Fathers under pressure: men’s emancipation for the prevention of domestic violence

Vaders onder Druk (Fathers under pressure) aims to combat domestic violence and child abuse by providing an outlet for fathers in Rotterdam. In addition, the focus is on strengthening positive behavioural alternatives for dealing with stress.

Stereotypical attitudes in society dictate that men ‘ought’ to be the breadwinner, that they are responsible for making the family financially stable, that they are independent and must solve problems on their own, and that men who show vulnerability or ask for help are seen as ‘weak’.
This contributes to fathers experiencing difficulties in the areas of work, income, debts, relationships, raising children and mental health. The corona crisis puts these values and their consequences under a magnifying glass, creating tensions within families that can lead to forms of domestic violence and child abuse.

Veilig Thuis is worried about the sharp drop in the number of self-reporters and the sharp increase in the number of phone calls from worried neighbours. Families that were just managing before the crisis, are not managing now.

Vaders onder Druk offers a place to let off steam, to exchange ideas with other men and to activate them in their environment and neighbourhood to prevent violence. The goal of Vaders onder Druk is:

  • Making the home situation of Rotterdam families safer by reducing stress;
  • Make fathers aware of their role as role models for their children;
  • Reach out to fathers at an early stage by offering a listening ear, information, advice, dialogue and training;
  • Referring fathers in an accessible way to resources, activities and support;
  • Redirecting the definition of masculinity towards equality, focusing on the caring side of men.

In cooperation with Dona Daria, SPIOR and SKIN-Rotterdam, we organise various activities: men cave dialogues, gentle-men workshops and masterclasses.

Register for the gentle-man workshops?

Click for the form here, or send a mail to patrick.


This project has been completed. View the factsheet with results here.

Final meeting

Rotterdam Fathers speaking up