Throwing domestic violence victims to the wolves


 

The Guardian’s front page story yesterday made depressing reading on every score. The impacts of the coalition government’s austerity package have tended to fall disproportionately and viciously upon the most vulnerable, those least able to fend for themselves and kick up a fuss. Few acts look more callous and heartless than turning one’s back on victims of domestic abuse in order to square the annual balance sheet.

Within the sorry litany of bad news, perhaps the most depressing spectacle was witnessing advocates for one group of abuse victims throw another group of abuse victims to the wolves. I refer of course to the journalist Sandra Laville and interviewees from women’s organisations attributing their dire situation to the need to provide services to male victims too.

Specialist safe houses for women and children – which were forged out of the feminist movement in the 1970s – are being forced to shut by some local authorities because they do not take in male victims.

The change in focus has been devastating for the Haven in Coventry, a charity which has run the city’s women’s refuges for 43 years, but is fighting for survival after its service was decommissioned by the council in favour of self-contained accommodation units and new accommodation for male victims.

The Wolverhampton Haven, which has run the refuges for 41 years, is having its funding from the city cut by £300,000 and – as it struggles to maintain services – has been forced to reserve some of its places for men, even though it has had no male referrals to the accommodation so far.

 

Horley called for an urgent review of the commissioning process across the country and criticised the focus on male victims as deeply flawed.

“The vast majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women,” she said. “Of those who experience four or more incidents … 89% are women.”

 

If I may borrow a line from Sandra Horley, the focus on male victims is indeed deeply flawed. Let’s begin with some perspective. Last night I contacted Mankind Initiative, the only national charity that specifically represents male victims of domestic abuse. They obviously need to know about availability of services around the country.

As of this morning, there are a grand total of 58 refuge places around the country that can be used by men. Only 13 of those are specifically reserved for men, the others can be (and usually are) taken up by women. By contrast there are around 4,000 refuge beds for adult women, 7,000 that can be used by women and/or children. The total number available for men is actually slightly lower than it was five years ago. Another way of thinking about this is that even if it were still true that women are 89% of those victimised six times or more (a statistic from 2001, by the way), men would represent one in nine of those victimised repeatedly, two in five of those subjected to incidents of severe violence, and are able to access fewer than one in 100 available refuge beds. To blame the shortage of facilities for women on the availability of services for men is not just misleading, it is downright perverse.

A casual reading of the Guardian’s piece would lead one to believe that charities are being forced to provide services for men which are then not being used. There is not a shred of evidence that this is true.

The specific example given is Wolverhampton Haven which is being ‘forced to reserve some of its places for men, even though it has had no male referrals to the accommodation so far.’ Wolverhampton Haven has not had any referrals so far because it has not offered any services to men so far. If one looks at their website, it clearly says at the top and bottom of every page that they offer services to women and children.

I contacted Wolverhampton Council, who told me:

Wolverhampton City Council has a contract in place to support both female and male victims of domestic violence. We don’t specify the number of each gender that should be supported – the service is expected to respond according to demand.”

The new contract was negotiated with the Haven last December. The charity has yet to initiate any services for men, has yet to advertise any services for men, and is showing no apparent readiness as yet to accept referrals of male victims.

Meanwhile down the road in Coventry, the Haven is “fighting for survival after its service was decommissioned by the council in favour of self-contained accommodation units and new accommodation for male victims.”

What has happened in Coventry is that the council has increased their budget to support victims of domestic violence by £250,000 per year, a rise of around 25%. That’s right, a rise. The contract has indeed been lost by Haven but the (unnamed) body that is taking it on is offering increased refuge provision from 40 units to 54 – an increase of 33% in beds. I don’t know what proportion of those will be taken up by men, but I would bet my house that they will account for fewer than 14 of them.

Last night I spent some time online, imagining I was a male victim of domestic abuse in Wolverhampton or Coventry and looking for local help. I found nothing. Literally nothing. At some point in the future, I hope I will be able to repeat the exercise and discover that yes, there is an organisation that is willing and able to help, whether with outreach and support, counselling and advice or, at the most desperate last resort, a bed for the night. As someone who has worked, advocated and volunteered for male victims, I refuse to be made to feel guilty about that.

The cuts being imposed upon the domestic abuse support sector, as a whole, are savage and shocking. Responsibility lies squarely with the coalition government and their austerity policies, despite being delegated to unfortunate local authorities. The only decent, human response must be for everyone who genuinely cares about and cares for victims of abuse to stand as one, oppose cuts, support victims and fight our corner. I wholeheartedly agree with Polly Neate of Women’s Aid that the domestic violence strategy (and its funding) should be national and co-ordinated, and so too should the sector. To see women’s groups exploiting the current austerity cuts to exercise their longstanding resentment about provision of (even the most paltry and inadequate) services to male victims is a gruesome and ignominious spectacle.

Comments

  1. says

    Ally, many thanks for this piece, which we’ll link to now. One aspect often overlooked in this debate is that male victims of IPV who take a refuge place face the serious risk (not often faced by female victims of IPV) that they’ll never live in their homes again, nor ever see their kids again. Indeed the fear that if they leave the home their kids will be subject to more abuse is also a prime reason deterring men from leaving abusive partners. More shelter places won’t help these men, sadly, it will take more.

    We recently challenged Polly Neate (CEO, Women’s Aid) to retract seven lies / misleading statements made by one of her spokeswoman. Needless to say she declined to do so, even though most of them were lies / misleading statements that WA spokeswomen have long uttered with monotonous regularity e.g.an average of two women a week are being killed by partners or ex-partners. I believe many years ago 103 women were killed one year, so this became the cherry-picked stat for eternity, never challenged by interviewers, although there’s been a steep decline in the number of women killed by partners and ex-partners over recent decades.

  2. Carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg

    “At some point in the future, I hope I will be able to repeat the exercise and discover that yes, there is an organisation that is willing and able to help, whether with outreach and support, counselling and advice or, at the most desperate last resort, a bed for the night. As someone who has worked, advocated and volunteered for male victims, I refuse to be made to feel guilty about that.”

    A genuine query, coming from someone who simply doesn’t believe that refuge places are as desperately needed for men as they are by women: what services, on a national and local level, do you think would msot effectively (and economically advantageously – sadly a facror) serve male victims?

  3. Carnation says

    PS to avoid a potential de-rail, I’ll add a caveat to what I said above: I believe provision is desperately and scandalously lacking for men. But I also believe a “one gender approach fits all” approach will be absolutely counter-productive. As with other types of abuse, men find it harder to acknowledge and accept their vicimising and to seek help. This is where I see the greatest and most immediate need. For now, anyway. Non-criminal controlling relationships can be emotionally and mentally devastating – men suffer from this often without realising it. Awareness is key (that’s just one example that sprung to mind).

  4. Ally Fogg says

    Carnation (2)

    A genuine query, coming from someone who simply doesn’t believe that refuge places are as desperately needed for men as they are by women: what services, on a national and local level, do you think would msot effectively (and economically advantageously – sadly a facror) serve male victims?

    There is no one answer to that. People have different circumstances and different needs. I’d agree that it is quite rare for a male victim to want (or need) refuge provision but occasionally it is essential and there should be some kind of provision there.

    I’d hazard a guess that the most value can be attained from victim support, advice and guidance services.

    But I think the single biggest change would be a change in attitude, so that male victims right throughout the police, social services and judicial systems are not treated as an aberration or an afterthought.

  5. Paul Jackson says

    ‘To blame the shortage of facilities for women on the availability of services for men is not just misleading, it is downright perverse’.

    Perhaps blatantly mendacious and misandric would be nearer the truth.

    Do we need any more evidence that Neate, Horely and their ilk are man-hating feminist ideologues, who are the last people who should hold power and authority over organisations, which have the purpose of dealing with domestic violence?

    Not only does their ideology lead to what you rightly call ‘paltry and inadequate’ services for male victims of IPV, it also wilfully ignores the huge numbers of female perpetrators, with terrible consequences for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of children.

    It’s not just funding that is needed, but a root and branch reform of D.V. charities including the removal of Neate, Horley and others from their positions.

  6. Carnation says

    @ Peter Jackson

    “Do we need any more evidence that Neate, Horely and their ilk are man-hating feminist ideologues”

    I’m afraid it isn’t remotely that straight-forward. Their views are the views of the population in general. I also have no doubt that they sincerely believe what they are saying.

    The third sector is, unfortunately, full of people zealously protecting their funding and their provision. To know and understand this sector is to, at a stroke, dispel a lot of conspiracy theory

  7. Paul Jackson says

    @Carnation

    ‘I also have no doubt that they sincerely believe what they are saying’.

