This week, the ManKind Initiative submitted evidence to the Home Office’s consultation on Strengthening the Law on Domestic Abuse.
ManKind Initiative Response
The substantive points made were that we agreed with the government’s proposals because:
- It will reduce the ‘believability threshold’ for male victims to the same level for female victims. This is broadly because while the statutory sector will recognise physical injuries on a male, they will not so readily accept or recognise non-physical ‘controlling or coercive’ behaviour on a man
- We also believe that the law would help ensure that the threat and use of false allegations and the threat of denying parental contact is fully recognised as a controlling and coercive behaviour. This also includes recognising the continual and purposeful breach of parental contact orders as a form of domestic abuse.
Earlier this month, the charity’s Chairman gave evidence to the The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee who are looking at the Welsh Government’s proposed Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill.
The charity made a ManKind Initiative Consultation Response and a further ManKind Initiative Consultation Response (Follow Up) submission following the hearing.
The evidence session can be seen here ( start at 1 hr 32 mins 55 secs) and also the transcript can be seen here (start at paragraph 215).
The substantive points made were:
- To focus on female victims of these crimes, and not all victims, would relegate men (in heterosexual and same-sex relationships) and their sons and daughters to continuing to be second class victims.
- This would have a catastrophic effect on the provision of services through new commissioning/existing delivery, the creation of new services and also the encouragement of men to come forward. This would be because the application of the Law would be female-centric based on gender rather than victim/individual-centric based on need.
- One of the challenges he put was that c90% of men are homeless but no one would rightly dream of renaming the Welsh Homelessness Act 2002, the Male Homelessness Act 2002, so why would the assembly insert the word ‘Women’ into an Act where the ratio of people suffering is c60-65% women and 35/40% men (I stuck to Home Office figures)?. This gained no traction for unknown or rational reasons.
We disagreed with screening for helplines but expected the police, refuge/safe houses and other front-line staff to do so.