TORONTO, ONTARIO — Dan Perrins, who completed a 120 km walk from Hamilton to Toronto on Friday, has started a hunger strike in front of the Queen’s Park legislature, until the Ontario government promises to open the first shelter for male victims of abuse, trauma and domestic violence.
Ontario currently has zero shelters dedicated to male victims of abuse.
The Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) recently hosted a billboard campaign highlighting the lack of social services for male victims of domestic violence. CAFE is calling on the government to commit itself to men’s mental health following the men’s health focus of last week’s National Mental Health Week.
CAFE has been documenting countless cases of men ridiculed by police after reporting they were victims of domestic violence perpetrated by female partners. A number of these male victims have instead been arrested and jailed in an outrageous form of victim blaming.
“We’re failing our fathers, our sons, our brothers,” says Perrins, whose brother Anthony took his life in 1982. The serious lack of social support for men in trouble is a large factor in why men are four times more likely than women to end their life.