    Really? So you believe that they are so mentally incompetent that they can claim that although men make up 11% of IPV victims who are victimised 6 times or more, that the provision of less than 1% of shelter places for men, is too much and compromises the provision for women.

    So they are either bigots or idiots.

    Either way they shouldn’t be in charge of multi-million pound charities, which are heavily funded by the tax-payer.

  8. Carnation says

    “So they are either bigots or idiots.”

    Or, in the course of their study and long working careers, they have arrived at different conclusions using different data sets.

    Is every leader of a third sector organisation jockeying for funds a bigot or an idiot?

  9. Darren Ball says

    Ally, may I ask: do you ever show your pieces to your fellow Guardian journalists? When you prove that they’ve massively misled their readership with scaremongering paranoia, do they have a rational answer? May I ask, have you sent this blog piece to Sandra Laville?

    Guardian readers are always self-congratulating themselves on how they buy a quality paper that only prints the facts, not a crappy tabloid like the Mail that writes alarmist propaganda. In fact there is very little difference between the integrity of both papers on matters relating to their core ideologies: both papers mislead their readers to an astonishing extent.

  10. Darren Ball says

    Carnation

    Just taking one of Ally’s points. There are 13 places reserved for men in the entire country and yet they believe that making provision for men is what’s hurting women. I’m sorry, but I simply do not believe that they genuinely hold that view.

    There is no doubt that they are deliberately briefing against vulnerable men.

  11. Carnation says

    Well, for example, they could say, quite reasonably, that no evidence exists that men actually need the type of provision that is being cut. No research has been undertaken to prove it.

    I don’t agree with that, by the way. But I also don’t think this is some man-hating consipiracy. That’s just nonsense. The few occassions that I’ve engaged with women involved in DV provision professionally, the attitude was perhaps dismissive – a case of “we do our thing, men are welcome to do theirs”.

    Men do need to do their own thing – it’s the only way that anything will get done.

  12. Darren Ball says

    Carnation,

    Let’s not speculate on what they might say. We can do better than that by concentrating on what they DO say and HAVE actually said. They are forever quoting misleading statistics which make it much more difficult to attract resources, awareness and empathy for vulnerable men.

    As for feminist conspiracies. Yes, it’s no secret that a certain virulent strain of feminism believes that domestic violence is how the patriarchy is maintained. Ever since they formed that view, sometime back in the 1970s, victims of DV (male and female) have been pawns in their political game.

  13. makomk says

    This argument’s been doing the rounds for a while. There were even a couple of submissions to the Equality Bill consultation by organisations back when Labour was in power that made the same argument – the one by Eaves and I think one or two other ones I can’t remember off-hand.

  14. says

    Hey, guys, a little suggestion:

    Instead of railing against feminists, lying out of your asses, and trying to make things harder on female victims of domestic violence, why don’t you, I dunno, spend some time trying to set up shelters for men?

    Women had to fight to get shelters set up. They are still having to fight. Such shelters were often set up by other women who had been themselves or known loved ones in horrific situations. Instead of screaming that such women are ‘misandrists’, try following their examples.

    Want an organization that sets up shelters or help services for men? Instead of putting so much effort into ragging on feminism, harassing feminists, making websites to lie about feminists, screaming and crying that feminists dare to ask you not to objectify women, so on, so forth, put that effort into setting up such an organization.

    Or continue to demonstrate that it’s not about helping men, it’s about screaming at women. Your call.

  15. Marduk says

    @WithinThisMind

    ROFL. I can’t believe you are actually trying to use that argument.
    Do you understand what the article is about? Did you even read it?

    Absolutely unbelievable.

  16. Marduk says

    @Carnation
    “we do our thing, men are welcome to do theirs”

    So why are these groups actively trying to prevent that from happening?
    That clearly isn’t what they think.

  17. Paul Jackson says

    @Carnation

    When Mark Brooks of Mankind tried to suggest collaboration with the other charities, he was rebuffed and told in no uncertain terms that he was competing for funds with the charities for women.

    So I absolutely believe that people like Neate and Horley are antagonistic to men’s needs. Read the article, they are doing nothing to publicise the fact that they provide services to men and then they are claiming that there is no demand.

    Your suggestion that it has not been shown that male victims (and their children) would benefit from shelters is disingenuous.
    Are you really suggesting that we need a study, to establish that it would be a good thing to give men and their children an opportunity to escape from an abusive violent woman?

  18. Paul Jackson says

    @Withinthismind

    Here’s a little suggestion for you.

    Last time I checked men were paying about 72% of the income tax in this country.

    So if Women’s Aid and Refuge expect to receive tax-payer funding, perhaps they should start giving some thought to providing services to the demographic, which is paying for most of them.

    Either that or give up some of their funding to The ManKind Initiative, which I’m sure would be only too happy to set up men’s shelters if they had the funds.

  19. Ally Fogg says

    Paul

    Last time I checked men were paying about 72% of the income tax in this country.

    Oh FFS. I thought WithinThisMind had it nailed for most stupid and ignorant post on this thread but by digging out the most ridiculous of all Mike Buchanan’s ridiculous arguments you have managed to pinch it back. Well done you.

  20. Maria Hughes says

    The Guardian article is *specifically* about *refuge* provision, not provision of domestic violence services per se. Whilst there may be an inexcusable dearth of services for men experiencing domestic violence, it does not automatically follow that the services they are in most need of are refuge services.

    Ally acknowledges this in post 4, but then goes on to suggest that the article should have been written differently, to change the attitudes towards male victims of other (non-refuge) providers of domestic violence support services. Why? It was about refuge provision, not other domestic violence services.

  21. Carnation says

    @ Phil Jackson

    “Here’s a little suggestion for you … Last time I checked men were paying about 72% of the income tax in this country.”

    True colours showing now. That is such a ridiculously stupid statement – you’ve degraded yourself and your point of view with it.

    Shame, shame, shame.

  22. Paul Jackson says

    @Withinthismind

    ‘Women had to fight to get shelters set up’.

    It’s time for men to fight, to get a fair share of the funding for male victims of IPV, because if the feminist ideologues of Women’s Aid and Refuge have their way, they will get nothing. That is abundantly clear.

    Did someone say that feminism is about equality?

    Don’t make me laugh!

  23. Marduk says

    Look, assuming @Withinthismind is who they say they are, they an American who has no idea what this debate is actually about, how the third sector functions in the UK and has leapt without looking and got it all backwards.

    In the spirit of charity: WTM, we are talking about funding of services. Men have set up services, feminist charities are complaining this competes with them for sources of funding and aren’t very happy about it. The ‘feminists’ in this story are the ones who don’t want men to set up their own facilities and are arguing men don’t and couldn’t ever need them. They wouldn’t agree with anything you’ve said.

    If you are a troll then of course you don’t need to be told to ignore this.

  24. Ally Fogg says

    Maria (20)n

    Ally acknowledges this in post 4, but then goes on to suggest that the article should have been written differently, to change the attitudes towards male victims of other (non-refuge) providers of domestic violence support services. Why? It was about refuge provision, not other domestic violence services.

    No, I don’t think I did. I answered a specific question about what I think men needed.

    What I’m suggesting is that the Guardian article should have been written differently so as not to blame male victims and their service provision for the crisis in funding for women’s shelters, without any justification for doing so.

  25. Paul Jackson says

    @Ally Fogg

    Oh I see so tax-payers shouldn’t be allowed to question how their taxes are spent, is that what you’re saying?

    I’m sure all those male victims of female perpetrators will really appreciate the fact that they are paying the lion’s share, for services that they themselves are denied.

    I’m sure they are only too happy to pay the salaries of the likes of Neate and Horley who are actively antagonistic to providing any support to them.

    Talk about adding insult to injury!

  26. Ally Fogg says

    Oh I see so tax-payers shouldn’t be allowed to question how their taxes are spent, is that what you’re saying?

    Nope, I’m saying the amount of say you get, and the amount of services you receive, are not dependent upon the amount of tax you pay,

    That’s like democracy 101.

  27. Carnation says

    Whilst not absolving WithinThisMind for the inappropriateness of her comments, it’s sad that the sheer volume and vitriol of some self -declared “men’s advocates/activists” sometimes drowns out those who actually care and are working positively, against awful odds.

    @ WithinThisMind – your point would have been valid had there been MRAs brigading this discussion in the terms you described. But they weren’t… And you’ve made yourself looks as stupid as they often act.

  28. Archy says

    Why is it ridiculous to point out men pay more of the tax yet receive far far less services for it in domestic violence? Even if we adjust for total hours worked by both genders with or without pay (usually it’s fairly even with men doing more paid, women doing more unpaid childcare) men should still get a decent portion of the funding in a proportionate amount relating to the current need…which isn’t happening.

