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Home Affairs Select Committee Enquiry into Domestic Violence

From: John Mays, Chair PARITY
14 Hillview, Cottenham Park Road, West Wimbledon, London SW20 0TA
Tel:  0208 946 2198                           

 

xx September 2007

 

To:
Clerk of the Committee
Home Affairs Select Committee,
House of Commons,
Westminster,
London SW1A 0AA

 

Dear Sir,

 

Home Affairs Select Committee Enquiry into Domestic Violence

 

1    PARITY would like to submit to the Select Committee the following comments relating to this Enquiry.

 

2     PARITY is a voluntary non-party-political charity concerned with the equal rights and treatment of men and women.  It was originally established in 1996.  It has had several successes in the European Courts challenging statutory sex discrimination against men in the UK.

 

3    Summary of main points in submission

  • PARITY is concerned that there is still widespread sex inequality in the attitudes towards and the support services offered to male victims of domestic violence in this country
  • A succession of reputable official surveys in the past decade have consistently shown a substantial level of female violence against male partners in intimate relationships, and a corresponding substantial level of male victims

 

  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that the police and other agencies involved are often not even-handed in dealing with cases where there are male victims
  • PARITY believes that ‘zero-tolerance’ policies exacerbate the plight of male victims

 

  • The lack of publicly funded treatment programmes for violent women suggests that female violence is still not taken seriously
  • Abused fathers and their children are particularly ill-served by the present inequality

 

  • The Government must publicly recognise the existence and plight of male victims and initiate the measures and funding necessary to promote an equitable support service for both male and female victims.

4    Our concern extends to all victims of domestic conflict.  However, it is increasingly clear that the existence and plight of male victims of domestic abuse by intimate partners are still not being taken seriously by Government, or, indeed, the police and other agencies.  The result is that they are largely ignored in public policy and funding and thereby marginalised in the support services provided for victims.  This submission reflects the concern of PARITY at this widespread sex inequality.

 

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