Why women’s shelters are hotbeds of misandry

At the very moment when the operation of women’s shelters in Germany has been subjected to scientific study for the first time, the German Bundestag’s Family Affairs Committee has decided to review the question of whether women’s shelters should receive funding guarantees through the German federal government. Given the political ideology of women’s shelters and the ramifications of such a step, this proposal should be taken under serious review. The answers to a number of questions are still outstanding. Have the services performed in women’s shelters stood the test of time? Are the shelters operated in a professional manner, and have they moved on from an ideology that views men as the perpetrators of violence and women as nonviolent? Have women’s shelters developed a professional understanding of family conflicts that enables them to extend their efforts and include all members of a violent family?

As usual, the slated funding guarantees are based on no more than the convenient statistic that “every fourth woman will become the victim of relationship violence at some time in her life.” Since there is no comparable data that would apply to men, the number is poorly suited as legitimization for women’s shelters. Up until now, reference was made to the role of women as victims, and funding for such institutions was automatically renewed. The effectiveness of the shelters was not monitored. At the same time, the statistic was used to popularize their work. In the pre-Christmas season of 2007, a media campaign was launched in Austria under the slogan “Verliebt. Verlobt. Verprügelt” (In Love. Engaged. Battered). The German lottery also runs public service spots pertaining to the matter. While all this has little bearing on the circumstances under which men and women actually conduct their lives, it couldn’t document more clearly a bias against men.

When women’s shelters were first being opened more than 20 years ago, the object was to focus public attention on the experience of violence from a woman’s perspective. The founding of the Bremen women’s shelter can be traced to just such an intention on the part of the author, who at the time endorsed the risky attempt to provide political lay self-help. This coincided with the spirit of the times and its sensitivity to violence as an aspect of women’s lives – although it did not extend to men. In those days, the author, too, was unwilling to imagine that women’s shelters would make a substantial contribution to a hostile polarization of society into violent men as opposed to irenic women, thereby creating many years of stagnation in gender discourse.

Ignorant Family Policies

Today, we know more than we did 25 years ago about the partnership dynamics that trigger violence. More than two hundred studies in the USA and Canada have produced findings that have added to public knowledge and increased understanding in political circles. But it is precisely the field of family policies that offers stubborn resistance to the very essence of this research, namely, that women behave just as aggressively and violently as men, and even slightly more often. This also applies to their behavior toward their children. It is particularly conspicuous during phases of a divorce that are high in violence. All counseling agencies should be expected to help limit violence so that children, above all, do not become actively or passively involved in the violent episodes between their parents.

A major survey of divorced fathers conducted by the author in Bremen showed that violence occurs in 30 percent of all divorces, with 1,800 men reporting physical or psychological abuse by their partners. This represents a significantly higher rate of incidence than the approximately ten percent seen in relationships under everyday conditions. Within the 30 percent of divorces where violence occurred, sixty percent was initiated by the men’s ex-wives or ex-partners. Our survey findings revealed that within the most conflict laden context of an adult life, women, too, initiate violence. Only from the perspective of women’s shelters does violence emanate exclusively from men. Instead of making divorce conflicts more tractable, women’s shelters actually exacerbate them. The »every-fourth-woman« statistic is therefore being used to document the necessity of changing the Domestic Relations Law of 1998, because allegedly the sole source of danger for children during a divorce is violence stemming from their fathers. By pursuing this approach to family policy, the advocates of women’s shelters are attempting to use prejudice as a means to rescind the right of children to both of their parents.

The 60 percent of divorce-related violent incidents that are initiated by women inflict great suffering on the fathers involved. Their statements are genuine. Yet there is a difference between science and the ideologically based enemy image adopted in women’s shelters, and it lies in the evaluation of the numbers. Whereas science attempts to resolve conflict, the proponents of women’s shelters book hostility toward men as political success. Accordingly, we do not claim that women experience episodes of violence in exactly the same way that men do. To make that assertion, we would have to survey them, which we have not as yet done – and neither have the »every-fourth-woman« agitators.