    If men contribute somewhat equally into society as a whole yet are not adequately covered in this area then that surely points out a major problem.

  29. Carnation says

    @ Paul Jackson

    Some time ago, I challenged the always polite Mike Buchanan to discuss how much income tax (as opposed to VAT, business tax, council tax, National Insurance and all other stealth taxes) contributed to the Treasury’s budget. He was unwilling to continue the discussion. You will be similarly unable.

    Should tax paid by, say, white people only be spent on white people? What do you make of the Barnet formula? Should men on benefits receive state help when they seek service provision?

  30. Paul Jackson says

    @Ally Fogg

    …and I’m not disputing the position that services received shouldn’t depend on the amount of tax paid but on need but that isn’t happening is it? Men’s needs are being ignored.

    If people like, Withinthismind want to make idiotic statements such as ‘Men should spend some time trying to set up shelters for men’ they should be educated on where the resources for shelters are coming from in the first place.

    It is a shameful injustice that the needs of male victims are ignored and it adds to that injustice that it’s men who pay almost three quarters of the funding for services that they are denied

  31. Caprizchka C says

    As a woman I need to offer my personal story because apparently that’s how I’m wired. Back when I was a repeat victim of domestic violence I tried to find myself a bed in liberal California but was informed that only women with children would be admitted. Therefore, given the choice between sleeping on the street and “patching it up” with my abuser I chose the latter, and then cautiously and calculatedly engineered my own exit–less a couple of teeth. Years later, I had my tubes tied.
    I am of the opinion that throwing more babies at the symptoms of parental alienation syndromes, attachment disorder, or whatever else it is called these days, won’t actually result in there being more money and resources for everyone–not anymore. Not today. Meanwhile, my “child-hater” status doesn’t earn me loads of feminist friends and meanwhile it would seem that most if not all of my close, personal male friends are themselves victims of enraged and physical women, including various imitators of Kathy Bate’s role in the movie, Misery.
    It would seem that big government only has funds for the roles that feed it. Eventually, I hope, People will learn to turn away from big government and Go Their Own Way.

  32. Paul Jackson says

    @Carnation
    You ask: ‘Should tax paid by, say, white people only be spent on white people?’

    While in a previous post you say: ‘Men do need to do their own thing – it’s the only way that anything will get done’.

    Surely the natural corollary to your last statement is that men should fund men’s shelters and women should fund women’s shelters, which is pretty much what Withinthismind was saying.

    So I suppose you’d advocate that 72% of government funding currently going to Women’s Aid and Refuge should be given to The Mankind Initiative.

    Right?

  33. Jacob Schmidt says

    As of this morning, there are a grand total of 58 refuge places around the country that can be used by men. Only 13 of those are specifically reserved for men, the others can be (and usually are) taken up by women. By contrast there are around 4,000 refuge beds for adult women, 7,000 that can be used by women and/or children.

    For men you reference “places” but for women you reference “beds.” Are they interchangeable here, or are there more than 1 bed per place? I could easily see 5 or 10 beds per “place,” assuming “place” meant shelter, which would put the numbers at somewhere between 2.5% to 5% of beds available for men; not unreasonable numbers if you accept that victimized men have less demand for shelters.

    Last time I checked men were paying about 72% of the income tax in this country.
    So if Women’s Aid and Refuge expect to receive tax-payer funding, perhaps they should start giving some thought to providing services to the demographic, which is paying for most of them.

    This is thoroughly idiotic. Even if they weren’t paying any taxes, they should still have access.

    Surely the natural corollary to your last statement is that men should fund men’s shelters and women should fund women’s shelters, which is pretty much what Withinthismind was saying.

    Quotes or it didn’t happen.

  34. Jacob Schmidt says

    Also, Paul, it’s pretty clear they’re talking about advocacy and activism, not tax proportions.

  35. John Allman says

    “Specialist safe houses for women and children – which were forged out of the feminist movement in the 1970s – are being forced to shut by some local authorities because they do not take in male victims.”

    That’s where the problem starts. Feminism. To run a “feminist” house, that “specialises” in gender discrimination, is (arguably) unlawful, under the Equality Act 2010. There is certainly no need to practise this sort of discrimination in the 21st century.

    An abused man needs to be around non-abusive women, lest he sinks into misogyny, and a woman needs to be around non-abusive men, lest she sinks into misandry, a fate that only a hard-core feminist would want her to suffer.

    There is no need to have male and female bedrooms, bathrooms or toilets, or male and female vacancies. Men don’t generally have stand-up urinals in their homes. They can pee into the pedestal toilets they sit on sometimes, just as well as women can. That’s what they usually do, except when out at the pub (say). Bed shops don’t need to stock beds for men on the ground floor, and beds for women on the first floor. Men’s and women’s furniture is identical.

    Men and women eat the same food. We both play chess, Scrabble and table tennis, and go for walks, and hold conversations. We both have red blood, not blue blood or pink blood depending upon gender.

    Contrary to popular belief, men and women both do housework or neglect to do our housework, get drunk or stay sober, play music, sing and dance, laugh, cry, raise our voices, and sulk. Male and female humans are of the same species. There are a few real differences between average men and average women, which makes life more exciting, but none of these differences, of which there are always counter-examples (such as men who teach in infant schools, or women who join the army) prevent single men and women living communally, especially when they need to recover from abuse, by learning quickly that not ALL men are like that, or not ALL women are like that, by meeting abuse survivors of the OPPOSITE sex.

    When a man walks out of a home in which he is being abused, taking his sons and/or daughters with him because he dare not abandon them to their mother’s abusive treatment alone, he shouldn’t have to search for a “place” in a refuge that is earmarked as a “place” for an abused man and his children. There should not be any refuges that only take women who are fleeing from abuse perpetrated by men. Domestic violence isn’t a gender issue. It is folly for some ideologues to have striven to make it seem to be a gender issue.

    A public authority has a Public Sector Equality Duty to have due regard to the need to foster good relations between men and women. For a public authority to fund a private sector facility that flouts the law by practising segregation and discrimination, would itself be breaking the law. Let the dinosaurs that are “feminists” become extinct. Starve their bastions and outposts, of funds, especially “refuges”, until any that won’t stop discriminating, if necessary by coming under new management that believes in equality not feminism, are forced to close, due to lack of money.

    We need “specialist” refuges for women abused by men about as much as we need specialist refuges for white people only, who are fleeing from abuse perpetrated by black people. Having such refuges is a shame and a disgrace. It is indefensible.

    Making all refuges compulsorily unisex, preferably tomorrow at noon, will free men from the fear of losing their children, if they flee from abuse of themselves, leaving behind children whom the abusive women of the house isn’t abusing – YET. Thatbis because they won’t HAVE to leave their children behind.

    There will be no problems matching supply and demand, once one grasps that men and women “demand” (i.e. need) exactly the same, when they are fleeing from abuse. They need a roof over their heads, a bed to sleep in, chairs to sit on, a kitchen and a bathroom, and the company of others.

    Men and women are not collectively at war, even though war does break out in a few households that each each built around an ill-matched couple, one of each gender, of grossly unequal power and domineering expectations of obedience. Neither gender is typically abusive, or typically abused. That’s feminist doctrine, which science has disproved in countless studies – so countless that I shouldn’t need to cite even one of them, so please don’t ask. It isn’t true that men abuse, and women are victims. It isn’t true that segregation from the entire opposite sex is the sort of “refuge” that abuse survivors benefit from fleeing to. It certainly isn’t fair, or equal, to indoctrinate fragile, hurting people into this sort of nonsense. I’m glad that public authorities are clamping down on this apartheid. I hope it dies.

  36. Paul Jackson says

    ‘@Jacob Schmidt

    ‘For men you reference “places” but for women you reference “beds.” Are they interchangeable here, or are there more than 1 bed per place?’

    If you read the article, it’s clear that ‘beds’ and places mean the same thing and as I have said before:

    It is a shameful injustice that the needs of male victims are ignored and it adds to that injustice that it’s men who pay almost three quarters of the funding for services that they are denied.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

  37. Ally Fogg says

    Jacob

    For men you reference “places” but for women you reference “beds.”

    Yes, I’m using them interchangeably. We’re only talking about residential refuges here, so 1 bed = 1 place in a refuge.

  38. Ally Fogg says

    OK, on the basis that we have spent an inordinate time on the 72% taxation point when we were discussing the J4MB manifesto, and we’re not adding anything new here I’m going to rule any additional references to it, on either side, as off topic and delete accordingly.

    If anyone wants to discuss it further you are welcome to take it to the open thread next door. http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2014/08/01/the-fantastically-fly-new-freethought-blogs-friday-open-thread/

  39. Paul Jackson says

    @ John Allman

    Completely agree with your post but I don’t think that it was ‘ folly for some ideologues to have striven to make [D.V.] seem to be a gender issue’.

