Women’s refuge and boys
I found this article while trolling (gosh I like that word) some men sites which had me questioning how NZ works. BTW, Glenn Sacks is a wonderful advocate for men’s rights. The article was written to describe a DV conference and this is part of the article.
One morning during the conference I had breakfast with two remarkable ladies, Erin Pizzey and Patricia Overberg. Pizzey founded the first battered women’s shelter in the world in 1971, and Overberg was the first battered women’s shelter director in California to admit male victims of domestic violence to a shelter. As bad as things are, both of them told me things which were amazing and horrifying. Pizzey told the following story:
A woman was being abused by her violent husband and sought shelter. She had three children, two young ones and a 12-year-old boy. She wanted to go to a battered women’s shelter and, of course, take her children with her. However, the feminists who run the battered women’s shelters in England have a policy that no boys aged 12 or older are allowed into the shelters.
The woman was presented with the equivalent of Sophie’s Choice. Either she could return to her violent husband, and risk both herself and her children, or she could submit to the feminist policy. She chose the latter. Rather than allow the boy to stay with his mother and his siblings in the battered women’s shelter, the boy instead had to wait in the police station, while his mother and siblings went off to the shelter. The English equivalent of child protective services was called, and the boy was picked up and placed in foster care!
Overberg told me the same thing happens in California and in much of the United States.
I don’t doubt what Pizzey and Overberg say, but I still find it a little hard to get my head around. For one, one could make the feminist argument that this policy keeps abused women in violent relationships because they will not want to leave their abusers if they cannot take all of their children with them. Secondly, I find it a little hard to believe that even the feminist true believers who run the shelters could be so bigoted and uncaring.
Sooooooo, I thought I would start asking some questions. Answers below:
NZ is a little different in that each case is scrutinised on its own. Teenagers both male and female are not so easy to take care of in a safe house and I think most who understand teenagers can understand the problems that can arise especially around a safe house’s hidden location.
But yes, males over 12 are something that is an issue in NZ. Women’s refuges will look at the type of child as in his mental growth etc and the mother may be asked if she can find a relative or friend for him or them to stay with. CYFS is not a first option for our refuges in NZ.
Phew! This had me somewhat worried.
Onto another part of a discussion: Eastern Women’s refuge is holding a meeting for a men’s caucus to hear what men need and to hear what men have to say. This is no joke or tactic to put men down but for men to get together and speak freely. In fact, women are only allowed to stay for the open part between 6pm and 7pm. For the next hour or so men will be discussing their issues amongst themselves with a healthy police presence to also hear from the men.
The aim of the meeting is to get a men’s refuge up and running although at this stage it is not expected to take the boys around age 12 unless they are with a father. I have left the details under events.
BTW, I had to speak up about the men here being Jim Bagnall and Paul Catton. You guys must come because your input will not just be welcomed but real. I hope that others can also make it.