Alison Redford, Q.C., funding
Date; November 2008
Alison Redford, Q.C.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Office of the Minister
403 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Dear Minister Redford, Q.C., MLA
In your response, November 4, 2008, to Mr. Allan Buteau’s letters to Premier Ed Stelmach you made mention of some interesting points.
While it is appreciated you acknowledge the dedication of Family of Men Support Society, in Calgary and Men’s Help Line, in Edmonton, helping male victim of female perpetrated domestic violence. It would be equally appreciative if you also acknowledge that these two groups or any other men’s support groups in Alberta do not receive any provincial funding, albeit the government will provide during 2008-09 in excess of $59 million to support family violence prevention and bullying programs. Men are excluded from this process, these behaviours boarders on misandry.
The following items are brief descriptions as they pertain to the exclusion of men from the family violence process, both in the community and in government;
The first example, a question in italics I asked Children’s Services, their response is indented. It is in regard to increasing the number of shelter beds for male victims of female perpetrated domestic violence in Alberta;
Following is the response to your question prepared by Children and Youth Services [CYS]
On 2008-11-21 10:58:00.0 you wrote:
Will the provincial government fund an additional shelter beds for male victims of female perpetrated domestic violence who are seeking shelter from the violence?
Will the government recognize the need of beds for male victims of female perpetrated DV?
Children and Youth Services responds as follows:
Preventing family violence and bullying is a priority for the government of Alberta. Priority strategies for family violence prevention are set based on priority service needs identified by nine government departments, service providers and community partners. Government is committed to working alongside community agencies to support safe community initiatives across the province to support programs and resources that are available to all victims of family violence in Alberta who need them, including men. An example is emergency shelter for male victims in Strathmore, and outreach programming provided through a partnership with The Calgary Counselling Centre. At this time, demand for these services is not sufficient to add another men’s emergency shelter bed.
Questionably is the statement; “strategies for family violence prevention are set based on priority service needs identified by nine government departments, service providers and community partners.”
Men were excluded from the larger process and participation. Men were relegated to mere members of the audience. Dr. Eugin Lupri submitted a family violence paper, titled Domestic Violence: The Case of Male Abuse, for inclusion in the process; it was denied insertion on the web site as well as distribution to participants.
On the direction of Heather Forsyth, then Minister of Children’s Services, an application for family violence initiative funding was submitted to the department. The application survived the majority of the process until a letter was received from Sheryl Fricke, June 15, 2005, which stated “…is intended to develop and sustain as many collaborative community partnerships as necessary to support and implement a coordinated response to family violence and/or bullying.” “…partnerships and linkages with the family violence service providers and stakeholders identified as target audiences for the online course are also needed…“
The exclusion of men from the family violence groups and organizational process is the root cause of the problem, hence the funding was denied due to a lack of community partners.
*Action Committee Against Violence exclusion.
The City of Calgary has been very pleased to be a partner in the development of the Action Committee Against Violence (ACAV) since it was established by City Council in December 1991. The project involves over 30 partners and sponsors in order to fulfil their mission “to enhance community capacity to foster a seamless continuum of services that prevents family, sexual and other interpersonal violence”.
The City of Calgary’s protocol manual on family violence stipulated that only “…two accountability groups
Male victims of female perpetrated domestic violence were automatically dismissed and any support service with a different accountability group was not considered for participation.
Therefore, as it pertains to Sheryl Fricke’s statement on partnerships, ACAV is a community organization, which received city and provincial funding (FCSS) but is unwilling to include men’s designated groups as partners thusly partnerships and funding is not made accessible.
will be considered;”…Men who had been abusive to their partners and women who had been abused by their partners…”
*Calgary Homeless Foundation exclusion.
Bob Coe, Regional Director Homelessness Initiative Service Canada Government of Canada informed us that since the federal government does not directly fund programs, it is necessary to be part of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. Service Canada, on our behalf, contacted CHF for a seat on the Family Violence Sector. The seat was refused because we did not have membership with the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters; no men allowed.
Mr. Coe’s, 403-292-5500, response was that this action is discrimination.
*Calgary Domestic Violence Committee exclusion.
During the process of being refused a seat at the CHF, membership at the Calgary Domestic Violence Committee was discussed. It was CDVC determination that based on their “best practices” the exclusion of male victims of female perpetrated domestic violence is reasonable.
In conclusion; men’s groups are dismissed and excluded from community participation and discussion pertaining to victims of family violence. Partnerships can not be formed with organizations that specifically ensure that the male voice is excluded. Men can not be part of the community process if the doors to the meeting room are closed and locked.
While men continue to be blamed for their contribution to domestic violence men, remain locked out of the mechanism for change
The provincial government provides funding to these various organizations, as a taxpayer I have two concerns;
- Based on facts that male victims of domestic violence are equal in numbers to women victims of domestic violence but yet tax dollars are only going to services for women victims of domestic violence. Are men deserving or not deserving of provincially funded family violence victim services?
- My tax dollars go to groups that exclude male participation as well as perpetrating the myth those male victims is a non issue or not a priority because male victims have no voice and without a voice it does not become a priority nor are services provided.
Will members of the Provincial Government apply pressure to those groups receiving provincial funding but have a basis of male exclusion to immediately provide male inclusion?
Reply respectfully requested.
Earl Silverman, BST
Premier Ed Stelmach
Robert W. Thorne
Robert Remington, Calgary Herald
Francis Silvagio, Global National
Licia Corbella, Calgary Herald
Rick Bell, Calgary Sun
Bill Kaufmann. Calgary Sun
Glenn Sacks; Columnist and radio commentator
Barbara Kay, National Post