    It was a very concerted and deliberate plan by Marxist Feminists to take over the shelter movement in the 1970s, as a means to acquire funding. It was integral to their ideology that D.V. be cast as a gender issue.

    Erin Pizzey the founder of the first domestic violence refuge in Chiswick describes what happened very well in her book ‘This way to the revolution’.

    Given that background, it’s no surprise that there is a disgraceful lack of resources for men.

  40. Nom says

    Yes Ally, you begin to learn the truth.

    When you learn the rest, learn the enormity of the crimes that have taken place, remember there are others.

  41. mildlymagnificent says

    An abused man needs to be around non-abusive women, lest he sinks into misogyny, and a woman needs to be around non-abusive men, lest she sinks into misandry, a fate that only a hard-core feminist would want her to suffer.

    That may be so. But there’s no good reason to think that it must happen within a couple of hours of leaving an abusive partner or the hospital.

    There are other good reasons why women, and especially children, who fear the sound of a male voice should be sheltered from such reminders of trauma while they’re still having vivid nightmares. (I’m all too well aware that the nightmares can go on for decades, but they were much more vivid, much more often, in those first few months.) The days following a bad night are the days when women, and many children, are jumpy and wary of any footsteps, voices and unidentified sounds when they’re living in a strange new location. Maybe once the 8 year olds stop wetting the bed and start laughing would be a good time to reconsider the male female balance in the living arrangements.

  42. mildlymagnificent says

    It was a very concerted and deliberate plan by Marxist Feminists to take over the shelter movement in the 1970s, as a means to acquire funding.

    I realise that I’m a bit out of the loop on British history about this. What shelters were available to be taken over? Here the first shelter ever was a squat run on the smell of an oily rag with no funding of any kind, just donations from supportive individuals, and with a fair amount of active opposition from police and other government bodies.

    We should also remember that in the 70s it wasn’t even a crime when women were raped by their husbands and that a lot of people (and a surprising number even now) thought that violence against women by husbands was a) not a crime b) totally his right, even though some men thought others took it too far they’d never have dreamed of calling the cops on them. (Violence by women was dismissed as a joke – cartoons depicting annoyed housewives waiting for coming-home-drunk husbands with a rolling pin or a frying pan at the ready were considered mildly amusing.)

  43. TMK says

    >There are other good reasons why women, and especially children, who fear the sound of a male voice should be sheltered from such reminders of trauma while they’re still having vivid nightmares. (I’m all too well aware that the nightmares can go on for decades, but they were much more vivid, much more often, in those first few months.) <

    does that ever happen? It certainly wasnt the case for me, i mean, it is pretty easy to differentiate between actual people voices and, you know, see that people are different individual despite sharing gender. So, anyone got source on how common such thing is?

  44. Darren Ball says

    WithinThisMind @14

    There are organisations that help men (i.e. the Mankind Initiative), but they get virtually no funding from the state, which is not a surprise given that Women’s Aid and Refuge begrudge every penny spent on men and campaign against service provisions for men. This is what the article is about.

    Refuge (which was the first shelter) was for women and men, and had female and male volunteers. Radical feminists infiltrated the organisation, forced out the founder – ironically with threats of violence, and made DV the political issue it is today.

  45. Carnation says

    @ Darren Ball

    Could you give me a list of credible service providers for men who’ve applied for, and not received, funding?

    Didn’t think so.

    The fantasy playing out in your head contradicts reality.

  46. mildlymagnificent says

    So, anyone got source on how common such thing is?

    1. Personal anecdote. Certainly happened to me. I’d sometimes jump when a man spoke to me unexpectedly – even at work, and I was accustomed to being surrounded by mostly men workmates. Worse when someone touched me, even a simple lean forward and pat the shoulder for some perfectly innocuous reason. Absolutely terrifying if a touch came from behind without prior warning.

    2. Other anecdotes. Other women have told me similar things about their own and their children’s experiences. It’s especially frightening when stalking is on the table as an issue.

    3. Academic studies. There’s a small but reasonable amount of literature on children suffering PTSD later, maybe even as adults, when they’ve witnessed domestic violence. I’ve just done a quick Scholar search looking for links which might talk about their behaviour and responses in refuges but couldn’t see anything super relevant or marvelous. Nor could I find anything more than a two or three line precis as an abstract, even though the papers are paywalled. I remember reading reports by social workers and others about children’s mental health problems when in refuges but not in anything I have bookmarked or otherwise saved.

    Not much to offer I’m afraid. (I might come up with better search terms and be overwhelmed by reams of useful stuff. When/ if that happens, I’ll put those links here.)

  47. says

    Archy, we’ve withdrawn our public consultation document from the website, following the end of the public consultation exercise. We’re working on our election manifesto and will be publishing it on our website in due course.

  48. Darren Ball says

    Carnation @47

    I’m not quite certain which of my posts you’re referring to. My point is that Women’s Aid and Refuge deliberately mislead the public and Government agencies in ways that make it more difficult to attract funding for male victims of DV. This is amply demonstrated by Ally’s article.

    The Mankind Initiative receives no state or public funding. Do you believe that they wouldn’t want some?

    Please do not presume to answer questions on my behalf. Thank you.

  49. says

    We cannot be surprised that there is virtually no state funding for male victims of IPV. For 40 years the only influential theory about DV in government circles and the DV industry has been the ‘male control theory’. That theory has been comprehensively debunked – a recent study http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/a-study-on-the-male-control-theory-of-intimate-partner-violence/ by Dr Elizabeth Bates and Dr Nicola Graham-Kevan attracted some MSM coverage – but rational arguments have no impact on those committed to the current theory, feminist politicians, others in positions of influence in state organisations, and those working in the DV industry.

    Needless to say, the press media (and almost all reports on this matter are written by female journalists) reported the key findings of the Bates & Graham-Kevan study as ‘shocking’ – e.g. from the Abstract, ‘Contrary to the male control theory, women were found to be more physically aggressive to their partners than men were’. What they NEVER say is, ‘These findings are consistent with hundreds of studies over the past few decades, so why does provision of support for male victims of IPV remain almost non-existent?’

  50. Carnation says

    “The Mankind Initiative receives no state or public funding. Do you believe that they wouldn’t want some?”

    All organisations would like state funding, so that’s a redundant question.

    The pertinent questions are a/ Have they applied, and if so, to whom? b/ Do they have sufficient capacity to carry out that which they have said they can do? b/ If they have been refused, why?

    If the answer to c/ is “yes, because Marxist RadFems have infiltrated the decision making board and rejected the application”, then you have a point. But I think that that scenario lives in your head, and Mike Buchanan’s manifesto.

  51. Carnation says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    “but rational arguments have no impact on those committed to the current theory, feminist politicians, others in positions of influence in state organisations, and those working in the DV industry.”

    Can you confirm that you consider David Cameron a feminist politician, and that you once suggested that his feminism informs his hatred of men?

  52. says

    @ Carnation

    I’ve answered the point you asked about state funding for places for male victims of IPV (#b52) before, and I’m not going to do so yet again. Not enough hours in the day. Do I consider Cameron a feminist politician? Of course. He’s the least principled prime minister in living memory, even if you’re a centenarian. He’s described himself as a feminist – using the weasel words, ‘Well, if being a feminist means believing in equality, then I’m a feminist’ – and all his policy directions with a gender dimension have been pro-feminist and anti-male. He fired one of the few conviction politicians in the cabinet, Michael Gove, so as to give his job to the Minister for Women and Equalities. William Hague, too, described himself as a feminist recently on ‘Woman’s Hour’. I can think of only two Tory politicians who’ve said anything in public critical of feminists – Philip Davies MP, who pointed to very lenient treatment of female criminals in comparison with male criminals convicted of the same offences, and Dominic Raab, who referred to feminist politicians as (from memory) ‘hateful bigots’.

    Too pressed for time to reply to any more of your questions today.

  53. says

    In Norway municipalities are required to fund/offer refuge for DV victims. Most shelters are funded by municipitalities (prior to 2010 they were funded directly by the state). In 2008 4 men stayed at shelters, in 2009 only 9 men stayed at shelters (the statistics for 2009 included three shelters in that offered residency to men – the remaining 47 did not provide (advertise) services for men).

    In 2010 the law was changed and municipalities were now required to provide equal shelter services to women, men and children. Usually this happened by existing shelters expanding their services to include men, but some municipalities funded a new shelter for men (where existing shelters either couldn’t or wouldn’t serve men). I presume that in those cases the budget post for shelters were split between the shelter serving women and the shelter serving men.

