NCFM Press Release: Battered Men’s Rights Hero, Patricia Overberg, Passes Away

August 16, 2011
By

Pat and friends

Former DV Shelter Director Was the First to Help Battered Men and is Honored by Men’s Rights Activists

8/12/11 – Los Angeles: Patricia Overberg, the first known domestic violence shelter director in the United States to help male victims along with female victims, passed away today (August 11, 2011).  Patricia is being honored by men’s rights activists as a hero and civil rights pioneer, similar to the shelter director Erin Pizzey in England.

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 www.ncfmla.org/pdf/overberg.pdf 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 http://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/2008/c056072/

After the Woods decision, Patricia joined battered men’s advocates in a historic meeting with Los Angeles County Counsel, domestic violence shelters and others regarding enforcement of the Woods decision.  In the attached photo taken after the meeting, Patricia is on the bottom left between Pasadena City College instructor Edgar Pacas and NCFM attorney Marc Angelucci.  Until the date of her death, Patricia continued to encourage NCFM to file another lawsuit to enforce the Woods decision.  To this date, advocates from NCFM and the Men’s Health Network continue meeting with the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Counsel in an uphill battle for inclusiveness and equal access and treatment for male victims.

Patricia will be remembered by many as a hero to men’s rights and equality.  Her policy of inclusion remains in place today under a new director.

Bio of Patricia Overberg http://ncfm.org/advisor-board/patricia-overberg-msw/

Sworn Declaration of Patricia Overberg www.ncfmla.org/pdf/overberg.pdf

Marc E. Angelucci, Esq.

Vice President

National Coalition For Men (NCFM)

www.ncfm.org

marcangelucci@hotmail.com

(626) 319-3081

Statistics on Male Victims

The Centers for Disease Control recently funded a major study of heterosexual relationships throughout the U.S. and found: “Almost 24% of all relationships had some violence, and half (49.7%) of those were reciprocally violent.  In nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases,” and both sexes suffered significant injuries.  http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/5/941

The same study also found: “More women than men (25% versus 11%) were responsible. In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women” and “while injury was more likely when violence was perpetrated by men, in relationships with reciprocal violence it was the men who were injured more often (25% of the time) than were women (20% of the time).”  http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/42/15/31-a

Men are less likely to report it (which makes crime data unreliable), but almost 300 studies now confirm “women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners,” as California State University Professor Martin Fiebert shows in his online bibliography at http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

For example, a 32-nation study by the University of New Hampshire found women are as violent and controlling as men in dating relationships worldwide.    http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2006/may/em_060519male.cfm?type=n
http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID41E2.pdf

When children witness either parent hit the other, regardless of how severe or minor, it becomes a model for them to follow.  Domestic violence is an intergenerational cycle, and we’ll never stop that cycle without being honest about it rather than following the politically correct gender paradigm that has been totally refuted by serious researchers like Professor Don Dutton of the University of British Columbia and many others.

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2 Responses to NCFM Press Release: Battered Men’s Rights Hero, Patricia Overberg, Passes Away

  1. Deborah on August 17, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    RIP Pat, your 'spirit' lives on.

  2. Ray on August 16, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Pat will be missed.

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Great Resources for Abused Men

 
  • Dometic Abuse Hotline for Men and Women, based in Maine, offers 24-hour hotline: 1-888-7HELPLINE (1-888-743-5754) and may be offering shelter services.
  • Valley Oasis in Lancater, CA has offers shelter and other services for men and their children. 24-hour Hotline: (661) 945-6736.
  • Family of Men Support Society, Calgary, Canada, shelter and support services.
  • Male Survivor, Overcoming Sexual Victimization of Boys and Men
  • probono.net, provides resources for pro bono and legal services attorneys and others working to assist low income or disadvantaged clients.
  • LawHelp.org, helps low and moderate income people find free legal aid programs in their communities, answers to questions about their legal rights, and find forms to help with their legal problems.
  • Shared Parenting Works has parenting plans and other resources.
  • Walk a Mile in HIS Shoes resources for abused men in Canada.
  • One in Three Campaign resoures for abused men in Australia.
  • Stop Abuse for Everyone, one of the most comprehensive and oldest sites dedicated to victims of domestic violence. The site was recently upgraded with the assistance of NCFM. The site includes an interactive map of north America for helping to find shelter services that might or do help abused men.

More great resources for men and those who care about men. Ask your elected officials if they do.

Men's Health Network

File a Federal Complaint

If you have specific instances of discrimination against male domestic violence victims by any government-funded DV program anywhere in the U.S., please send all evidence you have to the following federal agencies as a complaint, and state that this violates United States Code, Title 42, Section 3789d(c)(1). Give them as much evidence as you can. They are supposed to investigate it. After several months you may get a letter back saying there is "insufficient evidence" and that they need more information such as dates and times of the discrimination, names of the programs and contact info, names and contact info of witnesses, documents or records, and a detailed chronological narrative. So, re regarding evidence, the more the better. You can send the complaints by email, mail, or both. Send them to: Office of Civil Rights Office of Justice Programs U.S. Department of Justice 810 7th Street, NW Washington, DV 20531 Office of the Inspector General inspector.general@usdoj.gov oig.hotline@usdoj.gov

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