By: Zeinab Hijazi – International Medical Corps Psychosocial Coordinator, Lebanon
For many men in the Middle East, longstanding cultural beliefs and societal expectations such as income generation, social standing and ability to provide for one’s family, often lead to feelings of helplessness and/or abusive behaviors (psychological, verbal, and physical) that affect all members of the community. To prevent the cycle of family violence in the region, International Medical Corps, with support from the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, is providing unprecedented psychotherapeutic services for men.
As part of this program International Medical Corps will offer confidential, free services to men through the KAFA (Enough) Violence and Exploitation Organization’s clinic in Badaro, Lebanon. Men seeking resources will be able to consult with one of two psychologists to discuss how their abusive behaviors have negative effects on themselves and their families and to learn focused coping strategies.
Since many men are not able to identify or acknowledge abusive behaviors without intervention, outreach to men in the community will focus on services to relieve personal stress and anxiety, which is also a central goal for the service. Through the course of treatment, it is expected that men will be able to identify, take responsibility for and address any abusive behaviors for their best interest as well as the best interests of their family.
In collaboration with KAFA, International Medical Corps will disseminate brochures and the 24/7 clinic number (+961 3 3 010188) to promote The Male Clinic’s services where men can access psychological and mental health support services to establish positive and culturally-appropriate gender roles, improve their relationships and address conflicts effectively. The Male Clinic is an extension of the Listening and Counselling Center which is run and managed by KAFA.
Through The Male Clinic and KAFA, men can access a variety of resources and benefit from the therapeutic services provided. Moreover, the success of the clinic will enhance the lives of the women in these men’s lives. The hope is that these men will in turn become better role models for their sons and daughters, and learn to communicate in more effective and non-violent ways.
Men’s commitment to ending violence against women, and International Medical Corps and KAFA’s commitment to helping them achieve that, is a win for men and women in society, and the youth and future of Lebanon.