|By KAREN UNLAND, JOURNAL STAFF WRITER |
Edmonton (appeared in the Edmonton Journal 1998 09 29)
Women's shelters have become bunkers in a war against men, says a lecturer on family violence. Feminists have "hijacked the whole subject of domestic violence and made it their own," said Erin Pizzey, billed as the founder of the world's first refuge for battered women, in Chiswick, England in 1971. Men should be allowed to work in shelters to show abused women and children that not all men are violent, she said. "It's a human problem. It's not just a man problem," Pizzey told a news conference before joining a small protest Monday outside the Family Centre, a downtown counselling service. The protest and Pizzey's visit to Edmonton were organized by the Movement to Establish Real Gender Equality, an anti-feminist group founded by Ferrel Christensen, a University of Alberta philosophy professor.
Christensen is angry at the Family Centre for a pamphlet on family violence that he says promotes the idea that only men are abusive. "In five seconds, anyone can see that this is not fair literature," said Christensen, who has filed a complaint against the Family Centre with the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission. About a dozen men and women carried placards with such messages as "Stereotypes Hurt Everyone" and "Don't Fund Gender Bias." Officials from the Family Centre refused to comment.
Pizzey, who carried a sign reading "False Charges Are Also Abuse," said people have a responsibility to protest when social service organizations suggest that only men are violent. Most women who ended up at her shelter were "as violent as the men they left," she said. Reacting to abuse they suffered as children, these women often abuse their own children and tend to return again and again to dangerous relationships, she said. "It isn't a question of just saying it's only the man's fault. It's her responsibility as well," Pizzey said.
Arlene Chapman [see follow-up, below], provincial coordinator of the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters, said Pizzey's views are ludicrous. "She's obviously out of step with the sheltering movement...It was the feminist movement that started the shelters, and thank God," Chapman said. Last year, Alberta shelters housed 5,212 women and 6,232 children [At least 25% of which, according to shelter directors, were not battered women but rather women looking for hostels --WHS].
Chapman said it is "absolutely preposterous" to suggest women and men are equally abusive. "There is a gross power imbalance between women and men," she said. An abused woman tends to go back to her partner at least three times before she leaves for good. But it's poverty, not a tendency to seek violent relationships, that sends the women back home, Chapman said.
"This woman needs to be educated," Chapman said of Pizzey.
Spreading the Word.
Erin Pizzey, an author and lecturer on the subject of family violence, is on a six-week tour of Canada. Her 1974 book, Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear, was based on her experience at a battered women's shelter she founded in Chiswick, England, in 1971. In her 1982 book, Prone to Violence, she turned her attention to
violent women. She has also written a number of novels and short stories. She is a friend of Anne Cools, the controversial senator who has spoken out in favour of men's rights. Cools prompted the formation of a joint Senate-Commons committee on child custody and access which toured Canada seeking input on changes to the Divorce Act. According to a draft report leaked last week, the committee proposes to make it a criminal offence to make false accusations of abuse in a custody battle and [it] advocates giving grandparents a say in custody matters.
Pizzey supports both proposals.
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The article mentions that the Joint Senate/House of Commons Committee on the Review of Child Custody and Access intends to propose to make false accusations of abuse a criminal offence.
That conveniently ignores that false allegations of abuse constitute perjury and that perjury is currently a criminal offence that is punishable by incarceration. The problem with false abuse allegations, especially when those are made by women, is that the perjury associated with them is routinely ignored in the courts. For a prime example of how that is done check a description of a false abuse allegation in the Manhatten Family Court.
A friend who watched the Rutherford Show (the Rutherford Show on CHED Radio — it was broadcast then, live, on CTV) told me a couple of days later that a funny thing happened.
The topic was Gun Control. The guests included people from the gun lobby, and Arlene Chapman.
You must realize that Erin Pizzey, Sen. Cools and Theresa Petkau were guests on the Rutherford Show Friday, 1998 09 25 in Calgary http://fathersforlife.org/calgary.htm
Dave Rutherford also moderated the morning session of the Family Violence Workshop in Calgary, September 25. He was therefore well-prepared to recognize feminist propaganda when he heard it from Chapman.
Chapman's overbearing behaviour on the Rutherford Show on gun control became so extreme that it compelled Dave Rutherford to literally get up and stuff a sock into her mouth.
Now, how do you like that!
Check a more comprehensive link library to find out the truth about false abuse allegations