Domestic Abuse

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Mental Health Issues Shouldn't Overshadow Victims Of Men's Violence

Caring for our veterans, particularly those suffering from PTSD, is undoubtedly an important issue. However, a conversation around mental health shouldn't overshadow men's violence against women and children. More concerning, shifting the narrative towards mental health and further away from men's violence make it even more difficult to hold perpetrators of similar acts of violence accountable.
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Victims Of Violence Deserve Unconditional Access To Legal Aid

Zahra Mahamoud Abdille and her two sons fled violence and sought refuge in a Toronto women's shelter. Zahra did the right thing. She wanted to leave the abusive life behind her for good and start a new life free of violence. And thus, she contemplated a divorce. However, such an endeavour requires resources, including legal fees that were beyond her means. Once again, Zahra, did the right thing: she applied for legal aid to proceed with her separation and divorce papers. Sadly, Zahra was denied legal aid because she was working and had a "decent" income.
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Violence Against Mothers Is Not a Single-Victim Crime

When mothers are abused their children are also significantly impacted. The abuse ripple-effect is far reaching. Children who witness their mother's abuse can experience learning challenges, behavioural and mental health issues and these long-term effects can extend far into adulthood. The Interval House study also showed the majority of Canadians do not believe that a woman should stay in an abusive relationship for the sake of the children. It is a positive shift that so many Canadians support mothers leaving an abusive relationship, rather than insisting on keeping the family unit intact no matter what.
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Why I'm Disturbed By the Results of This Domestic Violence Poll in Ontario

Abuse is always the responsibility of the abuser. Always. If we want to significantly change attitudes and feel optimistic about progress then we need to hear people saying loudly that there is no action or choice by a victim that can ever justify abuse. Not if she cheats on him, if she's a bad cook, if she nags, if she hates his mother, if she is passive, if she has different priorities, if she's stressed out, if she doesn't feel like sex, if she likes to spend, if she's a poor communicator, if she hates mopping the floor or if she forgets his birthday.
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Fifty Shades of Grey Is Not About Domestic Abuse

Yes, there are elements in Fifty Shades of Grey that warrant discussion. However, we have to remember that these people are figments of E.L. James' imagination. She's no expert on the BDSM lifestyle and her scenes lack a certain accuracy. This is not what a healthy relationship looks like. You cannot fix a violent person with your love, nor is it romantic to be scared.
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We Can't Stop Violence Against Women If We Love Celebrity Abusers

Sure there are stars who saw temporary road bumps in their career for their publicized violence against women like Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson, Chris Brown, Tommy Lee, Ike Turner, Bobby Brown and Nicholas Cage. But most of them bounced back and continue to have devoted fans. What message does that send to women who have been abused? That their life is not as important as a great film or song or game or show? What does it say about each of us that we likely have admitted to appreciating the talent of at least one famous abuser?

Canada Needs a Plan to Address Violence Against Immigrant and Refugee Women

The report calls for a national plan to address violence against immigrant and refugee women and immigration policies that better support immigrants in precarious circumstances. It calls on the federal government to abolish the two-year conditional status for sponsored spouses, reinstate access to the Interim Federal Health program to all refugee claimants and uphold the privacy of all people who have access to social and health services.
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Every Second Woman You See Has Been a Victim of Violence

The reality is that domestic abuse is far too common in society and that includes Canada. According to a Statistics Canada study 50 per cent of women in Canada have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. Think about that for a minute. Look around your office, your classroom, the street your walking on; statistically every second women you see will have suffered violence. And domestic violence is not just limited to people we don't know or people we don't see. Think about your friends and your family, your co-workers, and your classmates -- any of them could be victims of domestic violence.
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Asking Abuse Victims Why They Stayed Is Still Blaming Them

To these women this isn't just the monster who kicked them down the stairs or told them they were worthless. He's also the man who romanced them and won their heart, the man they sleep next to, the man they make love to, the man who may be the father of their children, the man they build a life with together. To walk away from him is to walk away from the good moments, from the dream of that life. The possibility of what might have been, if only he could change and see the light. Abuse victims didn't "ask for it" or "like it" or "cause it." They are victims, and asking "why didn't they just walk away" -- whether unintentional or not -- blames those victims.
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A Two-Game Suspension Is a Small Price for Ray Rice To Pay

This isn't Ray Rice's story of fame to public shame. It's the story of Janay Palmer, Anthea Mari and the many faceless women who have suffered through the same tale. Sadly, the NFL could have used better judgment from the moment the first video was released to the public. The original two-game suspension seems like after-school detention or a fleeting time-out in the corner, a small price to pay for what should be an incredibly adult crime.
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Elliot Rodger Killed Women Because He Believed He Was Superior To Them

If you are a man and reading this, you might be thinking "But not all men would hurt women." That's true. Not all men would. But all women have been dehumanized by a man. That's what's forgotten in this conversation -- there's so much defensiveness from men. Please listen to what we have to say. We're telling you that this happens enough that every woman has a story. Not all men do this, but enough men do that the default is to be distrustful and wary around men. Elliot Rodger believed in the lies the Men's Rights Activist Movement told him.

Don't Let Speaking Out Be a Taboo

How is it that we live in a culture where speaking out is still taboo? A culture where so many blame victims for their own abuse. Where women are afraid to report or seek assistance because they worry that they will not be believed? But today and every day, I choose not to be heartbroken.
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Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships

We've all seen the recent headlines with high profile allegations of domestic abuse. I can't count the number of times I've heard friends and family ask the same question of those stories: "why doesn't she just leave?" Too many people assume that if a woman is in an abusive relationship that she is making a choice to stay and that she has the power to end the abuse if she just leaves.

Not Our Jobs: Emotional Responsibility and Sexism

There's a pretty levelling quote of Germaine Greer's: "Women have no idea how much men hate them." It's the kind of quote that not only knocks you ass-backwards but continues to unfurl in front of you, because the volume it speaks is only really matched by the layers in which it's applicable.
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What Would You Do if Your Spouse Was Your Rapist?

This week, I had a drink with a very good friend. He's currently in a relationship with a wonderful woman whose ex-husband, the father of her children also happens to be the man who raped and brutally sodomized her for the last four years of their nine-year marriage. No one believed the story of her ordeal. No one in her family. Not one of her friends. Disbelief is a cruel after-effect of rape. It's also the trump card of the rapist. The burden is all too often placed on the victim, not the perpetrator. And when it's a spouse, he knows how to make the victim feel so worthless, guilty and low, that she'll avoid doing what is necessary.