Ontario just launched an ambitious campaign to combat domestic violence.
The grand design was drafted in response to recent high-profile incidents that remain before the courts, including sexual assault allegations against members of the University of Ottawa hockey team, Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby.
“Over the years, every time one of these stories breaks, we’ve once again started the conversation… and then very little or nothing changes. Well, time’s up,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said upon releasing the strategy, titled “It’s Never Ok.”
The complex plan stretches from university campuses to office towers, from the civil courts to hospital rooms. The money will boost sexual assault support services, fund public-awareness campaigns like the stunning ad, and kick-off a pilot project to offer victims of sexual violence free legal advice.
“Sexual violence is rooted in misogyny, which is deeply ingrained in our culture,” said Wynne said.
The plan begins in childhood, with the province’s new sex ed curriculum and lessons on healthy relationships. It continues to post-secondary campuses, which now must develop better strategies to combat such incidents, and through to the workplace.
It looks pretty good, I especially love that they’re targeting the young and I hope the bit about “relationships” means they’ll cover consent.
So it’s only natural that someone would come along and cry “but what about the menz?!”
Calling the Ontario government’s campaign against sexual violence “sexist,” a men’s issues group unveiled a new billboard in downtown Toronto Monday in an attempt to draw attention to male victims of domestic abuse.
“HALF of domestic violence victims are men,” reads the billboard, paid for by the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE). “NO domestic violence shelters are dedicated to us.”
Oh but don’t worry, if there’s one thing the MRA community is good at, it’s data-mining stats to support their conclusions.
In backing up its claim, CAFE cites a 2009 Statistics Canada survey that found an estimated 601,000 Canadian women and 585,000 men experienced spousal violence.
That study, however, also notes that women are twice as likely to be physically injured during spousal abuse than men; and almost seven times as likely to fear for their lives.
Hence why there’s no shelters dedicated to men, there simply isn’t the same level of demand. Men do have shelter options, though: “Some facilities may provide accommodation for men as well as women.”
In a news release Monday, CAFE accused Premier Wynne of forgetting “half the victims of violence.”
“Premier Kathleen Wynne’s violence against women initiative reinforces sexist stereotypes that ignore violence against men, gays and lesbians, and endanger children with abusive mothers,” the statement reads.
Except it doesn’t:
[The domestic violence campaign] includes materials in 25 languages, male survivors, indigenous communities, and the LGBT community.
Yet again, MRAs are left shouting at ghosts and phantoms of their own creation. If you truly want to help men, become a feminist.