09:54 (0 minutes ago)
Hon. Deb Matthews
Minister Responsible for Women's Issues
14th Floor 56 Wellesley St W
M5S 2S3 via fax 416-212-7431 and email email@example.com.
September 23, 2009
My Dear Minister Matthews:
I was made aware today you and the Liberal Government will be keeping a gender based perspective on IPV. I am very disappointed with this decision and understand you will be speaking about it at the Durham Region’s Intimate Relationship Violence Empowerment Network 4th annual forum in Whitby, ON, October 2/09.
Given the Liberal government will be taking this official stance despite the science showing IPV is mutual and close to equal, is initiated by females more often than males - as high as 70% in some studies, males are injured and killed as well as females, that children are murdered and maltreated more often by their mothers in Canada, the U.S.A. and Australia I can only conclude your government puts a premium on being female and discounts males. That is unconstitutional!
I would respectfully request a copy of the Minister’s speech as part of my research into preparing a Human Rights Complaint against the Attorney General, Ms. Matthews, Premier McQuinty, and the local DV shelter who refuses to support battered men.
In addition I note most of the members of the Council who advised the Minister on this decision have a vested interest in the status quo as they are indeed recipients of tax payers money. I also note one of the speakers at this forum is an academic from the UOIT, Molly Dragiewicz.
This Professor is a noted feminist ideologue and a recipient of your largess in obtaining contracts to produce information forming the basis for your conclusions to keeping the status quo. She too has a vested interest in this approach as it is less threatening to getting contracts from your $208,000,000.00 allotment of tax payer’s money targeted exclusively for women. Was this contract and others awarded to Dragiewicz, and her colleague at UOIT, sole sourced or was there a tender involved? I would like to know your policy generally and specifically with the one that has led to your official announcement of using a gender based approach.
Let’s do a little math using Barbara Kay’s figures given as a rebuttal to your assertions on a National Post story in December 2008. In 2006 there were 605 murders in Canada and 78 were spousal homicides. Women numbered 56 - 6 fewer than 2005 but males jumped 12 to a total of 21. You spend $208 million on women annually according to your response to Ms. Kay below – none is allocated specifically for men. For every female death you have $3,714,286 available and, of course, none for males. I use the larger figure to demonstrate the apparent willful blindness of your government. You have indicated women die more often, are injured more often, 6 times more likely to seek medical attention etc. Some of these figures had no attribution and they are suspect as men do not report their injuries very often (between 10 & 17%), the higher figure from StatsCan and so the female numbers become less comparable even if they have scientific credibility.
Not all spousal homicides are reported as such. Women are devilishly clever at killing their spouses and sometimes these killings are reported as something other than DV. Just in your riding we saw a murder/suicide by a female police officer who killed her partner then herself. This was not classified as a spousal homicide but should have been. If a new boyfriend is coerced into killing the husband, if a contractor is used, if undetectable methods are employed, or if it just plain appears as accidental it will not appear as a spousal killing. I would further want you to understand that there could be as many as 2,000 deaths of men by suicide per year due to family court marginalization (children are awarded to mom in a 9-1 ratio and dad becomes an ATM) plus false accusations of rape or violence that ruin men’s lives. That is a serious number. All deaths are tragic but I believe the pendulum has swung way too far to the left giving your government a truly feminist oriented agenda at the expense of males.
You have also used cherry picked Coroner’s reports showing, and I quote, females were the victims in 95% of domestic violence fatality cases. See the official numbers above.
Guess who gets involved on these death review committees with the Coroner. Yes, a representative sample of the same tax supported people you are speaking to on October 2, 2009 multiplied Province wide. Do you see where this is going? You have a beholding group of people operating DV shelters who are never audited, either financially or operationally, who make clients sign “non disclosure agreements, (why is that?) who make out reports to send to the government recording the “official” numbers of women helped but, as a rational human being, who can believe them if they aren’t independently audited. I also make note they provide no services to battered men, and yes we do exist. Your government is already beset with scandals is this another one in its infancy?
Your response to Barbara Kay follows:
"It's important to address Barbara Kay's assertions that were raised on such a significant and solemn occasion, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. In response to her statement that "emotion, not reason or facts, drives the domestic violence industry”, there are facts to support that domestic violence is not gender-neutral.
According to Statistics Canada, women experience more severe forms of violence, more often, than men. Women are twice as likely as men to be injured as a result of spousal violence, six times more likely to seek medical attention and three times more likely to fear for their lives.
