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Reclaim The Night Promotes Hate Crime

22 November 2001

"The Reclaim the Night march is an exercise in denying violence by women. Denying or minimising female violence against men is spreading the message that it is acceptable for women to be violent if they can justify it to themselves, which is effectively promoting hate crime against men", FARE spokesperson Darryl Ward said today.

He was commenting on the Reclaim the Night march that is taking place in Wellington tomorrow (Friday). The march is open to women, children, trans-gender and inter-sex people, but closed to men. At last years' march large numbers of police were present to ensure men were excluded.

"The organisers of this march seek to reaffirm the myth that it is men who are solely responsible for violence, when in reality both men and women have similar culpability. Just as many males are victims of female violence as vice versa."

"Many male victims of female violence dare not call the Police. We know of numerous cases of men who have been assaulted by women who have called the Police, and yet the man has been arrested because of the assumption that he must be the guilty party. In one recent case, a battered man was arrested with the weapon that his female batterer had stabbed him with still stuck in his arm."

"Most battered men have no access to refuges. They come to FARE and other voluntary organisations with no state or corporate funding, because the Police and Courts will not listen".

"While it is true that some men are indeed violent and in need of help, the vast majority of men are not violent. Indeed men are just as likely as women to be victims of violence".

"The Reclaim the Night march has gone well beyond being valid affirmative action or gender equity, and has become an exercise in sexism in its own right".

"The Reclaim the Night march is a frightening repeat of similar marches in Germany in the 1930's, the only difference being that it was the Jews instead of men who were the scapegoats for society's evils back then", concluded Ward.

ends

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