    In 2010 37 men stayed at shelters for a total of 40 stays (some stayed in shelters more than once) with each stay averaging at 36 days.

    In 2011 79 men stayed at shelters for a total of 92 stays with each stay averaging 27 days.

    The latest statistics I got show that in 2012 117 men stayed at shelters for a total of 129 stays, the men’s stays were on average 36 days which were longer than for women. 24% of men seeking shelters brought children (a total of 39 children). A spokesperson for the umbrella organization for refuges (crisis centers) stated that they expect a further increase of male residents in the next years as more and more men are becoming aware that shelters offer services for men.

    It should be noted that the law requires that the accommodations are physically separated for men and women.

    The number is from report compiled by Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (BUFDIR). This report has been made annually since 2003. Since BUFDIR isn’t the one responsible for funding the shelters they no longer the shelters are no longer obligated to provide statistics to this report, but have done so on a voluntary basis. The report notes that this make it a challenge to include all shelters in the report, for instance any new shelters serving men which may have been established after 2010.

    The report for 2012 has a summary in English on page 12: http://www.krisesenter.com/statistikk/PDFdocs/RapportKrisesentertilbudene2012.pdf

  54. Darren Ball says

    Carnation @ 52
    “All organisations would like state funding, so that’s a redundant question.”

    Not all organisations are charities dependant upon donations for their survival and who are over-stretched. Their website requests donations on its front page. I’m not going to waste Mark’s precious time helping male victims by asking him to confirm whether he’s approached the Government for funding. If he hasn’t, it will be because he knows he won’t get it.

    “Have Marxist RadFems infiltrated the decision making board and rejected the application?”

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission regard violence by men towards women and girls as a different category of crime than any violence experienced by men and boys. In a letter to the Mankind Initiative they wrote (http://www.mankind.org.uk/Map%20of%20Gaps%20Letter%20and%20Response.pdf)

    “The EHRC recognises that violence against men is an important issue in society which clearly needs to be addressed; however, we place our work on violence against women in the broader social context. The Commission recognises that violence against women is a cause and consequence of women’s inequality: it happens because women have an unequal position in society and further reinforces that unequal position”

    This is evidence that violence against men and boys is regarded as just a crime involving those concerned, whereas violence against women and girls is also officially regarded as systematic oppression of women. Consistent with this, the government has placed domestic abuse policy and action under an umbrella strategy called “Ending Violence against Women and Girls”. Very clearly feminist ideology is at work in this area – it’s not just about getting help to abused people.

    Then of course we have the wonderful Erin Pizzey (founder of Refuge) who wrote this:

    In 1974, the women living in my refuge organised a meeting in our local church hall to encourage other groups to open refuges across the country. We were astonished and frightened that many of the radical lesbian and feminist activists that I had seen in the collectives attended. They began to vote themselves into a national movement across the country. After a stormy argument, I left the hall with my abused mothers – and what I had most feared happened.

    In a matter of months, the feminist movement hijacked the domestic violence movement, not just in Britain, but internationally.
    Our grant was given to them and they had a legitimate reason to hate and blame all men. They came out with sweeping statements which were as biased as they were ignorant. “All women are innocent victims of men’s violence,” they declared.
    They opened most of the refuges in the country and banned men from working in them or sitting on their governing committees.
    Women with alcohol or drug problems were refused admittance, as were boys over 12 years old. Refuges that let men work there were refused affiliation.

    Feminist refuges continued to create training programmes that described only male violence against women. Slowly, the police and other organisations were brainwashed into ignoring the research that was proving men could also be victims.

    When, in the mid-Eighties, I published Prone To Violence, about my work with violence-prone women and their children, I was picketed by hundreds of women from feminist refuges, holding placards which read: “All men are bastards” and “All men are rapists”.

    Because of violent threats, I had to have a police escort around the country.

    It was bad enough that this relatively small group of women was influencing social workers and police. But I became aware of a far more insidious development in the form of public policy-making by powerful women, which was creating a poisonous attitude towards men.”

    So yes, I’d say that RadFems have infiltrated influential positions in this sector.

  55. Schala says

    The Guardian article is *specifically* about *refuge* provision, not provision of domestic violence services per se. Whilst there may be an inexcusable dearth of services for men experiencing domestic violence, it does not automatically follow that the services they are in most need of are refuge services.

    I saw you and Carnation make this assertion repeatedly, with no rhyme or reason. When people started shelters for women, they didn’t decide to have a commission on the needs of female DV victims before building the shelters. They built the shelters and THEN figured what needs there was. I see no reason whatsoever to not have shelters for men, or like John Allman said, co-ed shelters.

    Quoting post #36 from John Allman (not directed to anyone specific):

    An abused man needs to be around non-abusive women, lest he sinks into misogyny, and a woman needs to be around non-abusive men, lest she sinks into misandry, a fate that only a hard-core feminist would want her to suffer.

    Completely agree. I think it should have been done this way from the very start.

    And I especially like this quote:

    We need “specialist” refuges for women abused by men about as much as we need specialist refuges for white people only, who are fleeing from abuse perpetrated by black people. Having such refuges is a shame and a disgrace. It is indefensible.

    Which shows our puritanical drive to sex-segregate everything is based on prejudice and bigotry at the base. When people object to unisex bathrooms, they object on the grounds of cis women and girls being raped by everyone who has or has ever had a penis (trans women too). Stereotyping every penis-bearer as an abuser (and every vagina-bearer as an angel incapable of crime).

    This is where traditionalism (all men are beasts who need women’s civilizing influence) meets radical feminism (men are universally raised to be evil and oppress women).

    We would call any notion calling people of color as being inherently or raised-to-be evil or criminals (as a group) as racism. We should do the same with notions of men being this way, as sexism.

    There should not be any refuges that only take women who are fleeing from abuse perpetrated by men. Domestic violence isn’t a gender issue. It is folly for some ideologues to have striven to make it seem to be a gender issue.

    Completely agree there that it was folly to segregate in the first place. To gender an issue that isn’t gendered. We also shouldn’t gender many of the issues affecting men disproportionately. A lot of reasons they are affected more is gender roles, and the lack of compassion towards men, but those might not be the root cause of those specific issues (might be for suicide, but not for workplace deaths).

    There will be no problems matching supply and demand, once one grasps that men and women “demand” (i.e. need) exactly the same, when they are fleeing from abuse. They need a roof over their heads, a bed to sleep in, chairs to sit on, a kitchen and a bathroom, and the company of others.

    This, so much this. Especially as an answer to the “maybe men need other shit than shelters” people.

    It isn’t true that segregation from the entire opposite sex is the sort of “refuge” that abuse survivors benefit from fleeing to. It certainly isn’t fair, or equal, to indoctrinate fragile, hurting people into this sort of nonsense.

    I also think this is unnecessary doctrine. That it probably would not exist much in real life, if not for ideology saying its universal. Kinda like white people who are afraid of black people because they got mugged or beaten once.

    Quoting from #43 by mildlymagnificent

    We should also remember that in the 70s it wasn’t even a crime when women were raped by their husbands

    The reverse was also never a crime. Heck in most countries it’s still not a crime because it’s unlikely to involve penetration. In India, feminists campaigned against it being a crime, specifically (campaigned against rape being gender-neutral), on the grounds that it never happens (rape of men by women) and that male perpetrators would abuse the law by falsely accusing their victims (something that is unlikely to happen, given the attitude towards rape of men being so dismissive, the reverse slightly more likely).

    Quoting from #48 by mildlymagnificent

    Worse when someone touched me, even a simple lean forward and pat the shoulder for some perfectly innocuous reason. Absolutely terrifying if a touch came from behind without prior warning.

    You mentioned men in the first part of this paragraph. But would a woman touching you from behind or patting your shoulder terrify you? Because if I was terrified by this kind of thing, even a small 5 years old kid would terrify me. I make my boyfriend jump when I silently go towards the bathroom and suddenly start talking while he’s there looking at the laundry stuff. He doesn’t hear me coming. He’s not specially afraid of women.

    I get terrified if anyone unexpected follows me at night (and yes, I’m somewhat scared of the dark, especially at night), and I mean even in my own apartment. If the cat follows me to the bathroom, I turn and see the cat, I’m going to freak out.

  56. Darren Ball says

    Schala @58

    The British definition of rape is penetration of the vagina, mouth or anus by a penis without consent.

    On this definition, women cannot rape men (unless she’s a pre-op transsexual)

  57. 123454321 says

    “Can you confirm that you consider David Cameron a feminist politician”

    Cameron wants to appeal to female voters:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/9660656/Cameron-must-win-the-female-vote-like-Obama-to-clinch-next-election.html

    Why can’t he advertise the fact that he wants to appeal to all (or specifically male) voters?