And according to the Chief Coroner's Domestic Violence Death Review Committee, females were the victims in 95% of domestic violence fatality cases. That means women were victims in 19 of every 20 domestic violence deaths. That's not gender-neutral.
Our response must, and does, recognize this reality. With our community partners, we support women and their children escaping violent situations. Each year, our government invests more than $208-million in services that support and protect women from violence, including our $87-million Domestic Violence Action Plan.
Stopping domestic violence is everyone's business. And its existence is not to be trivialized and distorted " .
Deb Matthews, Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, Toronto.
National Post Published: Thursday, December 11, 2008
Professor Don Dutton of UBC also supplied a response to your comments as follows:
Another view on domestic violence
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Re: Women's Issues Minister Responds, letter, Dec. 11.
This letter from the Ontario Minister for Women Issues is typical of the misleading information that plagues Canadian policy on domestic violence. Partner homicide is extremely rare, and the Ontario Death Review Committee cherry-picked cases that would support the Ministry's view of domestic violence. The Ontario cases are ones that the committee decided were domestic violence, and do not include all cases of homicide, as the system selects out female precipitated homicides as "manslaughter" or lesser charges.
When one compares the committee's finding -- that 95% of partner homicides are male perpetrated -- with actual research, the picture changes dramatically. An analysis of all U. S. partner homicides from 1976 to 2001 reveals a 2:1 (female victim: male victim) ratio for 50,000+ partner homicides. Canadian data show a spousal homicide ratio from 1974 to 1990 to be about 3:1 (female victim: male victim) -- and this translates to eight husbands killing their wives (out of one million couples) and 2.3 women killing their husbands.
Put somewhat differently, 999,992 men and 999,997.7 per million women do not kill their spouse -- I would say that is not then a gender issue. If such a minuscule group of either gender kills, then something else beside gender must be involved. Government ministries that repeatedly misrepresent domestic violence statistics to perpetuate their existence do no favours to taxpayers, be they male or female.
professor of psychology,
University of British Columbia,
Domestic Violence is a serious issue but it will not get resolved using the gender based approach. How can it when only one side of an issue is dealt with rather than the whole. Just imagine if Doctors only looked at one possible scenario of many to heal us. In any problem solving exercise a wide array of possibilities is examined. To ignore 50% of the problem, be that a male or female, is to throw good money after bad. Your government spends a great deal of money on only women’s issues. Where are the results?
I look forward to your governments defence of my Human Rights Complaint and I also hope this debate will be very public, as it should be. I will issue press releases when I am ready to send it in to the OHRC. The complaint will be personal, representing only me, but the results may have a benefit for all men in this province, and if the dominoes fall, eventually all battered men across Canada.
Do you want to be the Minister and government defending a one sided single gender approach, forced into submission by your own HRC, as California was by a court verdict last year, or will you change your policy and treat men and DV with equality?
Mike Murphy ,
(Sault St Marie Ontario)
The B.C. government backtracked Tuesday and restored $440,000 in funding to organizations that provide domestic-violence counselling.
Solicitor-General Kash Heed made the announcement in a news release, after his government faced a wave of criticism in recent days for slashing funding to women's groups.
"These programs are vital to preventing domestic violence because they provide counselling and support to vulnerable women and children," said Heed. "By moving to protect these important frontline services, we can support victims and minimize future risk."
In August, the Liberal government consolidated $16.47 million in domestic-violence funding under the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor-General. Although it has tried in recent days to promote the move as a funding increase, the province had actually cut $440,000 in what it called "budget pressures."
Domestic-violence support groups across the province blasted the government for the reduction, saying the lost money threatened programs to help counsel children who have witnessed violence, along with outreach programs to help battered women.
The criticism fell on the same day last week as a damning report by B.C.'s child and youth representative, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who said the province's system for handling domestic violence lacks proper co-ordination.
Women's groups were pleased with the government's reversal Tuesday.
"That's great news," said Carolyn Fast, executive director of the Victoria Women's Transition House Society. "And I definitely think it's the right thing to do. It certainly helps us. It's not huge dollars but it's one more thing."
Heed also extended funding for a victims'-services worker at the New Westminster Police Department's domestic violence unit. The position, set to expire at the end of 2009, will continue until March 2010 due to $11,000 in extra funding, Heed said.
-- Canwest News Service