We have, however, arrived at an entirely different set of conclusions. We assume that women experienced the abuse in a similar way as their partners, namely, as stemming from the man. American studies confirm this. But if both parties are mutually accusing each other of starting the violence, then what is actually true? Both statements represent subjective truths. Generally, neither of the parties is lying. Unlike during their happier times, however, both of them now feel aggrieved and are no longer able to communicate with each other verbally. They lapse into lethal silence, scream at each other, or resort to physical blows. In such cases, marriage and family counselors can help to restore the couple’s destroyed ability to communicate. Once the partners reestablish a common language, they have the option of entering into a process of reconciliation or choosing to separate with respect. They and, above all, their children do not lose their positive experiences from the past.

Women’s shelters are incapable of providing this kind of professional intervention because of their ideology: they view a man as every woman’s enemy. For them, it is a foregone conclusion that women do not engage in violent acts. According to the ideology espoused in women’s shelters, this is always a given, and mutual talks between a woman and her partner are therefore superfluous. To this end, women are politically manipulated into a victim role and men are collectively denigrated. Consequently, the residents of women’s shelters are allowed to experience themselves only as victims and not as participants in a relationship that has turned violent.

Women’s shelters represent a world where the joy of life is missing, and efforts to resolve relationship conflicts have been replaced by existential despondency or even self-hatred. Misandry appears to offer a way out. This oppressive atmosphere surely accounts for the high rate of employee turnover at women’s shelters and the dissension within work teams. It enables one to understand recent research conducted in the USA which found that women are increasingly steering clear of shelters despite the severity of their conflicts. They do not want to be forced into a world that despises men. Their own problems are burden enough.

The advocates of women’s shelters are unfazed by objections that they are compromising the ethics of the helping professions, for professionalism is not their goal. On the contrary, they self-confidently label themselves as “partisan,” which is synonymous with viewing women as victims who face sinister male powers and an indifferent public. Professional ethics have been deliberately replaced by political motives. And that is by no means selfless. It gives them a narcissistic high and a sense of moral superiority over the rest of the world. It is a mixture of elitism and pretended self-sacrifice.

In the founding years of women’s shelters, this elitism functioned as a gateway for the disparagement of existing professional organizations that were sponsored, for example, by Protestant churches, the Catholic Church, or the German state governments.

In that respect, little has changed. The proponents of women’s shelters believe that their combative, anti-patriarchal rhetoric will have a greater impact than professionally trained counselors and therapists. Most of them seem unimpressed that they are not genuinely helping those who seek counseling, because they attribute their failure to a lack of political insight on the part of the women. Their sense of mission appears to provide greater narcissistic gratification than the tough, daunting task of working with violent families who have elevated physical expression to the language of everyday life and otherwise no longer have much to say about each other.

The Feminist Ideology: A Hotbed of Misandry

Granted, there may be shelters that have jettisoned their ideological ballast, but even the term “women’s shelter” itself always implies the disastrous ideology of radical feminism, whereby relationships between men and women are characterized by their respective status as victim and perpetrator. According to that, women can do nothing and men are completely in charge. Thus, women’s shelters perpetuate the destruction of communication within partnerships as a political project within the gender discussion.

The conclusions are obvious. The concept of ideologically based women’s shelters is no longer needed. What families with violence problems urgently need is a network of counseling centers that can provide unbiased and nondiscriminatory assistance to all of the parties involved. For family violence is systemic and psychodynamic in nature. If a woman strikes her husband, and the husband strikes his wife, then there is a high probability that they are also abusing their children. And children who have been struck, boys and girls alike, are in turn more likely as adults to strike their own children or partners. This sets the course for the reemergence of intra-family violence in the following generation. Society continuously accumulates a growing potential for violence. And mothers who do not strike their children, but instead leave the task to the children’s father, are no less integral parts of the scheme of violence – as is the parent who simply remains silent in response to the entire situation.

Family Counseling Centers against Domestic Violence

Instead of women’s shelters, what we need in the future are specialized counseling centers for families with unresolved violent conflicts. These would be staffed by well-trained men and women who cooperate based on professional ethical standards. They would intervene directly during violent family crises and, in extreme cases, provide a temporary safe haven for men and children and women, to the extent this has not already become unnecessary due to a personal protection order. We need family counseling centers that can step in and have an impact at the very source of the ongoing intergenerational cycle of violence. A public that is dumbfounded by the apathy of youth welfare offices and horrified by school murders and the corpses of children should approve government funding only if those who seek counseling are assured to receive effective assistance. Counseling therapy simply must be kept free of political ideologies. The only place where this does not apply is in undemocratic societies.

