MENZ Issues

Men and Domestic Violence

Hans made a good point in one of his comments stating that the Domestic Violence laws in New Zealand are biased against men.

Canada has a solid Men’s Movement and since the 80’s have tried to find fairness for fathers, men and boys as well as stop the bias and hatred feminism tries so hard to hold on to. But after all the years they found a way to gain care for male victims of DV.

October 14th, 2008 by Glenn Sacks

California attorney Marc Angelucci scored a tremendous victory today as the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled that California’s exclusion of men from domestic violence services violates men’s constitutional equal protection rights.

The taxpayer lawsuit — Woods. v. Shewry — was initially filed in 2005 by four male victims of domestic violence.

In 2007, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly dismissed the case, ruling that men are not entitled to equal protection regarding domestic violence because they statistically are not similarly situated with women.

Today the Court of Appeal reversed that decision and held:

The gender classifications in Health and Safety Code section 124250 and Penal Code section 13823.15, that provide state funding of domestic violence programs that offer services only to women and their children, but not to men, violate equal protection.

To add, I found an interesting October 2008 pdf file written by the America Society of Criminology about the backlash of men’s advocates and funded by Health Research Centre on Violence Against Women, University of Windsor.

This article examines government and advocacy group texts on three recent Canadian domestic violence policy moments. Drawing on governance, feminist poststructuralist, and social movement perspectives, it examines men’s rights advocates’ and feminists’ discursive actions and their influence on officials. The research aim is to explore the provisional, intrinsically incomplete, and indeed questionable success, to date, of Canadian anti—domestic violence advocates’ strategies and tactics of resisting men’s advocates’ efforts to delegitimize gendered constructions of domestic violence. At the level of political action, the article contributes to efforts by feminists internationally to safeguard protections and supports for abused women and children in a political context marked by the increasingly prominent influence of men’s rights and associated antiprogressive backlash.

So here is another success .. this time in America.

California Court Bans Public Funding Of Women-Only Domestic Violence Services
Posted by Ampersand | November 18th, 2008

In mid-October, the California Court of Appeals ruled that California cannot legally fund women-only shelters.

No person in the State of California shall, on the basis of race, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, or disability, be unlawfully denied full and equal access to the benefits of, or be unlawfully subjected to discrimination under, any program or
activity that is conducted, operated, or administered by the state or by any state agency, is funded directly by the state, or receives any financial assistance from the state.[…]

This article shall not be interpreted in a manner that would adversely affect lawful programs which benefit the disabled, the aged, minorities, and women.

The plaintiffs, a group including men who said they had been abused, and a teenage girl who claimed her father had been abused by her mother, sued. The appeals court found in their favor, writing:

The greater need for services by female victims of domestic violence does not provide a compelling state interest in a gender classification. As Connerly makes clear, equal protection is not concerned with numbers. “In applying the strict scrutiny test, it must be remembered that the rights created by the equal protection clause are not group rights; they are personal rights guaranteed to the individual.” (Connerly, supra, 92 Cal.App.4th at p. 35.) Arguing that a group of people (here male victims of domestic violence) is too small in number to be afforded equal protection is simply arguing “that the right to equal protection should hinge on ‘administrative convenience.’”

You need to visit the sites to read more.

Any thoughts for New Zealand?