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PRESS RELEASE

April 3, 2006
Contact: David Usher, <>

Abused Men with Nowhere to Turn

Rockville, MD – When Stanley Green's wife beat him over the head with a heavy blunt object, causing blood to run, his troubles had only just begun. The police officer refused to take a report, the judge laughed at medical reports and photos of his injuries, and the domestic violence programs he contacted refused to help.

Each year 275,000 men are assaulted by their wives or girlfriends. But when these men seek help, all they get is the cold shoulder. That's the conclusion of a report released today, “VAWA Programs Discriminate Against Male Victims.”

The report was issued by RADAR – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – an organization that tracks bias in domestic violence issues.

When the U.S. Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act in 2000, it directed the Department of Justice to “administer these programs so as to ensure that men who have been victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault will receive benefits and services under the Act.”

But the RADAR report documents how those instructions are widely ignored:

  • The DoJ Office on Violence Against Women instructed its domestic violence coordinating councils, “states must fund only programs that focus on violence against women.”
  • In Texas, an application specifically stated that “programs that focus on children and/or men” were ineligible for funding.
  • In New Hampshire, the VAWA-funded Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence refused admission to an organization that served a predominantly-male clientele.

Only one shelter in the United States, Valley Oasis located in Lancaster, California, provides the full range of services to male victims. This statement by Jan Dimmitt, director of the Emergency Support Shelter of Kelso, Washington, reveals the more common attitude: “Whenever I speak of male abuse, I am met with disbelief and, even worse, laughter.”

Many researchers argue domestic violence programs should be grounded in objective science rather than gender ideology. Boston Globe columnist Cathy Young has criticized state-level DV organizations because they “formally require member organizations to embrace the feminist analysis of abuse as patriarchal coercion.”

The RADAR report is available at http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/VAWA-Discriminates-Against-Males.pdf.

R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://www.mediaradar.org.

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