    Wouldn’t that very statement alienate male voters? It does for me. But it wouldn’t if he extended his scope to include males once in a while.

  58. says

    For all of you in the comments defending these women’s groups against accusations of bigotry, I just want to present a quote from the head of one of them (a man, ironically), published in the Guardian article:

    “We provide domestic violence outreach services, children’s services and perpetrator programmes,” he says. “My personal view is we shouldn’t need refuges anymore, we should be dealing with the cause, which are the men.”

    The cause of domestic violence is “the men”.

    Feminism is the voice of authority on this issue. They planted their flag in that soil in 1982, when they voted to oust Erin Pizzey from the charity and movement she founded, and they have given not an inch of ground since. They claim moral, social, legal and academic privilege on the topic. They are the people who run the shelters, administer the funding, provide the training materials for police, social workers, counsellors, friends of the court, judges, lawyers and guardians ad litem. One commenter claimed that feminist groups are somehow misguided by their use of different data sets, etc, which means they should not be considered bigots. However, this assertion should lead people to ask who, precisely, is producing these different data sets. The answer? Feminist academics, researchers and advocacy groups, almost entirely.

    Feminists essentially own the entire enterprise. And yet in the 30+ years since people started asking men about their experiences of partner abuse, which oddly enough is the 30 years since gender symmetry was first demonstrated, they have accomplished almost NOTHING for male victims. Many of them refuse to countenance the idea that male victims of female perpetrators exist at all. Indeed, the mere idea that female victims of female perpetrators and male victims of male perpetrators made them so icy at the 2012 national NOW conference in Baltimore that a lesbian domestic violence activist had to concede to the almighty Duluth model (“I’m not saying domestic violence isn’t GENDERED…. Of COURSE it’s gendered…”) to not be frozen out of the room. You really had to be there to appreciate how entrenched this prejudice is among feminists. Even their solidarity with the lesbian community wasn’t enough for them to tolerate discussion of female perpetrators and male victims–the entire audience literally looked like they were being forced to eat bird droppings until the speaker finally offered them the “of course it’s gendered” concession.

    The problem is “the men”. They will countenance no other point of view. And they would rather stop helping female victims if any condition is placed on them to also help those men they believe are the cause of it all. I mean, even look at how they’re framing this: even when men are not the problem that causes domestic violence, they are a problem that prevents female victims from getting help. And they are being “forced” to cut services to female victims because they refuse to stop discriminating against male ones–again, even when men are victims, they are the villains, not feminists’ own prejudices and decisions. Not only are men the only “real” abusers, they (not the decisions of DV groups to continue discriminating) are also the reason women “can’t” get help. Even a male victim is, in their minds, a victimizer.

    This is a feminist abuse of power and authority that impacts real victims on a daily basis, and somehow people think we should not be hostile toward feminists, or we should give them a free pass on their prejudice because their bigotry was taught to them rather than self-acquired? Or because some self-identified feminist somewhere said something like, “while men are a tiny minority of DV victims, we shouldn’t discriminate against them”?

    I’m as disgusted as Ally by the attitude, but I’m not willing to give any of these ideologues a free pass. They ARE bigots.

  59. Ally Fogg says

    Karen Straughan (61)

    I don’t for one moment defend that guy’s choice of words, but for the record, the organisation he represents is *not* what you might call ‘one of them.’ He’s actually on the other side of this debate from the traditional feminist groups.

    Splitz is being held up in that article as an example of one of the non-specialist, non-feminist, non-women’s groups that has come in, as a social enterprise, to deliver alternatives to women’s shelters.

    Operating in Devon and Wiltshire, Splitz has also won the contract to run domestic violence support provision in Gloucestershire, where three refuges closed as a result.

    A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire county council says the contract awarded to Splitz bought support in the community rather than in refuges.

  60. Lucy says

    Darren Ball

    “The British definition of rape is penetration of the vagina, mouth or anus by a penis without consent. On this definition, women cannot rape men (unless she’s a pre-op transsexual)”

    And a man can’t rape a woman with an anus or with a tongue or a vibrator or with a broken bottle.

    But they can both sexually assault one another.

    It’s semantics.

  61. says

    @ Karen Straughan

    Given that Erin Pizzey has gotten involved with a blog that is widely accepted to be amongst the most egregiously misogynistic on the internet, as well as being dismissive of all victims of sexual assault, wouldn’t you agree that Pizzey was correctly ousted in 1982?

    And you have blatantly quote mined – ““My personal view is we shouldn’t need refuges anymore, we should be dealing with the cause, which are the men.”

    Doh, he is clearly talking about the men victimizing the women that he is supporting.

    Are you deluded, stupid or simply mischievous?

  62. says

    Also @ Karen Straughan

    “Feminists essentially own the entire enterprise. And yet in the 30+ years since people started asking men about their experiences of partner abuse, which oddly enough is the 30 years since gender symmetry was first demonstrated, they have accomplished almost NOTHING for male victims.”

    So what, since the inception of the “men’s human rights movement”, has the group you are involved with accomplished for male victims? Your directer of policy has stated that he “doesn’t give a fuck” about rape victims. He didn’t specify the gender of the victim. Is it just women, or is it all victims? And if it is just women, doesn’t that make that point off egregiously hateful?

  63. Paul says

    For those who’re interested the following link is to a talk by Erin Pizzey on the subject of domestic violence. It’s a bit disjointed in places but nevertheless interesting because it highlights many of the fundamental problems with the way the issue is dealt with today.

  64. Lucy says

    Darren Ball: “given that Women’s Aid and Refuge begrudge every penny spent on men and campaign against service provisions for men. ”

    I suppose that’s an occupational hazard when you’re dealing with the aftermath of male brutality day in and day out. Women and kids with brain damage, finger nails ripped out, acid chucked in their faces, third degree petrol burns, buried alive, hanged and filmed, imprisoned in makeshift dungeons, raped, eyes gouged out, shot, drowned, throats slashed, strangled, chucked off balconies, attempted suicides aka “cries for help”, traded, rented and loaned out, bought. Maybe you’re being a bit unrealistic?

    Maybe you’re looking in the wrong place? Seems like the gay men’s charities might be a good place to look for allies seeing as so many male victims of serious intimate violence are in relationships with men.

  65. Ca1eb says

    The attitudes of some of these shelters doesn’t surprise me.

    DV is one of the main battlegrounds of feminism and before the internet it was always thought to be something only men did to women, or at least nobody talking about it thought it was worth mentioning male victims. It’s no wonder Erin Prizzey complained about feminists talking over the shelters since to them it proved that women were always victims and men always the perpetrators.

    Except now we know that’s not true and it’s been gradually becoming aparent over the last 20 or so years that DV is something that happens to men too. I wish I’d kept some of the articles about DV that I’ve read over the years, since they’ve been gradually changing to become less and less gender specific, something that most of the public now acknowledge. But to many feminists cold, hard facts that DV is part of the human condition and not solely a result of masculinity doesn’t sit well with their dogmatic view of society.

    So this attempt to portray the organisations themselves as ‘victims’ of men is pretty damn low, but I’m sure there are plenty of feminists nodding in agreement at their reasoning. What will be interesting though is what happens if these shelters do become truely ‘unisex’. I don’t for one minute believe that there’ll be a 50/50 split in the gender of victims seeking shelter, far from it. But as this will be another nail in the coffin of the idea that DV is something that solely effects women, so will feminism begin to distance itself from it?

    Maybe 20 years from now it will look very different again?

  66. says

    Lucy 70

    “Maybe you’re looking in the wrong place? Seems like the gay men’s charities might be a good place to look for allies seeing as so many male victims of serious intimate violence are in relationships with men.”

    Ah, another feminist classic, ‘many’ male victims of IPV are in gay relationships. Let me roll the truth by you, see if you can engage with it. Well over 90% of male victims of IPV suffer at the hands of female perpetrators, not male:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/womens-aid-our-public-challenge-of-polly-neate-ceo/

    From the same link – our public challenge of Polly Neate, CEO of Women’s Aid – the people reporting the highest incidence of IPV are lesbians. How does that equate with the ‘male control’ theory of IPV? Do enlighten us all. I’ve never heard or read a feminist response to that question, so I’m genuinely interested to read your response. Do lesbians internalise the misogyny which is apparently so rampant in our culture?

  67. says

    Erin Pizzey’s presentation to the recent Detroit conference on men’s issues, along with the associated transcript:

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/a-voice-for-men/erin-pizzey-presentation-to-the-international-conference-on-mens-issues-2014/

    Erin was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the conference.

