Dear Minister Goward,
I wish to express my extreme dissatisfaction at the Men's Referral Service (MRS) being appointed to run the pilot service for service for male victims of domestic violence.
In their 'No To Violence' campaign, Men's Referral Service states that "a significant proportion of men who claim to be victims of domestic violence, or are assessed by police to be victims, are actually the perpetrator and not the victim. The vast majority of domestic violence perpetrators deny and minimise their use of violence (to themselves and to others), pathologies and blame the victim, and paradoxically attempt to convince themselves and others that they are the true victim."
To administer funding dedicated specifically to male victims to an organisation with a well-documented stance of victim blaming and thereby causing further shame and isolation to male victims, evidences a disingenuous agenda to further marginalize men and boys from seeking appropriate supportive services.
Until recently funding for male victims has been non-existent, despite men making up at least one third of all domestic violence cases. In New South Wales alone during 2015/16 there were 9261 male victims recorded by the ABS.
In 2012 the NSW Legislative Council Inquiry that found there was a need for the provision of appropriate services to male family violence victims, and yet to date there has been no training administered for clinicians and domestic violence support workers to address the unique issues men face, and recognize their impact and outcomes as different to those of women.
Minister, you make the claim that MRS will "provide a centralised service for all male victims of family violence to connect them with specialist, local support". This is to be undertaken through some 48 agencies all of which treat men as perpetrators.
I hereby record my objection to this funding allocation as being an inappropriate use of precious resources, which will further marginalize men from speaking out about domestic violence and seeking appropriate help.
I demand that unbiased, evidence based and peer reviewed research be undertaken which addresses the specific issues faced by male victims be undertaken so that appropriate training can be given to support workers assisting men and their children who are victims of women or other intimate partners.
I demand the retraction of this agreement with Men's Referral Service based on their evident bias and disrespectful approach, which says men either 'deserved it' or are at fault for the actions of their violent partners or other family members.
In sending this email, I represent that I am over the age of 18 years and eligible to vote.