white Ribbon’s research that found that most fathers were reluctant to talk about sexual consent with their sons. They were three times more likely  to talk to them about finding a job and nearly half never discuss this with their sons. When fathers have daughters, they’re twice as likely to regularly discuss sexual consent with them.Raising sons who respect graphic

Developing dads is a missed opportunity – and a new approach – to preventing violence. The new fathering toolbox gives strategies and approaches dads can use to develop their son’s respectful behaviour.

The toolbox, plus short videos about the top five tips are at

Other toolboxes Garth has developed for White Ribbon – on having a respectful relationship and how young men can start respectful relationships, are also available at that site.



Gender and policing – concept paper Posted 16.09.16 by Garth Baker

Garth recently completed a concept paper for the NZ Police’s Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme that works with the police organisations of Pacific countries.

The concept paper proposed action to ensure police staff: prioritise their investigation of domestic violence, take a victim-centred and human rights-based approach; and hold perpetrators accountable.

This is regardless of their personal views about gender, or of local traditions, religion or culture. The concept paper frames up action to be taken over the next five years to lift community trust in the police’s ability to prevent and effectively respond to domestic violence.  


New research – self defence programmes for young women Posted 08.06.16 by Garth Baker

Alison and Garth recently completed a literature review on the research into the effectiveness of self defence programmes for girls as a sexual violence and family violence prevention strategy.

This reviewed international and local evaluations to identify some ways to best manage these programmes. This was for the Ministry of Social Development and  is now available on their website –

‘Start With Respect’ toolbox for young men Posted 07.03.16 by Garth Baker

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Garth recently developed the ‘Start With Respect’ toolbox for young men.

This gave tips on treating women with respect and starting equitable relationships.

It was developed for White Ribbon and sits alongside the toolbox on respectful relationships that Garth developed last year.

White Ribbon’s posting on their Facebook page about the ‘Start With Respect’ toolbox has been viewed over 39,000 times,with over 1,000 likes.

It can be downloaded from



What makes self defence programmes for girls effective? Posted 11.01.16 by Garth Baker

Alison and Garth recently worked together on a literature review of what makes self defence programmes for school-aged girls effective for the Government.

An interesting project, especially as there was little research on these programmes for this group. There was more info on self defence programmes for US college students, and some on self defence programmes with mixed groups, including New Zealand programmes.

We were able to use the relevant info on best practice for school-based violence prevention work, and ‘respectful relationships education’. When this was pulled together we were able to identify some useful themes.


White Ribbon’s new campaign – check it out Posted 28.10.15 by Garth Baker

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Garth has been working with New Zealand’s White Ribbon organisation helping them develop a new campaign for this year.

White Ribbon is about men influencing other men to prevent violence towards women. This year they’re taking a new direction to promote respectful relationships and to also address sexual violence by promoting positive consent.

Large, dramatic posters will get the message out:

Garth has also developed a toolbox – possible a world-first at identifying the non-violent behaviour we want men to take.

This is a public document so please feel free to distribute it widely:

White Ribbon Toolbox 2015


Latest work during winter 15 Posted 03.08.15 by Garth Baker

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Garth has had a few work projects on the go during winter.

He’s working with White Ribbon helping develop their new campaign. This is moving along with advertising agencies now producing designs.

He is also designing a new training programme for the White Ribbon ambassador that will be delivered by elearning systems.

He’s also redesigning Friendship House ‘Samoan Living Without Violence Programme’ so it meets new Ministry of Justice requirements. This programme is based on Fa’aSāmoa cultural principles and values, and is delivered in the Samoan language.

He has also finished off designing a process that organisations can use to adapt the Friendship House ‘Living Without Violence Programme’ to their local environment and culture.

Garth is looking out for new projects – programme design or other creative work that turns a big idea into effective action. Get in touch if you know of anything.

Supporting White Ribbon to prevent men’s violence Posted 22.04.15 by Garth Baker

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Garth has recently been working with White Ribbon NZ to help them develop their messages for this year’s campaign. White Ribbon is an annual event for men to show they do not support any violence towards women. It involves a series of events around the 25th of November.

The White Ribbon organisation has run a couple of consultation workshops to hear what different people think are key messages they can use this year. Garth has made a presentation at each workshop on how to effectively involve men in preventing violence. You can see or download this presentation from the bottom of this page.