    I was pleased to see comments from Karen Straughan (GirlWritesWhat) earlier in this thread. I believe she’s the most-viewed anti-feminist videomaker blogger in the world, and with VERY good reason. Her presentation in Detroit:

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/a-voice-for-men/karen-straughan-aka-gww-avfm-mens-issues-conference-detroit-2014/

    Good night.

  68. Schala says

    the government can’t spend the money twice, men are already disproportionately subsidised by the tax system (including taxes paid by women) because of their extremely expensive criminal and anti-social behaviour. If men committed as few crimes as women there would be an annual saving of 42 billion pounds.

    Women are less likely to be suspected, arrested, convicted, sentenced and executed for the same crimes as men.

    So either men are overprofiled ad overpunished, or women are underprofiled and underpunished. Whichever you think is more fair. Very much especially for sexual crimes, where women get just about 0.1% of the consequences for probably a third of the crimes at least.

    But they can both sexually assault one another.

    See above. Even for sexual assault, women escape the consequences of this lesser crime, too. And in India, can still not be liable to commit it at all (it’s rape or nothing over there).

    The biggest double standard is for pedophilia, where even most of the research selectively ignores female perpetrators.

  69. 123454321 says

    “Women and kids with brain damage, finger nails ripped out, acid chucked in their faces, third degree petrol burns, buried alive, hanged and filmed, imprisoned in makeshift dungeons, raped, eyes gouged out, shot, drowned, throats slashed, strangled, chucked off balconies, attempted suicides aka “cries for help”, traded, rented and loaned out, bought.”

    Feminist dinosaur shit. Men are exposed (always have been) to far more torture and brutality. You really have a nerve. Acid attacks affect a good proportion of men and yet it’s another feminist tactic to skew the truth and make it look like a gender-based problem which perpetuates female inequality. Typical feminist bullshit.

  70. says

    Lucy

    1. I invite you to point us all to the evidence behind your £42 billion p.a. claim. We run so many blog pieces showing that the justice system treats women as having no higher moral agency than the average toddler, that it should surprise nobody that the vast majority of prison inmates are men. Only today we reported the case of a woman who sexually assaulted a ‘pre-teen’ girl, and as we’ve come to expect with female sex offenders, she received a suspended sentence. Who are the judges who treat women so leniently? Men, in the main. We regularly report statements from male ‘prosecutors’ which sound like statements from defence lawyers.

    2. Even if your claim of £42 billion p.a. is true, which I very much doubt given the justice system’s bias against men and for women, British men collectively pay £64 billion p.a. more income tax than British women. So your point would then be…?

  71. says

    “I don’t for one moment defend that guy’s choice of words, but for the record, the organisation he represents is *not* what you might call ‘one of them.’ He’s actually on the other side of this debate from the traditional feminist groups.”

    That would depend, wouldn’t it? It’s certainly possible for someone to consider refuges to be outdated and prefer community outreach and community-integrated services, while still considering the problem of partner violence to be one of male perpetrators and female victims (that is, “patriarchal terrorism”). One can differ on the potential efficacy of a range of solutions without differing on what one considers the cause of the problem. Nothing he was quoted as saying in this article indicates he disagrees with the “patriarchal terrorism” Duluth paradigm at all.

  72. says

    “So what, since the inception of the “men’s human rights movement”, has the group you are involved with accomplished for male victims?”

    Every single thing we have accomplished (which admittedly is not a lot) has been done in the face of constant, shrill, often fear-mongering opposition from the very groups (feminists) who dictate public policy, lobby for legislation and provide training materials to officials. In other words, the very groups trusted by governments to have (social and intellectual) authority over the problem have gone to extreme lengths to put personal and professional roadblocks in the path of those trying to raise public awareness of male victims and female perpetrators. They are the privileged voice on the issue, they have multiple millions of dollars from public and private sources at their disposal yearly, and they’re willing to abuse that to prevent people like us from making any headway. But somehow it’s our fault that we haven’t managed to help the victims that the domestic violence industry should already be helping. Nice.

    “Your directer of policy has stated that he “doesn’t give a fuck” about rape victims. He didn’t specify the gender of the victim. Is it just women, or is it all victims? And if it is just women, doesn’t that make that point off egregiously hateful?”

    Are we talking about John the Other here? Because he’s not on the masthead of AVFM, and hasn’t been for a while. Also, a video filled with maniacal laughter and a Wagner-esque background score might just have maybe possibly been designed for shock value rather than as an actual statement of position.

    I find it really interesting how you take an example of hyperbolically stating that “if feminists don’t care about male victims of rape, then I don’t care about female ones!” to be egregious hate speech on an article exposing how feminist DV workers are essentially saying, “if you’re going to make us help male victims, we’d rather shut our shelters down!”

    It’s almost like you take anything a feminist says and apply copious quantities of charity and benefit of the doubt, while the same sentiment from an MRA makes him literally Hitler…

  73. Paul says

    I know Erin Pizzey’s a controversial figure and i’m not an unquestioning disciple of hers.However i think she should be credited for being one of the first in the UK to recognize that the problem of dv isn’t as gendered as some would like us to believe. And that a distinction should be made between couples where just one partner is abusive and those where both are abusive but where one comes of worse.In other words a one size fits all approach to supporting victims of domestic violence isn’t realistic. And those who believe it’s a gendered problem are clearly unable/unwilling to see the full picture.

    Pizzey also recognizes that child abuse in all it’s forms isn’t a gendered issue.For whilst men are responsible for most child sex abuse women can be just as guilty as men of non sexual child abuse which can have an equally devastating effect on children.Women are also involved in many of the 50-60 child deaths which take place every year in this country because of dv and child abuse-something else that isn’t acknowledged as much as it should be.And of course if children are raised in an environment where both parents/step-parents are abusive then simply removing the man from the house isn’t addressing the abusive nature of the mother.And isn’t helping the children especially if the mother goes from one abusive relationship to another.

    Pizzey highlights the fundamental flaws in much feminist rhetoric on the subject of dv and child abuse. And she recognizes the input that feminists have had in providing the frame-work for the way the problem is currently addressed and dealt with. But why have feminists been allowed to get away with that for over 40 years now ? For surely it reflects a problem in the wider society which is clearly reluctant to acknowledge the extent and the degree to which women-as well as men-can be abusive in their familial relationships.And feminists can’t be blamed for that.One thing i remember reading from Pizzey was that when she was looking for funding for the services she wanted to offer victims of dv -and those abusers who’d been abused themselves-was that men were quite happy to provide finance for services for women and children but didn’t want to know when it came to providing finance for services for men.Now that was a while back but i think there’s still a real problem in our society with both men and women struggling to take seriously the idea of a man being victimised by a woman.And again feminists can’t be blamed for that.

  74. says

    @ Karen Straughan

    “Every single thing we have accomplished (which admittedly is not a lot) has been done in the face of constant, shrill, often fear-mongering opposition from the very groups (feminists) who dictate public policy, lobby for legislation and provide training materials to officials.”

    I asked what you *have* accomplished. You’ve admitted it isn’t a lot. I think it’s nothing tangible, though I’m happy to be proven wrong? Can you confirm whether, or not, the feminist movement has accomplished more for male victims than the organizations that you are part of?

    “Because he’s not on the masthead of AVFM, and hasn’t been for a while. Also, a video filled with maniacal laughter and a Wagner-esque background score might just have maybe possibly been designed for shock value rather than as an actual statement of position.”

    I just had a look, and whilst he is “not on the masthead” (what does that even mean?), his blog posts are still featured. It is indeed a possibility that it was designed for shock value, but then again, doesn’t that seem improbable given that him and Paul Elam supported the comments on a subsequent video, if I recall correctly?

    “It’s almost like you take anything a feminist says and apply copious quantities of charity and benefit of the doubt, while the same sentiment from an MRA makes him literally Hitler…”

    I am a firm believer in Godwin’s law. And I haven’t mentioned feminism, I am talking about you, your views and the organizations that you are part of.

  75. mildlymagnificent says

    You mentioned men in the first part of this paragraph. But would a woman touching you from behind or patting your shoulder terrify you?

    Depends. In those first few months/years afterwards, I was pretty jumpy all round. It’s a very long time ago now, (this month is the 36th wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband) but if I was in a woman only group, I think I’d probably have been merely startled. If I was at my desk at work, I’d probably have responded less than if something like that happened in a corridor or in the street regardless of who it was.

  76. Darren Ball says

    Lucy @7O

    Men also suffer horrific abuse, and those that help these men would likewise be emotionally distressed by what they see. However, I’ve never heard a charity for male victims of DV trying to compete with women’s groups for funding. If anything they argue that more should be done for women. And ALSO more should be done for men. To my knowledge, only women’s groups try to squeeze out the opposite gender.

