Dear National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges,
Your Checklist for judges uses sex-specific language with regard to domestic violence, referring only to “fathers” but not to mothers.
As an organization that works with male victims of domestic abuse, we are concerned that this language stereotypes fathers and keeps female perpetration invisible as usual.
In October 2008, we won a landmark appellate case in California that held it is unconstitutional to exclude male victims of domestic violence from the statutory funding provisions or from state-funded services, and held: “domestic violence is a serious problem for both women and men,” “men experience significant levels of domestic violence as victims,” “male victims of domestic violence are similarly situated to female victims for purposes of the statutory programs and no compelling state interest justifies the gender classification,” and that gender classifications in domestic violence programs carries “the baggage of sexual stereotypes.” Woods v. Horton (2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 648, 662, 671, and 676. www.metnews.com/articles/2008/wood101508.htm
We request that you correct that language and make it gender-inclusive (“fathers and mothers”) or gender neutral (“parents”). Please get back to us about this.
Marc E. Angelucci, Esq.
National Coalition For Men (NCFM)
domestic violence domestic violence domestic violence
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