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 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.