The battered woman industry....
A great column by Barbara Kay in today's National Post....
This year, the Quebec Auditor-General's report focused an accusatory light on fiscal profligacy and lack of oversight in the women's abuse industry. Grants to abuse-related women's projects have soared from $30-million in 2002-2003 to $60-million in 2007-08. One six-bed shelter's grants in that period bounced from $58,832 to $406,817, even though the shelter only served nine women throughout 2006-07.
Almost half a million dollars to house nine women? Yet a bamboozled public believes thousands upon thousands of battered women are seeking refuge.
Reality just doesn't jibe with that picture. In 2004, the Yellow Brick House, an Aurora, Ont., shelter closed during a labour dispute. It emerged that of the eight women and three children residing there, only one woman was fleeing abuse. The others were homeless.
Exceptions, believers will say. Everyone "knows" violence against women is epidemic.
Really? Edmonton Police Service reports from 1999-2000 indicate the police responded to 3,000 domestic incidents. They referred exactly 24 women--less than 1% -- to shelters.
That 1% figure recurs again and again. The co-ordinator of Cornwall Commmunity Hospital's Assault and Sexual Abuse Program in Cornwall, Ont., claims that "17-30% of all women treated in hospital emergency departments are victims of domestic violence." Reality check: Her own hospital's screening for abuse of 157,000 in-patients turned up only 150 IPV-related injuries (both sexes).