Offer services to male victims of domestic violence much as they do for women and children.
Why is this important?
With studies such as The Dunedin Study and many others pointing to men being between 30 and 50% of domestic violence victims, it is immoral that there is little or no help available to men who are suffering this abuse.
There is no excuse for this sexism especially when many of the institutions that offer services exclusively for women are at least partially funded by the New Zealand taxpayer. As such they should have to adhere to the Human Rights Act that makes discrimination on the basis of sex illegal.
Currently Women's Refuge offers no services for men at all and Shine only offers anger management and a helpline but their website repeatedly casts the man in the role of the abuser. On the subject of male victims it says "Male victims, please note: If you are a male victim of domestic abuse and need help to escape the abuse, please ring Shine’s Helpline. While there are no ‘refuges’, there may be some emergency accommodation options available for you."
Attitudes towards male victims need to change. They are more likely to be arrested than helped if they phone the police, have less access to help and routinely have their stories dismissed or belittled, making them unlikely to come forward.
I would like to see domestic violence services being offered to men a part of receiving government funding. It is as unfair to expect men to suffer in silence, trapped in violent relationships as it is for women.
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