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.”