Exercises and Activities

Exercises and activities listed are intended for organizations or individuals who do not have funding for a comprehensive program but would like to integrate and embed more primary prevention work into their current efforts.
Additional activities for youth can be found at End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin:

Bystander Intervention from Men Can Stop Rape Bystander intervention refers to a person deciding to voice their opinion about someone else’s language and/or behavior, thereby working to prevent violence or abuse. This activity provides participants with intervention strategies that they in turn apply to given scenarios. Consequently, participants discuss when, why and how they feel comfortable or uncomfortable intervening when they hear or see something inappropriate, hurtful, abusive or dangerous and leave the session equipped with the tools they need to intervene in the future. Reacting to the scenarios gives participants a chance to practice intervening in a safe environment and to witness the attempts of others.

Additional resources on bystander intervention available at: PreventConnectWiki and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
Causal Pie from the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (pages 12-13)
An easy activity to assist small or large groups of individuals to come to consensus as to why the Domestic Violence occurs within their community. Since there is no one reason why the violence occurs, communities must decide on the reason that the group feels is the most prevalent reason. For more information, click here.
Social Norms Pie Adapted by Theresa Kuehl of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services and Julie Andersen of Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence from the exercise “Causal Pie.” This one-hour activity helps communities or groups gain a shared understanding as to which social norms have the greatest impact as to why Domestic Violence occurs within their community/society.

Before and After Game from End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin (adapted from an exercise by CDC staff and the DELTA National Collaborative)

This exercise asks participants to form small groups to discuss different program strategies and where they fall on the continuum between intervention and prevention of domestic violence. Prevention and intervention are described with examples and participants are given activity cards which they place on the “game board” based on their analysis of the intent and outcome of the activity.
Continuum of Harm Exercise from Men Can Stop Rape & Domestic Abuse Intervention Services In this activity, participant’s place cards with different situations along a continuum that ranges from “not at all harmful” to “most harmful” to women. Interesting debates and discussions about gender, violence and their connections tend to result from situations that participant’s disagree on. The major point of the activity is to show participants how all of the situations, when viewed together, create and sustain violence against women and a rape culture. The exercise helps participants recognize that we must pay attention to both the intent and the impact of our actions. In addition, participants are encouraged to think about which situations would invoke a reaction from them and to break their silence the next time they are confronted with one of those situations.
Everyday Violent Language Exercise from the Ohio Network Against Domestic Violence & Mid Valley Women’s Crisis Services, Oregon Language is an extremely powerful tool that can be used to empower or oppress. Our language is full of commonplace violent phrases that people rarely think about when using them, like "give it a shot" or "when push comes to shove." Participants in this activity are asked to write down and share all of the commonly used violent phrases they can think of. After sharing the phrases, participants discuss the implications behind these phrases, especially in reference to prevention efforts.
Hot Dogs for Breakfast adapted from the work of Debby Zelli of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence “Hotdogs for Breakfast” is another in a series of prevention exercises that you can use with community groups, CCR teams, volunteers and staff. These exercises can expand the ways you teach about primary prevention, start conversations, and add participation and fun to meetings and presentations.
Netty Spaghetti Activity Addressing shared risk and protective factors is currently a major theme in primary prevention. Marie Kellermen at the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence created this Netty Spaghetti activity to enable participants to kinesthetically feel how intricately shared risk and protective factors connect social/public health problems of interest. After creating a living, breathing network map in this five-minute Netty Spaghetti activity, participants will walk away with a better sense of the power and potential of partnering with other (previously siloed) agencies/issues.
Sexual and Dating Violence Awareness Activity from Domestic Abuse Intervention Services
(DAIS) & Youth Services of South Central Wisconsin
In this 10 minute activity participants stand in a line and take a step forward if they answer yes to the statements about sexual and dating violence and sexual harassment (although they are not given labels).
Social Movement Victories by End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin This 15-45 minute activity takes a look at how each individual or organization can contribute to the change needed to end violence against women. The exercise guides participants to identify social change movements, link organizational or individual level work to these movements, and explore elements that have helped changes become permanent.
10 Hours of Walking in NYC 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman is a two minute clip showing verbal street harassment of a woman wearing street clothes in NYC. 10 Hours of Walking in NYC discussion questions can be found here.
Oppressed Majority Oppressed Majority is a short (11 minute) film which portrays a role reversal between men and women where a man is exposed to sexism and sexual violence in a society ruled by women. (Please note that the film contains some nudity.) Discussion questions for Oppressed Majority can be found here.
The-Act-Like-a-Man Box from "The Guide" by Rosalind Wiseman This exercise explores the unwritten rules of being a man and how much control “The-Act-Like-a-Man Box” has over their lives. It demonstrates how we all get caught learning to value a person who has more “in-the-box” characteristics and devalue a person who doesn’t.
Gender Role Boxes from the Oakland Men's Project This exercise can be a lead-in for discussion around multiple issues. The facilitator could concentrate on sexism and its relationship to domestic and sexual violence or use the exercise to look at how sexism, heterosexism and transphobia are related to one another.
Act like a Man/Act like a Lady from United States Institute of Peace This exercise invites participants to explore gender norms and the consequences we face when we go against them.
Exposing Gender Stereotypes by Men For Change This activity encourages students to develop their own critical intelligence with regard to culturally inherited stereotypes and images presented in the media. Students will look at their own assumptions about what it means to be a man and a woman.