About Rus Funk

You want to make a difference.

Rus Ervin Funk, MSW, CSE is a consultant, trainer and activist specializing in working with organizations, campuses and communities. His efforts focus on helping create systems level transformation that enhances the ability to meaningfully support men and boys, in ways that promote and advance gender, sexual and racial equity and justice.

Rus is a long-time activist and community organizer focusing on anti-racism, and gender justice. He has more than 30 years experience in mobilizing men to end gender based violence, providing therapeutic and other support services to men and boys, and working with communities, campuses and organizations. Rus focuses on integrating intersectional practices in his efforts.

He is the co-founder of DC Men Against Rape (now Men Can Stop Rape, Inc.), MensWork: eliminating violence against women, inc., the Own It Initiative (a project of the Center for Women and Families), the Ohio Men’s Action Network, White Folks Against Racism, the People’s Coalition for Justice and much more.

Rus serves on several national and transnational boards. He is  a co-founder and currently serves as Secretary of the Board of the National Center on Sexual and Domestic Violence is a co-founder of the North American Men Engage Network (NAMEN – a US and Canada network of efforts to engage and organize men to promote gender equality and gender justice) a where he currently serves as Chair of the Policy Advocacy Committee, is co-founder of the Intimate Partner Violence Council and much more.

Rus has worked with the state of Kentucky on an effort to establish meaningful access for men and boys at all domestic violence agencies, the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence on efforts to engage in men in supporting safe and nurturing environments, with Metro Louisville to develop a comprehensive efforts to intervene and prevent men from sexually exploiting women and other men, and as a trainer with the Office for Victims of Crime.

Rus is currently working with the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to develop the “Because We’re Dads” Campaign; The Ohio Domestic Violence Network to develop a series of programs on supporting Fatherhood efforts; the MenEngage Alliance on developing tools based on their current Symposium; and with the Metro Louisville “Community Shield” Initiative on a community assessment to improve their ability to meaningfully meet the needs of children who have been exposed to violence.

Rus has also written extensively. In 1993, Rus wrote the first book in the US, by a man, for men about stopping rape (Stopping Rape: A Challenge for Men, New Society Publishers).

Some of his recent publications include:
• “The Role of adult pornography in intimate partner sexual violence perpetrators’ offending” (with Walter S. DeKeseredy) in Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: A Multidisciplinary approach to prevention, recognition and intervention (2017) Ed by Louise McOrmond-Plummer, Jennifer Y. Levy-Peck and Patricia Easteal. Routledge Press (pp 134 – 142).
• “Addressing and combating intimate partner sexual violence” (with Lundy Bancroft) in Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: A Multidisciplinary approach to prevention, recognition and intervention (2017) Ed by Louise McOrmond-Plummer, Jennifer Y. Levy-Peck and Patricia Easteal. Routledge Press (pp 179 – 189).
• “Men’s Work: Men’s voices and actions against sexism and violence.” in Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community. (2008) Vol 36: 1 – 2; (pp 155 – 171).
• “Be realistic, Demand the impossible: Taking action against pornography” in Pornography: Driving the demand in international sex trafficking (2007) ed by Captive Daughters Media.(pp 346 – 381).

Rus lives in Louisville, KY with his partner, their 11-year old child, and cat who belongs to himself. He enjoys writing, baking, tending his roses, bike-riding, hiking, and photography.

A History of Success

  • In 2020, I worked with the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to launch the “Because We’re Dads” Initiative.
  • In 2017, I co-founded the Policy Advocacy Committee of NAMEN to begin providing a visible presence in of male engagement practitioners in the policy advocacy space.
  • In 2014, I began coordinating the Own It Initiative of the Center for Women and Families (as a result of the merger between MensWork and CWF). In less than 6 months, I grew the email list from 35 to 750 and helped them to initiate 2 male engagement strategies. In 2015 we organized the inaugural “Male Voices Against Violence” breakfast that drew more than 150 people (mostly men) to learn how they could speak out against gender-based violence.
  • In 2012-2013, I worked with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence to create the Ohio Men’s Action Network (Oh-MAN) to help support efforts to engage men in boys at the local level across the state.
  • In 2011-2012, I co-organized the North American Men Engage Network (NAMEN).
  • In 2011, I co-founded the Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Coordinating Council,  to enhance the capacity of state/territory domestic violence coalitions and community-based domestic violence programs to advance a comprehensive national prevention agenda and broaden support for its full implementation at the national, state, territory and local levels.
  • In 2007, I wrote Reaching Men:  Strategies for Preventing Sexist Attitudes, Behaviors and Violence (Jist Publications) which has become a key resource for programs working on gender based violence about how to effectively talk with men and boys.
  • In 2006, I co-founded MensWork:  eliminating violence against women inc., a community based organization in Louisville, KY that became a national model of engaging men in efforts to end gender based violence.  in 2014, MensWork merged with the Center for Women and Families, and became the Own It Initiative.
  • In 1999, I became a founding board member of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence.  I continue to serve as the Board Secretary.
  • In 1993, I wrote Stopping Rape:  A Challenge for Men (New Society Publishers).  The First book written by a man for men about ways that men can stop rape and domestic violence.