As promised, we’re pleased to present the second part of our investigation into sexism against male victims of domestic abuse by Northumbria Police and in particular PCC Vera Baird (and those in her office). You can read part one here.
One of the latest developments in this story concerns an interview given on Tuesday by Baird about the scandal in which she claims Northumbria Police is here to support ‘all’ victims of domestic abuse. Obviously Baird’s posters are totally at odds with this statement and they’re not the first set of sexist or dishonest posters she’s produced either. However, in the interests of fairness lets put all such campaigns to one side and assess her force’s other possible forms of support for male victims in order to consider the full picture.
By far the easiest way to figure out if a force is serious about helping all victims of violent crime is to put oneself in the shoes of a male victim of domestic violence and see what sort of help they have to offer you. Any male victim who’s desperate for help would be most likely to quickly visit the Northumbria Police’s website and try to find a phone number to call or website link to visit
The site states “Domestic & Sexual Abuse is one of the top priorities for Northumbria’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC ” and the support services” section of the domestic abuse area of the “advice for victims of crime” site contains vast number of different phone numbers and resources for all sort of different victims of abuse. The 50+ resources include phone numbers and often relevant web links for the following:
- General domestic violence refuges in the region (presumably all are women-only)
- Numerous helplines for women
- A service for elderly victims
- A forced marriage helpline
- Several support services for children
- Seven resources for LGBT people
- A black women’s refuge
- One single service for male victims
Strangely, unlike with most services listed on the page there’s no website link given to assist male victims of abuse, merely the phone number “01744 454290” and there’s no well know service for male victims listed. Now it may well bethe case that Northumbria Police had found a local alternative to the brilliant Mankind Initiative within the region and thus had chosen such a resource in preference to the better known organisation. However, the “01744” area code is used for St Helens in Merseyside, a location some 168 miles travel from Newcastle so something really doesn’t add up here and the absence of any website resources compounds mater further. Googling the phone number shows it be be associated with St Helens Women’s Aid rather than any sort of service for male victims which again is highly suspicious.
A 2004 local St Helens media report mentions the phone number and describes it as follows “a helpline for men – 01744 454290 – who have committed domestic violence” . This same description is found elsewhere online, for example appearing in NHS Wales documents Here’s a screengrab of how the number appears on the police website:
Now, Northumbria Police do make it clear that the number is for male victims and perpetrators too, though the key focus is clearly the latter particularly if we look at the helplines history. It’s quite frankly bizarre and grossly offensive to link perpetrators and victims together in this way and such practices are never seen in helplines for female abuse victims. In fairness to the police, we’ve seen similar types of treatment of male victims by other local authorities and we know of at least one major UK domestic violence helpline that’s notorious for actually screening all men who call thus refusing to believe that they’re actually victims. There’s an inherent conflict of interest at play with these types of organisation and some are essentially front organisations looking to convince male victims of abuse that they’re actually the abuser themselves. These organisations even publish statistics on just how many male abusers are supposedly posing as victims and thus are about the worst advocates for male abuse victims one could ever hope for. No doubt feminists have set up these fake helplines in other countries too in order to mess with male victims of abuse, I suppose they’re the radical feminist equivalent of the fake abortion clinics set up by Conservatives in the US (the difference between the two being that the services that mess with vulnerable men are funded out of taxpayer money).
At HEqual we wouldn’t recommend any other service for male victims other than the brilliant Mankind Initiative. However, if you were a male victim in need who called the St Helens number provided there’s another surprise in store – it doesn’t even work! The organisation behind the helpline closed down in January 2014, so it’s likely that the number has been non-operational for almost two years now. On balance this is of course probably a good thing as at least men aren’t been tricked into calling what is primarily be a perpetrator hotline, but it’s still yet another failing by Northumbria Police when it comes to helping male victims. What’s particularity astonishing here is that the sexism scandal engulfing Northumbria Police has been going on for some two weeks now, yet no one in the force or in Baird’s Office even bothered to check if there’s so much as a single functioning phone number listed for male victims to call or even any resource such as a website link. The only action we can see that Baird has actually taken in connection with regard to organisations for male victims fo domestic violence is to Twitter block the Mankind initiative – the leading organisation for male victims and the very people that these victims of abuse need her to put them in contact with!
