Friday, August 12, 2011

Men and women in the same shelter?

Found via from NCFM-LA:

From 1990 to 1998, Patricia directed the Antelope Valley Domestic Violence Council in Lancaster, California, also known as the "Valley Oasis" shelter. After realizing male victims had no place to go, she courageously changed her women-only policy by setting aside one of her shelters for male victims and their children, and in rare cases of overflow she would obtain consent from residents in another one of her shelters to mix the sexes, which, she says, never created a problem. Nonetheless, Patricia was mistreated by other shelter directors who insisted services should only be for women. The mistreatment became so severe that she filed a complaint with the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, as she explains in her sworn declaration at Patricia later joined NCFM's Advisory Board and the Speaker's Bureau of Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE) and remained closely in touch with battered men's advocates until the date of her death.

In 2004 Patricia encouraged NCFM to file a lawsuit to end the discrimination against male victims and their children. NCFM filed the lawsuit in 2005 and in 2008 won a landmark appellate victory that held it is unconstitutional for the State of California to exclude male victims from the state laws that fund domestic violence services. The case is David Woods v. Horton (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 658 and can be read at
Certainly a pioneer. An approach that could work elsewhere? Has somebody even tried?

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