DV Conference Report #5: Erin Pizzey-‘In the early days of the battered women’s movement, it was men who helped give us support’

Sacramento, CA–Background: The historic, one-of-a-kind conference “From Ideology to Inclusion: Evidence-Based Policy and Intervention in Domestic Violence” was held in Sacramento, California February 15-16 and was a major success. The conference was sponsored by the California Alliance for Families and Children and featured leading domestic violence authorities from around the world.

Many of these researchers are part of the National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center, which is challenging the domestic violence establishment’s stranglehold on the issue. The NFVLRC promotes gender-natural, research-based DV policies.

I have been and will continue to detail the conference and some of the research that was presented there in this blog–to learn more, click here.

I have previously detailed some of what Erin Pizzey had to say at the conference, but she said enough to fill a small book. (She is pictured above–she’s the blonde lady in front of one of her battered women’s shelters surrounded by supportive protesters.)

It is interesting to see how she built the women’s shelters in England even though she was largely in conflict with the English feminist movement at the time. She said when she first went to a UK women’s group she heard all sorts of manbashing. She said she did not buy into it, for a few reasons.

For one, she considered herself lucky to be able to be home with her children while they were young and have her husband support them. Also, she grew up with a violent, manipulative, dangerous mother who “beat me regularly because I look like my father.”

Her father was no prize either, as he also had a violent temper. Pizzey grew up in China and her father was an English diplomatic official there before, during, and after World War II. She says that her parents were so bad that when her city was overrun by the Chinese Communists in 1949, her parents were held as prisoners for over three years–and she was happy about it.

She says that in the early days of the battered women’s movement in England, it was men who stepped forward and gave her the support she needed to help battered women.

One of her earliest breaks came when a man bought a house in which she could house her shelter. She said that the men she approached were very willing to help women.

She also said that later on, when she asked men to assist her in creating services for male victims of domestic violence, the wealthy men who helped her build shelters for women “wouldn’t give a dime” to help men.

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