Likewise, we need to initiate a new discussion at colleges and universities. Political correctness has given rise to a prohibition on thinking about women in terms of aggression and violence, and this must be confronted with the findings of international research.

This article was translated by Philip Schmitz

About Dr. Gerhard Amendt

Gerhard Amendt is Professor of Gender and Generation Research at the University of Breman. His most recent book, "I did not divorce my kids!" How Fathers Deal with Family Break-Ups was published in 2008. His forthcoming publication is a text book on intra-family violence. Dr. Amendt can be reached at amendt@uni-bremen.de

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  • Obaoill

    First we need enough men willing to go to jail for this, over flow the jails. then men world wide will stop paying taxes.

    then we’ll watch everything fall.

    P.S. Dr I like your upfront article.

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com/activism-page/karma/ KARMA MRA MGTOW

      Grasseaters of the world unite, men for the most part designed the technology that enables feminism and females to spit in our face, men can also take that technology away.

      Do not vote, I will not be voting at anymore Australian elections. This scares the hell out of political parties. In Australia you cop a small fine for not turning up on polling day, I would rather pay the fine.They can ALL fuck themselves.

      Ref: http://www.aec.gov.au/FAQs/Voting_Australia.htm#compulsory

  • Zorro

    Awesome article, with aspects of that unfortunate industry I never considered. I do remember having a job at my college’s dining hall, and one of my coworkers was a woman of about early 40s age. She told me she spent 6 years working for Family Services and had a lot of experience with beaten women.

    Imagine my sense of stunned-bunny shock when she said the wild majority of them brought it on themselves! That the vast majority of battered women were so provocative and vicious that being beaten was an inevitability. She said she had to leave working for the state because it was so depressing, she might as well have worked in a prison. You associate with vile people long enough, you want to do yourself in.

    On the matters remarked upon by previous posters, I am in complete agreement that, unless some miraculous social change makes its presence known, feminism will die only by its economic unsustainability. However, for that to crash due to intentional scheming would require a proportion of men rendering that proposal ludicrous on the level of bad science fiction (no offense, but come on). If, worldwide, ten percent of men participated in a coordinated attempt to crash the financial system keeping state feminism alive, my eyes would pop out of their sockets. No way you will ever see 10% of men performing in a coordinated attack. And with only a 10% effort, the only result would be EVER MORE anti-male legislation, such as Europe’s proposed 5% reduction in taxes for women, and England’s proposed elimination of the women’s prison system (he goes to jail, but she gets house arrest).

    But this grass-eater business in Japan is another story. That is not coordinated, but can easily have a major economic impact, and one that can predict economic and social shifts over the next three decades with great accuracy.

    If MGTOW/grass-eater continues to develop, you will see state feminism start to develop emphysema. But it will be a slow process.

    • http://beijaflorbeyondthesunset.wordpress.com Rick Westlake

      Speaking from my own MGMOW perspective, MGTOW isn’t about trying to smash the feminazi system so much as it’s about removing yourself as far as possible from that system and its effects.

  • namae nanka

    ““every fourth woman will become the victim of relationship violence at some time in her life.””

    “Since there is no comparable data that would apply to men,”

    didn’t the 1 in 4 rape study show that almost similar number of men would be ‘raped’ too? Or am I imagining things? Otherwise, a link would be handy.

    • Kukla

      Actually when accounting fro prison rapes men outnumber women vastly(around 200,000 a year). Also, that’s not counting the boys raped in juvenile detention centers by (primarily) female guards.

  • http://www.avoiceformen.com Dr. F

    These people do not care about men at all.

    I rang them up and let them know I was in fear for my life, and the only time I heard a note of concern was when they realised my eight year old son was awake at the ungodly late hour of a quarter to nine at night.

    “I’m very concerned your son is up at this time of night” she said.

  • Tawil

    Great article by Dr. Gerhard Amendt and an equally good translation by Philip Schmitz. Misandry is EVERYWHERE on this planet, and it is great to hear a story from our German brothers on the issues we Americans, Australians, Canadians and those in the UK are only too familiar with. Same story, different country!

    Best of all is many of our German brothers speak English, and I’d be thrilled to hear more of their voices contributing to this the first truly global voice for men.

