Male victims of domestic violence ignored in the anti-men feminist narrative.
By Corrine Barraclough
Someone asked me this week why I was “trying to unravel all the hard work that’s been done around funding for violence against women.”
Why are we even talking solely about “violence against women”?
Why is no one questioning this blinkered approach?
We need to stop talking about “violence against women”, and accept that both men and women are capable of violence. Open your eyes to news headlines and you’ll see women aren’t always angelic.
Phil Hunt is a victim of domestic violence. Despite what he describes as the “stigma and shame” of what happened to him, he broke his silence to encourage other men to come forward who have also been subjected to family violence.
He appeared on A Current Affair in August 2015 discussing his situation, and was amazed at the backlash from feminist groups who were hell-bent on bullying him into silence.
In July 2016, Hunt attempted to lodge a complaint against Department of Health and Human Services for unfair treatment, citing sexual discrimination. As Australia has become utterly saturated with a narrative that only recognises “violence against women”, he was unable to find any support. With all the focus on family violence, he was distraught to find that there were no DV services willing to provide the support he needed, simply because he was male.
“It was a nightmare, I was treated like I was a criminal in trying to get help,” he tells MLO. “One service looked at me like I was scum and basically accused me of being the perpetrator because I was male. Having plucked up the courage to
seek help, I couldn’t fathom how an apparent support service for DV victims, could treat someone so poorly. It was obvious I was suffering from the trauma associated with DV. If it hadn’t been for my mum, my kids and I would have ended up on living in the car, or having to go back to a volatile household. I contemplated suicide because of the complete lack of support and the way I was treated by services who were meant to help me. This is not about supporting people to recover and heal; this is about cashing in on other people’s pain.”
For two years, he gathered information to lodge a case on the grounds of human rights discrimination.
The response? In an email sighted by MLO, on March 8 2017, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office responded to dismiss the claim labelling it as “misconceived”.
Why? Because the government doesn’t offer actually any services to men, does it? Therefore, it’s apparently “misconceived” to make a claim “of discrimination on the basis of sex in the provision of good and services under section 44 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010”.
The case was dismissed two weeks ago.
The Victorian Government is not interested in dealing with male victims of domestic violence. Their focus – and funding - is set solely on women and children. In an email dated April 2017, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission dismissed the claim, stating, “Funding is delivered by the State Government to support women and children experience [sic] violence.”
In black and white, yet again, the discrimination is clear. The dismissal letter continues, “The Women’s and Children’s Family Violence Counselling and Support Services aim to assist women and children who have experienced family violence or who are at risk of being unsafe in the family home. In accordance with the funding guidelines the target group includes women who are no longer in violent relationships, those who remain in a violence [sic] relationship and those with no prior contact with police or family violence services.”
Services are simply not funded to support male victims of family violence because it does not fit the anti-men feminist narrative.
In May, the Victorian Government announced a spend of $1.9 billion into domestic violence against women. $1.9 billion into a fraudulent narrative that only men are capable of violence.
How did we get here? Outrageous doesn’t even come close.