To sum up the situation, the official Northumbria Police “advice” for male victims of domestic abuse crimes is to call a little known phone number of a feminist organisation which was mainly concerned with male perpetrators. A phone number that doesn’t even work! If domestic violence is a “top priority” for her then I’d hate to think what’s going on in other areas of policing in the region
A second revelation from Baird’s latest interview is “she denied any knowledge that she “knowingly” blocked a male domestic abuse victim on her Twitter account after he complained about the ‘female bias’ of the police campaign”. That in itself is quite an interesting statement and I’m not sure how you can block someone (let alone multiple people) on multiple Twitter accounts without doing so “knowingly”. As mentioned above she has blocked the UK’s leading charity for domestic violence victims on one of her accounts and in many ways we at HEqual are increasingly an important voice for male victims and she’s blocked us on both her Twitter accounts too (either “knowingly” or otherwise). We can reveal that thanks to all the media pressure and condemnation of the general public Baird has recently removed at least one block on “MahdDogg” though of course it should never have happened in the first place and constitutes misuse of an official Twitter account, particularly as he was polite in his questioning of the posters.
In addition to still continuing to deny her own blatant sexism, yesterday’s article containing her interview states “Vera Baird says she, and Northumbria Police, are themselves ‘victims’ of an orchestrated attempt to divert attention away from the main focus of the New Year advertising promotion.” You right that right, she’s the victim here! What Baird is attempt to do here is a pretty textbook example of a phenomenon known as “DARVO“:
- Deny the behaviour
- Attack the individual doing the confronting,
- Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender.
The fact is that Baird’s posters wouldn’t have attracted the slightest criticism had they either been gender neutral or perhaps featured an appropriate proportion of male victims. She’s the offender for producing sexist posters and she’s a repeat offender at that. There clearly isn’t any sort of orchestrated attack by political rivals either – at HEqual we’re politically neutral and probably best known in terms of politics for exposing sexism by the Liberal Democrats rather than Baird’s Labour Party. No one criticising the posters is known to be involved with any parties that stood against Baird in 2012 and the only remotely political critic has been Justice for Men and Boys, an organisation that doesn’t contest PPC elections and hasn’t even contested a single constituency within 140 miles of Northumbria either.
I suppose the scandal may have diverted attention away from the message about coercive control but if that’s the case then it’s 100% Baird’s own fault. Thanks to her sexism and the outrageous conduct of her office then’s a determination to ensure the force actually helps male victims of abuse, though any campaign has been entirely spontaneous and simply as a result of Baird’s misandry backfiring, exposing the issue so clearly for all to see.
Perhaps the most significant sentence from Baird’s interview is the following: “Even a New Year poll in the Newcastle Chronicle found that 60 per cent of per cent of people questioned believed that the poster campaign is ‘sexist’. But Ms Baird said that the ongoing ‘live’ poll is now showing the same proportion “in favour” of the police promotion.”
In Tuesday’s article we meticulously outlined the campaign by Baird’s office to attempt to influence said poll and thus how flawed and dishonest it was for the police to quote it in their defence of the posters. The previous unethical use of the 60% poll figure as defence for the sexist posters was attributed to an unknown “spokesperson for Northumbria Police”. However, now we have proof of Baird herself either being the one behind this key line or at the very least guilty of repeating it. It’s her office that we exposed influencing the poll on Twitter, she had to know this campaign was going on and therefore for her to pretend the rigged figure is in any way legitimate is thoroughly dishonest on her part. The poll actually now shows 55% of the public agree that Baird’s poster are indeed sexist, so radical feminists (and the police) have even failed to actually rig the thing and cover up the truth despite their huge efforts.
It’s clear that Baird has a great many questions to answer about what her office has been up to and about her sexism against male victims of abuse. However, we’d like to put that aside for now and instead try to persuade her to actually start helping the 40% of victims of abuse who happen to be male. So, in the interests of doing something concrete to alleviate the years of discrimination and marginalisation of male victims by her force we make three very simple requests:
- Produce a materials featuring a male victim of domestic abuse suffering a the hands of a female perpetrator in order to counterbalance all the other one sided posters so far.
- Produce something similar to the above showing domestic violence in LGBT relationships (ideally a lesbian relationship owing to the particularly high levels of violence in said relationships). After all, it’s not just male victims who suffer as a result of radical feminists pretending that domestic violence is a gender issue.
- Most importantly of all, ensure the Mankind Initiative Phone number and/or website is listed as a resource on each and every relevant publication, and every website Northumbria police either operates or has a significant role in. That phone number is 01823 334244.
Such is the severity of this scandal and the attempt at damage limitation then one has to wonder if it’s even safe for male domestic violence in the Northumbria region to actually make any sort of contact with the police force. Northumbria Police is clearly institutionally sexist, has no concern for male victims whatsoever, it’s thoroughly untrustworthy and has been hijacked by those want to play gender politics with the lives of victims of domestic violence instead of actually helping them. Even in some other forces it’s all to common to hear of police officers siding with female domestic violence perpetrators who attack their male partners, and this risk to male victims is far greater in a region where the local force is controlled by radical feminists.