    DV shelters worldwide are on notice…. some governments around the world are beginning to ask whether these shelters are practicing equality or misandry. In fact several governments are threatening to close down shelters who do not open thier doors to male and female victims equally. Lets keep pushing this trend. Hard!

  • http://evilweasel.net/ The Evil Weasel

    I am reminded of the observations of Erin Pizzey who noted that most women in “domestic violence” shelters were more violent than the men they were supposedly escaping from.

    Having known a few women who have spent time in DV shelters, I am of the opinion that such places cater more to disfunctional women than to supposedly battered ones.

    • Mercer Williams

      It’s a small wonder that the creator of one of the first women’s shelters is, instead of being considered a feminist heroine, a threat to be dealt with. Ironically, this only served to prove her observations.

      And this, ladies and gentlemen, is also why we don’t have a widespread alternate energy source: because there is more money to be made in prolonging the problem.

  • Gamerp4

    I find Germany to be more Human friendly, for them EQUALITY is everything but i dont see that in every other european country, But overall I THINK WE ARE CATCHING ON.

    I remember Erin Pizzy was the first woman who established women shelter and NOW she is the one against the idea of WOMEN being the victims and Men being the perpetrators, Well atleast ONE woman came to her senses.

    • freehat

      Erin Pizzey tried to set up a men’s shelter around about the same time as she established her women’s shelter. Sadly she couldn’t get sufficient funding for the male shelter, and she herself admits her crusade to tackle domestic violence was hijacked by radical feminists whos ambition was to use the issue of DV as a means to evict men from the family.

      Pizzey was actually subjected to death threats from the rad-fems and was eventually forced to leave the UK altogether.

      But that’s radical feminism for you…

  • http://mrathunderinthehammer.blogspot.com/ Dannyboy

    “the proponents of women’s shelters book hostility toward men as political success.”
    Pretty much sums up the state of any woman’s shelter, Germany, U.S.A., Australia, U.K.,Canada, etc.
    Anywhere the feminists got a presence.
    The amount of lies they are willing to tell, so they can secure more money is incredible.
    Do they care about how many men end up dancing at the end of a rope due to false allegations?
    Do they care how many lives are destroyed due to their inflammatory and discriminatory language?
    Do they care about the child who grows up fatherless and ends up in the penal system?
    Do they even care about the women they allegedly save?
    The only thing they care about is the money they can beg for from our respective governments and large companies with their fabricated and fraudulent statistics.
    Its about time those femmies got weened off all our governments teats.
    Its about time men were looked at for what they truly are, which is for the most part, decent kind loving humans.
    Its about time women were recognized for their propensity and ability to inflict violence as well.
    And yet we still hear that tired old full of bullshit drum being beat again and again 1 in 4.
    You femmies are nothing but fraudulent criminals masked in victims clothing.

  • Eye in the Sky

    Off topic, but Stephen Marche wrote about women’s contempt for men in Esquire today:


    Marche starts out describing the current situation well enough, but his conclusion is completely wrong. He’s just another mangina, after all.

    • BioCan

      Thanks for the link, Eye in the Sky.

      He is correct, there certainly seems to be a trend in women who enjoy villifying men. Although, his conclusion that there is no matriarchy and that it’s simply a trend is wrong. He doesn’t realize that feminists and gender ideologues want to change the number of CEO’s on the Forbes 500 list, as well as other things that are dominated by men, for no other reason than to remove “patriarchy” or “misogyny”. He also doesn’t realize that these trends won’t simply go away and that this is something that did not arise in the spur of the moment. This is not a transient event and it will continue to widen and become more apparent as time goes on.

      His comment: “There’s a well-developed intellectual expression of contempt for men, too, encapsulated in the idea of the “masculinity crisis” — men are doomed, in this argument, by their own inherent natures to flounder in the emotionally complex, predominantly social postindustrial world.

      I think that is the strongest comment in the article. It isn’t a mere coincidence that women dominate. The world no longer requires the inherent abilities found in men. Nothing is being done about this. That’s why I follow MGTOW so strongly. The world doesn’t need men, women hate us, and so I, like many others here, will simply go my own way and not be bothered by women’s problems or grievances.

