I am certain once feminists catch wind of this they will turn it into another example of “teh menz” abusing their privilege:
The emergency shelter was set up 13 years ago for women and children and adult males are not allowed to stay.
But council officials have now ruled that, because it does not serve both sexes equally, the money used to run the home would be better spent on an ‘outreach service’ to help battered husbands as well as wives in their own homes.
The shelter, which can accommodate six families, costs £82,780 a year to run.
The council is one of nine in Dorset clubbing together to spend £250,000 on finding consultants to tell them where to set up a gypsy camp.
The shelter is funded by Dorset Supporting People – a partnership of Dorset County Council, six local district and borough councils, NHS Dorset and Dorset Probation.
The partnership said the refuge will close in March. A housing association which owns the building is working to find the women alternative accommodation.
The article is far from balanced, so one can take the anecdotes and comments reported in it as one wishes. There may be other reasons at play for why the shelter is being closed, most likely because of the huge cost to run it even though it can only accommodate six women with children. However, if it is true that the shelter was closed due to the lack of services for male victims, the use of the money to provide equal services to everyone, and perhaps more than just six women, is a good thing.
The fact that many shelters harbor a great deal of misandry and perpetuate the fears some victims have of any male, whether adult or a boy, does not alter that abused boys and men need access to services. If this were a larger shelter that provided more beds, there might be a stronger argument against this. Unfortunately, the shelter can only help six families at a time. It is possible that the money used to fund that shelter could and would be better spent, so in the interest of protecting all victims, not just female victims, it is fair to close the shelter.
The irony of the response is that there apparently are five other shelters in Dorset that provide services to women. The bleak tone of the article makes it sound as if this was the only shelter in the area.
What is interesting is that the article provides no mention of the needs of male victims or that male victims in Dorset and the local area lack any access to services. The article is so slanted towards making it unreasonable to use funding to provide services to everyone that this rather important issue — the needs of male victims and why the council would make this decision — gets trivialized and ignored.
As for the council’s decision, the wiser decision would have been to spend a little money to perhaps separate the rooms and make half the rooms available to male victims. Granted, no one would have supported that, nor would they have supported having the shelter at least provide counseling for male victims. However, that would have been an immediate practical decision.
The comments are pretty interesting, at least to the extent that they echo the “abused women don’t want to be around men” theme, as if abused men want to be about women who are just as likely to remind those men of their abusive wives and girlfriends. Many of the people who commented stated that the council should have simply opened up another shelter for men. It is possible that is what the council might do. However, it is more likely that had the council done that they would have been attacked by the same people complaining about this shelter’s closure that women need more space and there already are not enough rooms for women, etc.
Coincidentally, the article does state, “Dorset County Council confirmed that one reason for closure was the lack of facilities for men.” Emphasis added. Perhaps there is actually another reason for the shelter’s closure and both the council and the shelter are blaming and scapegoating male victims.