In a historic move reported in Australia’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper, the New South Wales[NSW] State Government and Minister Pru Goward have demonstrated integrity and courage by acknowledging the previously ignored population of male victims of domestic violence and choosing to make services available to them that were, until now, only available to women. (Sunday Telegraph (Sydney), 30 Jun 2013, p32.)
The services will include a time-limited private rental subsidy previously offered by Housing NSW to female victims and their children. Goward said the move followed evidence that around one-third of all domestic violence cases were men.
The reference to the “one-third” statistic is almost certainly related to the work of the One in Three Foundation, an Australian organization that has done a very effective job of raising awareness about male victims of intimate partner violence.
Services to be provided are a part of the Start Safely program, which allows victims to be sheltered temporarily while they work toward finding alternate accommodations.
Men will be able to apply from June 24.
There are two possible caveats and concerns that must be stressed during this very positive move in the right direction:
- Follow up – It will be essential to monitor and publicize the actual follow through with this exciting change in policy. It involves government funding which women’s organizations have grown very comfortable distributing to women only.
- Possible backlash – The sexual grievance industry is no different in Australia than in other western countries. Advances in the recognition of men’s issues translates to a reduced hegemony over the narrative, public discourse and funding related social problems. AVFM fully expects attempts to undermine these changes.
This is not just a positive news story about men’s issues finally being recognized. It could signal a true paradigm shift in the way we view the issue of domestic violence, as well as putting us on the road to ending elitist, gynocentric funding of a corrupt domestic violence industry.
The very existence of government funded services for men who are victims of violent women completely obliterates the feminist narrative that domestic violence is an artifact of patriarchy, and establishes once and for all what all the valid research concludes: Domestic violence is a multifaceted social malady that affects both sexes and extends across every imaginable social demographic.
In other words, the truth about DV is a bullet in the head to ideologues who have long gendered the problem.
I recommend that we all thank the One in Three Foundation for their stellar work in pushing the truth about DV into public discourse, but that we watch the actual execution of the follow-up with a critical and cautionary eye.