Canadian shelters for battered men — a long history of failures
Earl Silverman was a Calgary man who had been a battered husband. He had for many years tried to create a refuge for men like he, men who have to suffer from the emotional and physcical abuse by their wives without any help and support from anyone, without a place to go to, to take their children, to be able to escape the constant and serious abuse by their wives and the mothers of their children.
Earl failed in his attempt, although he did manage to open the shelter he called MASH*4077 (Mens Alternative Safe House), the shelter he had given everything he had and beyond to get going. He operated MASH*4077 for three years. MASH*4077 had to close again, just a few weeks ago, due to lack of funds.
Earl cracked under the strain of it all and committed suicide, April 26, 2013.
Earl’s attempt to launch a men’s shelter was not the first such attempt in Canada. It was not the first that failed. All such attempts failed, all for the same reason: lack of funding. I don’t recall a single such shelter that managed to stay open for longer than a year. Earl set a record. MASH*4077 stayed open for three years, and who knows how deeply Earl had to go into debt to manage for that long.
Canada’s women’s shelters receive annually more than $300 million in federal funding, to which is being added, annually, more than a total of $100 million in provincial funding. Yet even Statistics Canada identified several times that intimate partner violence is a mutual dance in which, if anything, women are slightly more often than men the aggressors. Still, with the political landscape being dominated by feminists, by their camp followers and the politicians who love to cater to women because women hold the controlling votes in Canada, no compassion for men who became victims of domestic violence has ever been created by the mainstream media. For that reason there is no funding for batter
ed-men shelters, not a single dollar, zero, nada.
Those are the odds that anyone who ever launched a shelter for battered men in Canada had to face. Although there were a number of attempts to launch such shelters, all of those attempts failed, everyone of them, and Earl Silverman’s MASH*4077 failure and closure is the latest such closure that all eventually experienced, some more than once.
It is not likely that Earl Silverman’s defeat will be covered by the mainstream media. In the evening news there will be no word about his death and what drove him to it. There will be no mention any time soon of the fact that there are as many male as female victims of domestic violence. Least of all will there be any mention of Earl Silverman, a man who had been battered by his wife, who had no help from anyone to assist him in any way at all, a man who sacrificed everything he had in trying to establish a refuge for men like he had been, so that at least in one Canadian city the suffering by men like that would end.
R.I.P. Earl, you have been a friend of men and will be remembered.