GENDER ISSUES FROM A MALE PERSPECTIVE

Gathered together are a number of articles related to how men and boys are treated by society and the media. The articles, for the most part, concentrate on misandry, domestic violence and female violence and reflect an anti-RADICAL FEMINIST viewpoint. Although articles are pro-male, they are not anti-female.

Name:
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada

Monday, January 23, 2006

QUESTIONS TO ASK BATTERED WOMEN'S SHELTERS WORKERS

Transparency and Accountability

This section will address several questions that need to be asked of shelter services, and never seem to be asked at all.

Often, a spokesperson will make a statement such as: "We served 22000 people last year."

The question that should be asked is, "Does this number represent an unduplicated number of individuals, or is this the number of service units provided?"

If it is a number of service units, then the same people will be counted multiple times unless the agency has some procedure for restricting use of their service to once a year. However, in a shelter, a service unit generally refers to one night in one bed, and it is doubtful that kind of restriction would apply.

It is common practice in even the most open of social service agencies to use their number of service units as "people" for an occasional newpaper story, but when it comes to more-serious matters such as newsletters for their stakeholders, or reporting their activities to various government or funding agencies, the numbers are explained so a true picture of the organization can be seen. These organizations want to be as clear and open as possible.

Domestic violence services seem to think the rules don't apply to them, and so the service unit becomes their usual number of "people" for all except the most critical of functions. I've seen reports issued here in Arizona claiming that a number in the high five figures of women and children were using shelters on any given day, with a like number turned away for lack of beds.

Since there are only four million people in the entire state, it was obvious to me they were using their service unit figure in order to "pump up their numbers." Then they compounded the error by using that figure to apply to everyone. According to this figure, 1 in 7 AZ families were experiencing domestic violence. Those "1 in x" figures are rarely arrived at based on any realistic computation, and are always to be considered suspect.

The other day, I heard a PSA on TV that said, "1 in 5 children are victimized online." Not one in five children who use computers, one in five of all children., which is not realistic to even consider.

Another question would be, "What kinds of services do you have for male victims?" If they are being honest they would admit they don't and never will. Then if you ask what happens if a male victim presents himself, see what kind of answer you get. They may claim there are services elsewhere. In that case, check to see these services exist. In four years of activism for un-served people, I have never found these services that are claimed to be elsewhere. Some agencies go so far as to advertise nonexistent services, secure in the knowledge they can be explained away in any number of ways, should anyone be so unfortunate as to need them.

Sometimes a spokesperson will say their services are "open to anyone," in an attempt to appear unbiased, and offer a tiny number of male victims and female abusers. A good question then can be, "What kind of outreach do you do for individuals other than female victims?" You will most likely find that "open to anyone" does not mean they are prepared to actively pursue any outreach or service expansion.

One question I have always wanted to ask is, "Why is it so important to insist only women are victims, when pure logic and even your own statistics, in some cases, suggest a quite different picture?" Most non-profit organizations are usually quite interested in expanding services and looking at ways to help the un-served and under-served. Yet when it comes to DV programs, they do not want to even consider change.

Here's the final one, and it's a biggie: "What solution other than divorce or moving away has been considered?"

SOURCE: DesertLight Journal

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home