Press Release regarding the new police officer put in charge of tackling “violence against women and girls” in England and Wales as announced by Priti Patel
More protection for women, But not for men
A push by Priti Patel towards prioritizing female victims of violent crimes over male victims highlights that violence against men and boys is often ignored and normalized by society and the government.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced that a top police officer will be put in charge of tackling “violence against women and girls” in England and Wales. The creation of the role was recommended after Sarah Everard was murdered earlier this year.
But “The shocking and tragic murder of Sarah Everard by a stranger was instrumentalised by many organisations who only care about women as victims, and ignore male victims of abuse and violence.“ Philipp Tanzer, founder of the organisation Gender Parity UK claims. ““The sad truth is that a man is almost seven times more likely to be killed by a stranger and men are 73% of homicide victims overall. And while it is true that women are 3 times more likely to be killed in Domestic Abuse, there is already a dedicated Domestic Abuse Commissioner, who almost exclusively focuses on female victims at the expense of male victims. Our organisation is focused on equal protection and service provision of men and women and we are deeply concerned about the exclusive focus on female victims of violence in the current public discourse”
The death of Sarah Everard created an intense response because cases like hers are extraordinarily rare. Data shows that violence against women, including Domestic Abuse, has been on a steady decline for decades, while violence experienced by men is in some areas, such as Domestic Abuse and Homicide, on the increase. Over the past decade, homicides of men by a stranger increased by 41% and homicides of men overall by 27%, whilst homicides of women has decreased by 3%. There is a desperate need for police to focus on male victims of violence.
The push by politicians such as shadow Home Office minister Jess Phillips and special-interest activists towards a gendered, exclusively women-focused approach to violence reinforces harmful stereotypes that men and boys do not experience domestic abuse, sexual abuse and gender-based discrimination.
According to official ONS statistics, 35% of victims of domestic abuse are men (757,000) but only 1% of government funding in the area of domestic abuse is allocated to male victims. Men are also 3 times less likely to report the abuse they experience.
There is already a disproportionate focus on female victims. In the ‘Violence against Women and Girls Strategy’, which confusingly includes male victims of domestic abuse and intimate violence, female victims are allocated £400 million – a whopping 620 times the £646,000 allocated to (non-LGBT) male victims, even though men make-up a full third of the total victims. That equates to 66p per male victim per year.
And the institutional discrimination in favour of women is on the increase. Priti Patel announced that “Every aspect of policing and criminal justice system must have a determined approach to ending violence against women and girls,” Surely, the policing and the criminal justice system should “have a determined approach” to ending all violence, especially for those who are overwhelmingly most at risk of being killed: men and boys.
MP Jess Phillips rightly says that “The first responsibility of any government is the safety and security of its citizens” but this must include all citizens. This is why an approach to ending violence which excludes the needs of half of the population must be opposed.
In the attempt to appease some very vocal and well-funded agitators that claim to fight for ‘gender-equality’, the government actively enacts gender-based discrimination on a fundamental level. Priti Patel said: “The safety of women and girls across the country, wherever they are, is an absolute priority for me. It is unacceptable that women and girls are still subject to harassment, abuse, and violence…”
However, she does not explain why it would be acceptable for men and boys to be subjected to these crimes. Men, it seems, are second-class victims and second-class citizens.
Gender Parity UK calls for an inclusive approach to reduce violence that is based on research and the needs of all victims. Legislation and service provision should not be down to media pressure and lobbyism. We call for a long-overdue Commission to examine the reality of ‘gender-discrimination’ that doesn’t shy away from areas in which men and boys are overlooked such as education, homelessness, prison reform, domestic abuse and health care.
Philipp Tanzer for Gender Parity UK