Equality Act 2010

ManKind Initiative gives evidence to the Welsh Assembly

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.

8,800 men suffer from domestic abuse in Croydon each year

The Croydon Advertiser revealed that 22,000 people per year in Croydon, in Surrey, suffer from domestic abuse each year including 8,800 men. Of those men, around 1,0o0 suffered more than four incidents.

It was very pleasing that such a profile was given to the number of male victims.

The challenge given the recent finding by NICE and also the fact that there is no known service for male victims of domestic abuse is to ensure that those men suffering are able to get the help they need. If no support is available, including safe house support, then the council and health agencies will be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.