VICTORY IN CALIFORNIA
Battered Men Being Denied Services Is Ruled Unconstitutional By California Appellate Court, Reports National Coalition of Free Men
Domestic violence programs in California must open doors to battered men
For Immediate Release
SAN DIEGO/EWORLDWIRE/Oct. 17, 2008 — On October 14, 2008, the Court of Appeal in Sacramento, Calif., ruled it is unconstitutional to deny state-funded domestic violence shelter services to men.
The case (Woods. v. Shewry) was filed by four men and the daughter of one, against the State of California and its agencies. The lower court dismissed the case on the ground that men and women are "not similarly situated" as victims. The Court of Appeal reversed the decision on October 14, 2008, holding "male victims of domestic violence are similarly situated to female victims for purposes of the statutory programs" and the laws "violate equal protection."
"This is a big victory for male victims and for gender equality, but the fight is not over," said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Marc E. Angelucci of the National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM), the oldest and largest men’s rights organization in the U.S. "Many taxpayer-funded programs, especially in Los Angeles, deny men counseling, legal services, shelter or even hotel vouchers, putting their children in danger. Men pay at least half of the taxes that fund these programs, and they should not be denied services when they need them.
"This decision can profoundly affect the equal treatment of victims," said NCFM’s President Harry Crouch. "All victims need help, and services should be need-based, not gender-based."
Professors and experts filed sworn declarations supporting the plaintiffs and explaining that this is a serious but hidden problem and that children are being emotionally harmed when their fathers don’t get the necessary help.
Men are less likely than women to report domestic violence, which makes crime-based statistics unreliable. Randomized sociological surveys worldwide, however, consistently show women initiate domestic violence at least as often as men, and men suffer about a third of physical injuries. California State Long Beach Professor Martin Fiebert summarizes over 200 of these studies in an online bibliography. The 50/50 result remains even when self-defense is accounted for.
California State Long Beach bibliography
Canadian government report
American Psychiatric Association
University of New Hampshire 32-nation study
Prof. Don Dutton, ‘Transforming a flawed policy: A call to revive psychology and science in domestic violence research and practice,’ Aggression and Violent Behavior, (11) 2006, 457 483