Man, you'd better smarten up

Christopher Gooding
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Domestic violence is men’s fault, Justice Minister says

Representatives from Zonta Clubs up and down the Eastern seaboard visited Amherst over the weekend where (from left) Amherst Mayor Robert Small, District 1 Governor Mary-Ann Rubis, Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry, Zonta International Director Susanne von Bussewitz and Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar welcomed them to the Zonta International DIstric 1 fall conference here in Amherst. The three day conference, themed How Far Have We Come, saw the women’s equality group issues group discover how advocacy at the local and international level affects the lives of women and girls in their communities and around the world. Christopher Gooding - Amherst Daily News

AMHERST – When it comes to ending domestic abuse there are no easy answers but it has to start somewhere, so why not with the men?

As keynote speaker for the Zonta International’s District 1 fall conference, at the Wandlyn here in Amherst over the weekend Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry made it clear we can no longer continue to refer to domestic violence as “violence against women.”

Instead, we need to give the perpetrator his due to change how we approach resolving the issue.

“Violence against women has to be reframed. Violence against women is a man’s issue,” Landry said. “It is a man’s violence against women.”

Despite years of bringing the issue forward, the way the public perceives domestic violence and frames their opinions around what it is or how it can be solved often re-victimizes the assaulted. Simply neglecting to mention that it was a man responsible for the violence or assuming it is up to the woman to leave the abusive relationship puts the blame back on the victim, Landry says. It’s a lesson he learned when he was a member of the RCMP.

“Early in my career one of the first calls I had to a particular house – it wasn’t our first call to the house but it was mine – I thought if something doesn’t change I’d be coming back to that house over and over again,” Landry said. “ I thought, ‘Why not just leave.’ I re-victimized her by thinking it was a simple answer; that she had to make the decision.”

Organizations: Zonta International, Wandlyn, RCMP

Geographic location: AMHERST, Nova Scotia

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  • Laurie
    October 12, 2011 - 10:53

    I think Mr. Landry reflected what is happening in society and that stopping violence against women must start with the public, as it can no longer be seen as a private matter. Countless women are forced to leave their homes and community to stay safe. There continues to be a lot of shame around domestic violence because society still blames the woman for not leaving. Its never that simple, especially when they fear for their lives.

  • Bruce Reeves
    October 06, 2011 - 21:46

    I was forced to leave my house because the RCMP would not respond to a call, as instructed to make by my Lawyer, from the Father as she was the person in question committing DV ( body checking a door) in front of the children Mr Landry, grow up and get with the times. The Internet will sink you if you don't address the issue.

  • Jason
    October 05, 2011 - 10:15

    If this article referred to any other segment of society (eg: females, african canadians, asians or muslims) this would have caused outrage and demonstrations. call it for what it is - hate speech, discrimation based on sex. Bill is correct in his comment. especially when StatsCan and its equivelent world wide shows domestic violence is perpetrated on a equal basis by men and women. it is correct to point out as Bill states, this kind of propaganda makes it difficult if not impossible for men and children to find help when they are abused. I demand Mr. Landry's immediate resignation and an investigation into men's charter rights being violated in his hate speech. I am presently preparing letters to this effect to be delivered asap. I am ashamed by my NDP governement.

  • Jason
    October 05, 2011 - 10:10

    If this article referred to any other segment of society (eg: females, african canadians, asians or muslims) this would have caused outrage and demonstrations. call it for what it is - hate speech, discrimation based on sex. Bill is correct in his comment. especially when StatsCan and its equivelent world wide shows domestic violence is perpetrated on a equal basis by men and women. it is correct to point out as Bill states, this kind of propaganda makes it difficult if not impossible for men and children to find help when they are abused. I demand Mr. Landry's immediate resignation and an investigation into men's charter rights being violated in his hate speech. I am presently preparing letters to this effect to be delivered asap. I am ashamed by my NDP governement.

  • Jason
    October 05, 2011 - 10:06

    If this article referred to any other segment of society (eg: females, african canadians, asians or muslims) this would have caused outrage and demonstrations. call it for what it is - hate speech, discrimation based on sex. Bill is correct in his comment. especially when StatsCan and its equivelent world wide shows domestic violence is perpetrated on a equal basis by men and women. it is correct to point out as Bill states, this kind of propaganda makes it difficult if not impossible for men and children to find help when they are abused. I demand Mr. Landry's immediate resignation and an investigation into men's charter rights being violated in his hate speech. I am presently preparing letters to this effect to be delivered asap. I am ashamed by my NDP governement.

  • Alexa
    October 03, 2011 - 16:28

    Domestic violence has nothing to do with being "smart". The title of the article downgrades this serious issue.

  • bill
    October 03, 2011 - 12:51

    What a disgusting, small-minded, sexist attitude. Just when society was beginning to recognize that men are also victims of domestic violence we have a government official label all men as villians. This binary thinking of men=abusers women=victims helps no one. Are children beaten by their mothers victims of 'women's violence against children'? Domestic violence is domestic violence. Comments like Landry's makes it harder for men and children to seek help when they are abused.