The presentation is based on the issue paper Garth researched for the NZ Clearinghouse on Family Violence (see his page on this website for where you can get this paper).

Garths presentation for White Ribbon April 15

What Gray Matter has been up to Posted 27.01.15 by Garth Baker

Late last year we spent two months in India.

Garth at the Men Engage conference, New Delhi, Nov 2014

Garth attended the Men Engage conference in New Delhi ( which focused on efforts from around the world to change gender attitudes of men.  This is a key aspect of violence prevention, alongside a range of health and development projects.

The remainder of the time was holidaying – trekking near Darjeeling and in Sikkim, and touring in Kerala, in the south of India. Kerala was a peaceful, laid back place and the tour involved something physical every day – cycling, walking or kayaking the famed backwaters. All great fun.

Garth has a range of violence prevention and mentoring projects for early 2015. This involves designing more programmes for men changing their behaviour.

This year Alison is focusing on research, report writing and editing, with a particular interest in helping NGOs meet their accountability requirements. She welcomes approaches from organisations who’d like some help

Gray Matter in early 2014 Posted 28.01.14 by Garth Baker

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In 2014 Garth will continue his violence prevention work and has a range of projects under way. This involves delivering training for Pacific police and community representatives on gender issues, and researching effective assessment and management of men referred to behaviour-change programmes. He’ll also continue to make presentations on effectively involving men in violence prevention, following on from the issues paper he wrote in 2013 for the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse (

Alison continues her work with the Families Commission on the Status of Families report and programme implementation. She is also working on a review of residential services for people with Huntington’s Disease. She maintains her interest in Pacific communities and working with NGOs, and she is happy to donate time to supporting them with monitoring and evaluation and report writing.

Both of us are enjoying cycling adventures over the summer.

Gray Matter in summer Posted 18.12.12 by Garth Baker

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Alison continues to work in Samoa, supporting two NGOs with their monitoring and evaluation. She’ll be there in January 2013. She’s also working on another report for the Families Commission, following her earlier work on vulnerable children.

Garth has finalised the ‘Living Without Violence Programme for Tongan men, which hopefully will start to be delivered next year. He also continues to provide management support to the project manager of the Respect all People Whakamana Tangata, youth violence prevention project. He recently presented a couple of conference workshops on promoting effective behavior change for men.

Garth’s is following up possible work for 2013 and is interested in any new projects.

Alison and Garth are looking forward to a summer of camping, tramping and cycling.

Alison and Garth in Snowy Mountains, Australia, Nov 2012

Gray Matter in early 2012 Posted 07.05.12 by Garth Baker

Alison is currently working on background papers for the White Paper on Vulnerable Children.

Garth spent much of early 2012 working with a home care provider in Hamilton and Tauranga. He was also away co-facilitating a ‘Sex and Ethics’ training programme.  He continues providing supervision services.

Both Alison and Garth have enjoyed keeping fit and getting out to enjoy the great Autumn:

Not sitting on the fence

Garth in Papua New Guinea Posted 28.03.11 by Garth Baker

Garth’s just back from running training with a group of 12 men in Lae, Papua New Guinea.

The 12 men are involved in promoting safer sexual health to other men. The training was about how they can effectively promote behaviour change, especially about violence to women.

The three day training developed the idea of Trupela Man, the Pidgin English term for true man. This useful term summarised the collection of healthy behaviour the men were promoting. Along with using condoms (Koap wantaim kondom), the men were promoting Tok nogat long bagaripim meri – say no to violence to women.

The training looked at the benefits  and costs of desirable behaviours and developed key messages to use with men. This is part of  a project to prevent HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) that is managed by NZ’s Family Planning. Garth will probably work with these men again in June and November.

Alison’s Recent Projects Posted 03.09.09 by Garth Baker

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Recent projects that Alison has been working on are working with the Families Commission on early intervention initiatives, and reviewing Fair Trade projects.

Putting Social Marketing Into Practice Posted 03.09.09 by Garth Baker

This year Garth completed a stage 3 university paper in social marketing. This is all about using marketing techniques to promote behaviour change. This was an extension of his work over the last few years with the RAP – Respect All People Whakamana Tangata project