Canadian battered men shelters – long history of failures

Update 2018 08 22: Added links to related articles

Canadian battered men shelters – Long history of failures brought Earl Silverman to the end of a rope.

Earl Silverman was a Calgary man who had been a battered husband.  He had for many years tried to create a battered men shelter for men like he, men who have to suffer from the emotional and physical 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 a battered men shelter he called MASH*4077 (Mens Alternative Safe House), the battered men 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 battered men 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 battered men 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 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 battered men shelters, not a single dollar, zero, nada.

Those are the odds that anyone who ever launched Canadian battered men shelters had to face.  Although there were a number of attempts to launch battered men shelters, all of those attempts failed, every one of them.  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 such as 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.


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4 Responses to Canadian battered men shelters – long history of failures

  1. If you are looking for a battered men’s shelter, what is available to men is described in a photo essay at The Shattered Men website. A telling comparison is being made between typical women’s shelters and typical men’s shelters to identify the differences between the services available for male and female abuse victims.

  2. Paul Elam, at (I cannot post the complete link, as it will not pass the filter here) /a-voice-for-men/****-you-kate-harding#comment-157040 you stated,

    “It is a great suggestion, and one that may not have immediately occurred to people who are in a state of shock and grief.

    If you or anyone else can gather the needed information, AVFM will underwrite whatever is necessary to salvage his legacy and the record of his work.”

    It wasn’t so much a suggestion as it was an observation and a few questions. I gather that the answer to any of those questions is “no.”

    I guess that a man has to become a bit older to understand how important the issue is. A lot of people I met in my [life] died since I met them. None of that was my doing. It is a reality of life.

    The usual course of events is that when someone dies, people (many of whom never met or heard of the man) hear or read about his life and death, talk and write about the man, his life, his legacy, the circumstances of his death, come to his funeral, offer condolences to his surviving relatives and friends, and then they forget about him.

    The deceased’s work and legacy isare then forgotten. Usually no one picks up the torch he was carrying, and eventually, years and perhaps decades later, someone will become aware of the need to do the things that the deceased had been working on to achieve, start all over, from scratch, re-inventing the wheel, so to speak, without being aware that some of the work that needs to be done was already done.

    There is no continuity. The reality of it all is that Earl Silverman is not the first man who ever died, and he will not be the last to have been forgotten. His work and the information he gathered should not be forgotten, if for no other reason than to learn what do to prevent an identical or similar outcome for the next man who may try to achieve what Earl Silverman tried to do.

    About the practical aspects of saving Earl Silverman’s website (I have no idea how many here have actually ever been to it.; here is the URL once more: ), there are of course copies of it at the wayback-machine. The latest one is at

    The problem with that is that it cannot be searched by means of text searches. Although all of the internal links do function at the archived version, internal links are fine for browsing the archived version of the website, but they are insufficient for finding information in it.

    The website should be copied. The easiest method for copying would be to prepare a copy of the website for export. That can only be done by someone who knows the user ID and password. I doubt it that it will be easy to find out what those are, unless Earl made provisions for that in the event of his death (did he even leave a will?) his user ID and password will be released.

    Another way to copy the website would be to use Adobe. Adobe can be used to copy a website. It will crawl a site, copy all of its pages and produce a copy of the whole website that can be searched through text searches (either in PDF or HTML file format). There are probably other tools that do the same thing, but I don’t know what they are, and I no longer have a copy of Adobe that will work on the PC I now use.

    Is there anyone amongst the subscribers of AVFM who can do the copying and produce a file for the site?

    It’s something the men’s movement must learn to think about if it wants to become a conscious entity. The issue of succession and continuation does not end with Earl. It is an ongoing problem that needs to be solved.

    It is not a practical solution to pass the problem on to individuals, at least not to those who are next in line to pass on into the afterlife. The men’s movement must come to terms with that if it wants to live forever and have a productive existence. The issue of succession and continuation must become part of the agenda for the plan for the goals and evolution of the men’s movement, if such a plan should ever happen to come about. A systematic procedure for archiving a record of its activities is one of the manifestations of any viable and successful organization that ever raised itself above the level of a disorganized mob.

    The concerns I expressed in this response will be added to the comments I posted in the discussion thread following my eulogy for Earl Silverman, at

  3. Given the circumstances of Earl Silverman’s tragic death and what he had devoted his life, resources and efforts to address, I would like any help that can be provided with updating information on shelters for battered men, not just in Canada (nothing in addition to what Earl had going can be found there) but also in the U.S. and elsewhere. That will enable me to add to the information available here:

  4. I have not had a single response (other than a few “likes”) to my original, widely disseminated FB inquiry relating to this, so I must ask again. Of all of the people who put so much effort into movingly expressing their concerns about Earl Silverman’s death and the circumstances that drove him to commit suicide, is there one who has salvaged Earl’s legacy, a wealth of information on domestic violence and intimate partner abuse?

    The domain-name registration for Earl Silverman’s website expires on March 31, 2014

    That does not mean that the website is safe until then, unless someone can demonstrate that the host server for Earl’s website was paid to provide services and web space for the site at least until March 31, 2014.

    Does anyone know when Earl’s website is due to expire? Are there any plans by anyone to at least salvage the information on it and, even better, to make it accessible at a new home? If not for Earl’s memory, should that not at least be done because it is dictated by common sense?

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