"The VAWA is a piece of legislation in the U.S. that focuses on helping women who are victims of violence, hence the name "Violence Against Women Act." When instituted it was believed that the vast majority of victims of DV were women. From this legislation there has arisen a huge cottage industry related to helping women who are victims of DV. I am all for helping women who are in this scenario. The rub comes now that we have determined that a sizable portion of the victims (those sustaining injuries) are actually men. The meta analysis by J ARcher published in Psych Bul in 2000, and many other studies are very clear. Archer's research said that 62% of the injuries were incurred by women and that 38% were incurred by the men. They also showed that over half of the violent incidents were instigated by women! This is echoed by numerous other studies including the work of Dr. Murray Straus. What we are finding now is that men who are victims have been hiding, not unlike the original female victims who hid and resisted treatment. The men are ashamed of being beaten by their wives and don't want a soul to find out so they hide it. In the 70's there was a big push by the media to bring these female victims out of their hiding and create safety for these women who were abused and beaten and rightly so.
The problem now is that all of the services are geared for women. I had a male client several months ago who seemed to be in need of an emergency shelter so I called the local DV services and was told very clearly that men were not accepted at the treatment facilities. They said that the best they could do was to put him up at a motel!!
Does anyone else see this as sexist? The feminists on this board, do you see this legislation as sexist? What can be done? "-Dr.Evil