  • kiwihelen

    Ah….fond memories here of a conversation at a community gathering and this German woman was talking about her work in the DV industry.
    In my sweetest sacred cow kissing mode I say “oh cool, I do work with male survivors.”
    She looks contempt at me and says “there are very few of those.”
    “really?” I say brightly, “could you share with me some German statistics, they would be interesting to read to compare to the UK home office and US CDC figures”
    I wonder why she left the lunch table so quick. The elderly man who had been at the table overhearing this gave me an affectionate pat on the shoulder as he departed…

    • http://beijaflorbeyondthesunset.wordpress.com Rick Westlake

      She looks contempt at me and says there are very few (male survivors of DV).

      “Really? How interesting. Do they kill them all in Germany?”

      It would have been fun to ask….

    • G Trieste

      Maybe there are so few, because the rest have all committed suicide.

  • ActaNonVerba

    Nice article Gerhard. Women’s shelters, to me, are just another trip by women into men’s wallets. Something for nothing…..the only way women will have it. The government is the ultimate uber wealthy “Christian Grey” that makes them cream themselves by touching their bank accounts in all the right places.

    Women’s shelters are free hotels, paid for by taxpayer men and Christian (government). Another great scam by women. Gotta hand it to them. They’re not real bright but they’re deviousness and selfishness knows no bounds.

    Shelters provide easy-money jobs to women and are free motels. They should have commercials:

    “Lazy? F*ck up you and/or your kids lives? Or, maybe you f*cked over people close to you one too many times? Are you running out of people to sleep with or blow for favors and cash? Well, blow no further !!! Introducing the new national hotel chain, Shelter 6. Shelter 6 is a free hotel that services irresponsible, immature, materialistic, offensive morons just like you. Here you’ll find a friendly staff of other coddled women with a sense of entitlement just like you. So, come on down whenever you want and tell ’em the evil patriarchy sent you. And….um……we’ll leave men’s wallets on for ya.”

    I can’t blame women for taking, taking, taking as long as men keep letting them. How cool would it be to get free stuff all the time and have no responsibility.

  • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

    Movements need doers and thinkers. They need short-term goals and long-term goals. In the haze of the hot issues of the moment, we easily forget the long-term picture.

    This article needs to be put into an “Essential References” category for more easily finding it months and years down the road and as important introductory material for people new to the movement.

    • Paul Elam

      Hi Dean,

      We have the introductory articles feature on the front page. It holds 18 articles located for easy access. We overhaul it from time to time.

      The next time we do that, this one and the one by codebuster will be in the new lineup.

      You’re right. Both of them belong there.

      • http://www.avoiceformen.com Dr. F

        Mr Elam bloke.

        This is O.T. for sure, but what the hell happened to your “got-damned” Grav?

        The Wrongarians spray painted your arse mate. There’s nowhere to hide now. You have been exposed as the repugnant misogynistic man that you are. A white racist man at that.

        Tsk tsk.

  • yurlungur

    Sorry this isn’t written well
    When people think shelter they think domestic violence but just because a women is in a shelter doesn’t mean that she is a victim of domestic violence.
    It be interesting to find what % of women in shelters are actually victims of DV.
    She may be simply claiming to stay in the country or homeless.

    I watched a TV program about a couple where:

    The Women in question was pregnant.
    The Women had had previous babies taken away.
    Social services bribe her by saying she can be with her baby, but only if she leaves her boyfriend and goes to a shelter.
    Her partner was not allowed to contact her and the staff encouraged her to do so.

    The Relationship was a bit dysfunctional but I couldn’t see any evidence of abuse, but the woman in question was still shipped of to a women shelter.
    Anyway they eventually got back together again

    • G Trieste

      Y’know . . .

      This is great fodder for an investigation, from a skeptical POV.

      It would be VERY interesting to perform just such a survey, and see if the average DV shelter woman matches the public narrative of what a DV victim is.

      The biggest problem would be access, as the shelter do not want this kind of scrutiny.
      Maybe some double agent women who would be willing to infiltrate and investigate for the cause :-))

  • http://youtu.be/3hzBzJ3KSYY HappyTurtle

    In Florida many shelters also have apartment and homes for women what about men.


  • http://youtu.be/3hzBzJ3KSYY HappyTurtle
  • Otter

    “The proponents of women’s shelters believe that their combative, anti-patriarchal rhetoric will have a greater impact than professionally trained counselors and therapists.”

    That’s pretty much the general feminist consensus on all matters.