    As for gay men being a large proportion of the male victims, this is obviously tosh. Think about it. In round numbers,

    Men living in same-sex relationships are at about twice the risk of straight men (BCS/CSEW)
    Under 5% of men live in same-sex relationships

    On this basis, the proportion of male DV victims who are in same-sex relationships will be something under 10%.

    BTW, women living in same-sex relationships are at about triple the risk of straight women, but how ridiculous would it be for me to say:
    “Maybe you’re looking in the wrong place? Seems like the gay women’s charities might be a good place to look for allies seeing as so many female victims of serious intimate violence are in relationships with women.”?

    Pretty ridiculous, I would say.

  77. Darren Ball says

    Paul Jackson @86

    Feminism is a broad church. Certainly there are virulent strains who are misandrist, and I would certainly say that those who deliberately belittle, dismiss, and trivialise male victims of DV are in that camp. Other feminists are not. Other feminists have been told a lie and they haven’t checked the sources – that’s not a crime, we all take lots of things on trust.

    As for the tide turning, I don’t see any evidence of that. I think it will get worse before it gets better.

  78. says

    This is my impression from what’s happened in Norway so you’ll have to take it with the amount of salt you find appropriate.

    Prior to the law change requiring municipalities to also fund services for male victims over their anti-DV budget posts the existing 50 or so women’s shelters pretty much all lobbied against the proposed change in law. After the law was put into effect about 48 if I recall correctly expanded in some way to offer services to men. I do not know anything about the process on how this came about. However, the number of women staying at shelters have been pretty stable the last few years and this sharp increase in men staying at shelters have provided the shelters that do accommodate men with some ammunition to use when lobbying for increased funding – something which I imagine has been somewhat difficult when statistics show that there are only small fluctuations in number of women staying at shelters over the last few years. My impression based on statements by shelters made in media in articles about shelters and DV has been that the increase in men have been used as an argument to call for more funding to the shelters.

  79. says

    @ Paul 82

    “For whilst men are responsible for most child sex abuse…”

    Paul, do you have a source for that assertion? I thought it was widely accepted that women were responsible for most of it, I recall when a feminist was pointed to the evidence, she replied, ‘Well, women spend so much more time with children than men.’ We know the justice system has very little interest in finding, charging, or imprisoning female sex offenders. It’s too busy arranging show trials of prominent old men.

  80. Ally Fogg says

    Mike Buchanan (89)

    I’ve never seen research that has found a majority of child sex abuse to be committed by women. The highest figures I’ve ever seen put it about about 40%, Most commonly it is around 15%. It varies wildly depending how you define abuse and how you collect the figures.

    It’s likely that the majority of all child abuse (including physical, emotional, neglect, etc) is committed by women, but whether you like it or not your feminist pal is almost certainly right, this will be because women have always spent vastly more hours caring for children than men have.

  81. Adiabat says

    The Joshua Tree (83): Notwithstanding your dodging of Karen’s argument regarding the obstacles her movement faces I’m struggling to see the point you are trying to make.

    Feminism was over a century old before the first domestic violence shelter for women opened (and it wasn’t even feminists who opened the first ones) and that was in the wider context of a culture that considered women worthy of protection.

    Emmeline Pankhurst formed the WSPU in 1903 yet didn’t achieve anything until 1918 (actually it’s questionable whether she achieved anything at all) and this was off the back of a wider women’s suffrage movement that was ongoing for a century.

    Things take time.

    Darren Ball (87):

    Feminism is a broad church.

    Who cares? The only feminists that matter are the ones with influence, such as the head of Women’s Aid. I don’t really care if there’s some blogger somewhere with a readership of 10 people, including her mum, who is a “reasonable” feminist. That blogger is just a number used by the influential ones to lend authority to their bigotry.

  82. says

    @ Ally 91

    Ally, thanks for that, I’ll look into the matter. Would the BCS be the best place to start?

    We’ve covered many stories about women not being held properly responsible for abusing boys and girls. A recent case was of a 44yo woman who sexually assaulted a 14yo boy:

    http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/44yo-woman-sexually-assaults-14yo-boy-escapes-a-jail-sentence/

    As usual with female perpetrators, she got a suspended sentence. But the point I want to raise here is that the facts of the case became widely known at the school, and teachers were therefore ‘forced’ to go to the police. I interpret that as meaning their natural preference would have been to ‘hush up’ the matter, to protect the female perpetrator. Yet we know from a British study published in 1984 that a majority of incarcerated (male) rapists – they found 59% – were sexually abused as children by one or more women, usually their mothers. Women as well as men and boys pay a high price for society’s and the justice system’s lack of interest in bringing female sex offenders to justice.

  83. says

    @ Mike Buchanan

    I am vaguely familiar with the Silverman case. He was unable/unwilling to engage positively with funding agencies, and totally unsupported by anti-feminists in his endeavours. A tragic case, and a loss of a seemingly decent man.

    @ Adiabat

    “Notwithstanding your dodging of Karen’s argument regarding the obstacles her movement faces I’m struggling to see the point you are trying to make.

    Feminism was over a century old before the first domestic violence shelter for women opened (and it wasn’t even feminists who opened the first ones) and that was in the wider context of a culture that considered women worthy of protection.”

    That’s actually an interesting point but I question it’s relevance. The modern cultural landscape is startingly different to the one Pankhurst and company found themselves in. The comparison isn’t remotely valid. Basic human rights are enshrined in law for me and women now. They weren’t then. The workplace is open to men and women in a way that it wasn’t then. Of course male disenfranchisement existed on economic grounds, but the Suffragettes fight was for a very basic democratic right, denied on the grounds of gender.

    The self-styled MHRM is essentially and fundamentally an anti-feminist collective of writers and their supporters. I cannot see any activism rooted in a desire to help vulnerable men – but like I said, I would welcome a correction to this point of view (I don’t think the sad story of Earl Silverman counts).

    Karen, true to form, blamed feminists/feminism for the huge failings of the organizations she is involved with. I asked her to recount her accomplishments for male victims and compare and contrast with her own. She hasn’t. I wouldn’t either: it’s embarrassing.

    Might I ask, what’s your projection for the MHRM in the coming years? As you have hinted at, other factors influenced universal suffrage (WW1 and female employment, I’m guessing, is what you meant). I believe that the MHRM, and the wider online anti-feminist fraternity (with its large contingent of misogynists), stunt and disenable genuine pioneers for men’s issues.

  84. 123454321 says

    “this will be because women have always spent vastly more hours caring for children than men have.”

    Please tell me you’re not suggesting for one moment that, because women care for children more than men do, they should have a right to be let off the hook for abusing children? I know you’re not saying that.

    I mean, if women spend more time looking after children then surely the direction of scrutiny ought to aim towards women for a change. It’s about time. The current cultural behaviour has us thinking that because women look after children more, they must always be the goodies. This is not necesarily true. Women think they are exempt from scrutiny and this in itself is a social disgrace. Women get away with an astonishing amount of abuse and nobody bats an eyelid. Disgusting. The stats need to play catch-up.

  85. says

    “I am vaguely familiar with the Silverman case. He was unable/unwilling to engage positively with funding agencies, and totally unsupported by anti-feminists in his endeavours. A tragic case, and a loss of a seemingly decent man.”

    He was largely unknown to anti-feminists until the year before his death because he was not web-savvy and tended to act locally, though he had many contacts in local and national groups who advised and assisted him when possible. I connected with him through those individuals in my local area, and put out a call for donations on my channel, at which point he received a significant increase in funds.

    And it’s very convenient for funding agencies (mostly headed by feminists and pro-feminists) to claim he was unable/unwilling to engage positively with them now that he’s dead. When he appeared on a current events show, Alberta Prime Time, Jan Reimer (a serious feminist bigwig who acted as provincial coordinator for the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters) was invited onto the panel. She declined, telling producers that even showing up to discuss male victims would lend legitimacy to the idea that they exist. But it was Silverman who was unwilling to positively engage. Huh.

  86. Greg Allan says

    123454321 says…
    “this will be because women have always spent vastly more hours caring for children than men have.”

    Please tell me you’re not suggesting for one moment that, because women care for children more than men do, they should have a right to be let off the hook for abusing children? I know you’re not saying that.”

    I need to take issue with this also and for a couple of reasons.

    Firstly abuse is a choice of action made by individuals rather than classes of people, a choice denied to their victims.

    Secondly arguing that women spend “vastly more hours caring for children” in the context of child abuse is actually an argument that abuse is inevitable. That it will occur providing enough time elapses. By making time a component factor the element of choice is virtually eliminated. Abusers do not abuse because they spend x amount of time with their victims. They do it because they choose to do it.

    This is another of the encyclopaedic litany of excuses always trotted out for abusive women and it’s well past time it ceased.

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