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Friday, October 09, 2009

Are domestic-violence shelters biased against men?

In West Virginia, a judge has knocked down the state's rules for regulating domestic-violence shelters, saying they operate "on the premise that only men can be batterers and only women can be victims." From the Charleston Gazette:

"The practical effect of this rule is to exclude adult and adolescent males from their statutory right to safety and security free from domestic violence for no reason other than their gender," Stucky wrote in his Oct. 2 ruling.

As a result, he said, male victims are being turned away from shelters "even when those shelters are otherwise unoccupied." Treatment programs also exclude women.

The National Coalition for Men is behind the case, and they won a similar one in California. It should be noted, that while men ARE victims of domestic violence, women are much more likely to be victims, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Some shelters say they have restrictions on who uses their facilities because they're trying to protect victims.

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