One of the most distressing things when you are a group that continues to fail to get a fair deal is when the media and politics continue and purposely marginalise you. Often and this site has raised it, it is a form of discrimination by omission.
Today, has been a classic example of how discrimination against men continues to be endemic in the uK. It is no surprise on the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls
This morning we were all greeted with the news that the Home Office has made £28 million available to end sexual and domestic violence against women and girls. Not a penny for male victims of sexual and domestic violence.No one is saying women and grils should not be supported who suffer in this way but many men do as well.
There is even a full blown strategy where conveniently the figures are highlighted showing that there are over 1 million women in England and Wales who are victims of domestic abuse and that 1 in 4 will be victim in their lifetime. Conveninetly the facts (as produced from the Home Office and collated by the ManKind Initiative) show that the male equivalent figures are 629,000 and 1 in 6.
The governement also announced (see bottom of press release) that they would pilot domestic violence protection orders in four areas. The quote greeeting everyone in the newspapers and in the media this morning from Home Secretary Theresa May was "Domestic violence is an appalling crime that sees two women per week die at the hands of her attackers." Wait a minute though, one man per fortnight also dies in this way but May does not mention that.
The whole issue of institutional discrimination against male victims of domestic abuse is of course exacerbated, albeit encouraged by a biased quote from the Home Secretary, by the media reporting. Once again, we have a gender neutral policy turned into one that is headlined and prefaced with the words 'wife-beater' or 'powers for police to ban men who abuse women' etc (see end for some examples).
But why instituntional discrimination in the way the orders are portayed by the government and the media?
It is because the orders apply to both male or female perpetrators of domestic abuse. Not only do they have to legally apply to all genders (though we know in a practical sense the police are only very likely to use them against male perpetrators and not female ones) but also because on BBC Radio 5 this morning, the presenter asked the Minister for Equalities, Lynne Featherstone, whether they applied to those who committed domestic violence against men. She said 'yes', but then used the usual caveat that most victims of domestic violence are women, thereby relegating male victims again to second class status.
But would you have known any of that by reading the govenment's annoucements or by reading any of the coverage? Of course not.
Today's announcement on the new money to tackle violence against women and girls (and nothing for men) as well as the deliberately inaccurate portrayal of the domestic violence control orders is another classic example of the institutional discrimination by omission against men and male victims of domestic abuse.
This form of covert discrimination by omission is worse than overt discrimination because it is deliberately aimed at hiding the truth away. No wonder a government with a Minster for Women (and no Minster for Men) and numerous equalities ministers laugh in the face of men and the true meaning of equality.
Posted by Skimmington