Domestic violence: husbands and wives

MoJ screenshotOver the weekend, someone tweeted a link to a page on the Ministry of Justice site. The page, headlined Legal aid for victims of domestic violence, sets out the options open to anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves separating from or divorcing an abusive partner.

Domestic violence is one of the few areas of family law for which legal aid is still available. Most people would, I’m sure, agree that it can be a genuine emergency, and nobody should be placed at risk of life or limb just because they lack the money for firm legal action.

The problem with this particular page lies in the second paragraph. Here we read:

“To get legal aid you must be able to give your solicitor some evidence that you have been a victim of domestic violence by your partner or husband.”

(Emphasis my own)

As my Twitter correspondent, Dicky Souray, righty pointed out:

“One tiny word; one huge giveaway that even MoJ doesn’t seriously expect men to apply. Discouraged at first point of call.”

Not only that, but just below, the page links to a definition of domestic violence on the website of charity Women’s Aid. (Thanks to Peter Newman pointing that out!)

Of course, a great deal of domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women, but domestic violence against men does exist, more frequently  than many people imagine, and it certainly should not be casually disregarded in this way. If the government feels that it is appropriate to hang ‘women only’ signs out on a website about practical help for victims, where are men in need supposed to turn? It is another message from the establishment that the distress of male victims is imaginary. In the 21st Century we should be beyond lazy stereotypes of women as passive victims and men as perpetual villains.

14 comments

JamesB - July 29, 2013 at 7:57pm

I am surprised that you are surprised about this. We all know that feminism has gone too far.

Luke - July 29, 2013 at 9:38pm

The split on domestic violence is about 50-50 – it’s well known but nobody wants to deal with it and a lot of feminist groups are very active in suppressing this because it doesn’t promote their agenda.

Me - July 31, 2013 at 5:49am

Having an inside story (or stories) as I do, I can also point to a number of cases where the false allegations have been entirely dismissed by the court, but the legal iad people still deem it worthwhile to keep paying for the female party’s legal representation. Just another outrageous thing that is happening as more and more dads are defamed by the gender-neutral courts and all who serve them.

Mark Brooks (The ManKind Initiative) - July 31, 2013 at 8:03am

Thank you for spotting and posting this.

I will write to the Secretary of State and his Minister (who happens to be a Minister for Equalities) pointing out that this in breach of Equality Act 2010 and that they should stick to the Home Office (the government’s definition therefore) of domestic abuse and not one from an outside organisation.

It is also worth pointing out that the latest British Crime Survey statistics in this area showed that more married men (2.3%) than married women (1.8%) reported being a victim of partner abuse in 2011/12.

Jane Jackson - July 31, 2013 at 9:20am

The more articles like this the better. I absolutely agree, the government and MOJ must accept that DV happens in families, by both women and men.
Feminism has gone to far, that is for sure. Feminism is not about equal rights anymore it is about portraying men as second class citizens, to expect them to do it all.
I despair for society, and I fear for the generation who are growing up in this time of putting men down at every opportunity, as the bad guys, how are the boys of this generation seeing their future.
DV is totally unacceptable to whom ever it is directed at.

Nick Langford - July 31, 2013 at 9:53am

Lucy Reed has figures under FOI showing that legal aid had been granted to only one case since LASPO, and I doubt that was a DV case. Apparently since she received the figures another 2 were approved. Legal aid is going to be exceptionally difficult to gain even if you are a female victim of DV, and if you are male, the message is probably don’t bother – it will just cause unnecessary delay.

JamesB - July 31, 2013 at 11:13am

‘gender-neutral courts’ , yeah right, they are not gender neutral at all in my extensive experience. They are pro feminist agenda, which is as Jane says it is. The positive thing is that my son doesn’t have to date or be with a feminist and can vote with his feet as I will continue to and it is a global market (relationships) and there are nice people of both sexes out there for all. Let the feminists shout and go on and I will help my children be happy avoiding them like the plague.

JamesB - July 31, 2013 at 11:13am

I have one son and two daughters.

JamesB - July 31, 2013 at 11:13am

One wife (who is nice) and one ex wife (who is not).

JamesB - July 31, 2013 at 11:15am

I would advise anyone and everyone to stay clear of the feminists.

Stitchedup - August 2, 2013 at 10:10am

Hats off to Marilyn for publishing this…… I have to admit I have had my doubts on occasions. I would very much like to publish this in my local paper; the reason being that my local council are introducing a “Domestic Abuse Workplace Policy”, and are looking to “take action against perpetrators”.

http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/council/minutes,_agendas_and_reports/reports/cabinet/2013/13-07-29/Domestic-Abuse-Workplace-Policy.aspx

As someone that has been convicted of domestic abuse, I have serious concerns over this. I would be reasonable to assume that action against perpetrators may include dismissal. I was convicted of breaching a non-molestation order because I was deemed to have spoken to my ex “without reasonable excuse”. I now have a domestic violence conviction and I am put in the same category as a violent wife beater or somebody that has cut off the clitoris of a young woman/girl with a pair of scissors.

Dismissing a man from his job because he was deemed to have spoken to his ex without reasonable excuse will only make things worst. The man will no longer be able to provide for his children, will become a burden on the state, will become disproportionately stigmatised and will no doubt find it very difficult to find a job in the future.

I would to remind readers of this blog that non mols are now part of the gamesmanship of divorce and separation and are routinely used to get the upper hand, they often have nothing to do with genuine domestic violence. They are being dished out in the civil courts like sweets, primarily against men with no burden of proof; breach it by speaking to your ex and you get a criminal conviction and could receive a custodial sentence. When is this going to stop???!!

Stitchedup - August 2, 2013 at 10:14am

“I would advise anyone and everyone to stay clear of the feminists.”

James B, if I ever get into a relationship again, one wiff of feminism and she won’t see me for dust.

Feminists should be put on a register like sex abusers. I also think any women that has had a partner convicted for domestic/abuse violence should also be put in a register so that future partners know what they are dealing with.

Ricky Seal - August 3, 2013 at 12:57pm

In response to Nick Langford’s comment on July 31, 2013 at 9:53 am:

“Lucy Reed has figures under FOI showing that legal aid had been granted to only one case since LASPO, and I doubt that was a DV case. Apparently since she received the figures another 2 were approved.”
– Lucy’s article is available here: http://pinktape.co.uk/public-funding/truly-exceptional/
– The FOI refers to legal aid that has been granted under exceptional funding only
– Legal aid has certainly been granted in many more cases in non-exceptional funding cases (i.e. those who are eligible for legal aid under the gateways (see https://www.justice.gov.uk/legal-aid-for-private-family-matters))

“Legal aid is going to be exceptionally difficult to gain even if you are a female victim of DV”
– This is not correct, female victims of DV are the most likely to get legal aid post-LASPO (although obtaining the required evidence for the LAA can be difficult and frustrating)

“If you are male, the message is probably don’t bother – it will just cause unnecessary delay.”
– Unfortunately, male victims of DV are not taken seriously enough by society and this will be reflected in the numbers applying for and obtaining legal aid.

me - April 1, 2014 at 6:23pm

The same twitter user Dicky Souray who breached his non-molestation order …

cornishguardian.co.uk/Order-breach/story-20307127-detail/story.html

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