Earl was responsible for my letter writing and getting the following article in the local newspaper.
Was a while back;
" RESIDENT concerned with lack of resources for battered men"
While our social agencies and legal system place great importance on helping victims of domestic violence,one local man says the system is failing men who are abused by their partners.
Wishing to keep his identity secret,the area resident says local programs and resources associated with domestic violence don't take men seriously and don't recognise that women can find themselves in the abusers roll.
"Men that need help,need a way to do it with dignity and not in hand-cuffs",he said."even when men phone the police it is the men that are more likely arrested !I am not suggesting that violence against women be treated any less seriously.I'm suggesting that men are victims too."
He also says the areas new Partner Abuse Response(P.A.R.) progam up holds the notion that men must claim all responsibility in a domestic abuse situation -admit to being an abuser or fail the program.
Detective ann Tkachyk has worked domestic cases in the Dryden area for over a decade.While she says cases of battered men in intimate relationships no doubt exist,They pale in comparison to occurances of abuse against women.both statistically and in her anecdotal experiance."
'Research has shown that in fact the overwhelming majority of family violence is men perpetrating violence against women.And they are a lot of reasons for that"said tkachyk"but there are men who are victims of domestic violence-it is recognized.The statistics on that may not be clear because men often don't report that they have been abused or assaulted in an intimate relationship."Tkachyk points out that there are services available to victims of domestic violence regardless of their sex.
Anyone may access councilling at the Dryden regioal Health center through mental health and addictions service with-out a refferal.
The community's Crisis response Serivices phineline is 866-888-8988.
The victim /witness assistance service is an arm of the crown attorney's office that helps the the victims of violence within the court system.
But the concerned resident says a lack of compassion,or a trusting ear with in the existing social and legal agencies that deal with domestic violence,is exactly why men don't report.He says a prevailing culture of assuming a males guilt in any domestic incident isolates and alienates men who legitimately need help,but will not seek help for fear of the system itself.
If they could phone a mens help-line.they would probably would report",he said.Where as ,if they phone the dryden hospital,they mostly deal with women."I don't think most men would phone there".
He'd like to see more government funds spent on programs taylored specifically to men who suffer from partner abuse and women who abuse.
Tkachyk says these kind of support programs do exist in larger centres,though their recent efforts to obtain a companion to the PAR progam,geared towards women who perpetuate domestic violence.were sidelined by a simple lack of numbers.
"All these services are based on government funding",said Tachyk.While we have the numbers to support the male group.we don't have the statistics locally to support that group of females who perpetrate violence".
Hoshizaki House director Bernice Connel says while the demand may not be there to recieve funding from the government.there no reason why men could not organize support and sevices for male victims of abuse in a grassroots initiative.
And thats what the concerned resident plans to do.He hopes to start an initiative similar to Calgary'y MASH(mens alternative safe house)program, a shelter for men and their children who are escaping abuse.
"It gives men a chance to get out of a bad situation before the fists start flying",he said.They can phone and get help on how to get out of there with dignity,instead of phoning the police where chances are they'll get arrested".
Looking at the numberes, a 2004 report from statsistics canada found in data over five years,show 654,000 incidents of violence against women,versus 546,000incidents of violence against men.Women were two and ahalf times more likely to report the most serious forms of violence.
In 41% of spousal homocides against men, police data from 91-04 determined male victims were the first to use or threaten physical force or violence in the incident(only 5 %among spousal killings of women) Police also found a history of violence between the victim and accused in 70% of spousal homocides against men(59%in homocides against women).