Funding of Women-Only Domestic Violence Victim Programs Struck Down,

funding for programs for inmate mothers (but not fathers) upheld: That's the California Court of Appeal's decision in Woods v. Shewry, decided yesterday. The court was applying California's constitutional test for sex classifications, which is that these classifications must be subjected to strict scrutiny if men and women are similarly situated for purposes of the program -- the court concluded they were as to the domestic violence victim programs, but not as to the inmate parent programs.

Frog Leg (mail):
EV: your headline is misleading. The funding program was not struck down; it was reformed so that men can receive the funding as well. You make it sound like no one will receive funding from a voided program.
10.15.2008 11:16am

EV: your headline is misleading. The funding program was not struck down

Yes it was, any remaining Women-Only programs will not receive funding. Any that change to allow men no longer fit within the scope of the headline. Any reading of the headline which clearly says "Women-Only...Programs" to include other programs is not Eugene's fault.

As to the decision, the judges walk a pretty fine line. I'm more saddened that the line they walk is way out in a field, though.
10.15.2008 1:33pm
Hans Bader (mail) (www):
The decision was right to strike down the sex-discriminatory programs, and consistent with prior California Supreme Court and appellate court rulings applying strict scrutiny to gender classifications, such as Sail'er Inn, Inc. v. Kirby, 5 Cal.3d 1 (1971) and Connerly v. State Personnel Board, 92 Cal.App.4th 16 (2001) (strict scrutiny applies to gender classifications that disadvantage men).

According to the best-designed of the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics studies, more than a third of domestic violence victims are male -- 800,000 men annually versus 1.5 million women.

Since it's not not a rare event for a male to be a victim of domestic violence, there isn't any rational reason, much less an important state interest, to deny them any assistance from publicly-funded domestic violence programs.
10.15.2008 2:00pm
Professor Volokh (or anyone who knows),
I didn't see, in a quick skim, not a read, where the court talked about inmate parenting programs. Did I miss it? What was their logic for excluding those programs? It seems pretty obvious that every child has both a mother and a father, and therefore it seems like this should be applied to both sexes.
10.15.2008 4:17pm
TomHynes (mail):

The discussion of inmate programs starts at page 18. The plaintiffs couldn't find a single male inmate that was hurt by the lack of a program for male inmates. A male inmate plaintiff that met all the gender neutral requirements for the program might have better luck.
10.15.2008 4:46pm
Thanks. I skimmed up and down three times looking for the inmate programs headline, and didn't find it.
10.15.2008 4:59pm
Suzy (mail):
Seems like a good ruling. Men really do suffer from domestic violence too. In addition, it's not always in a relationship situation, but can be in cases like elderly parents who are being cared for by others.
10.15.2008 6:00pm
From my experience, men are actually more likely than women to be the victims of "minor" domestic violence e.g. pushes or slaps.

I read a study about 10 yrs ago, out of canada of all places that came to the same conclusion.

Men are taught from an early age to never hit a woman, a double standard taboo (myself included). Personally, I have been a victim of domestic violence, in this minor capacity, more than once.

I was under no obligation to report these incidents, nor would I.

Most men feel/act the same way. These incidents do not get reported to police. I have been at many DV scenes where men even admit to this.

When it comes to more extreme domestic violence - punches, kicks, bruises being left, etc. it's clear that women are more frequently victims than men.

My experience runs about 80% female victims, and 20% male victims.

Just understand that there is a bias in the stats, because men are clearly less likely to report being abused (minor or major) for any # of understandable reasons.
10.15.2008 7:05pm
Whit: I disagree. It's more like 100% of men are "victims" (as defined by DV actvists) of domestic violence, and maybe 20% of women. But as you note there is a massive reporting bias.

There's no money in recognizing that women perpetrate most domestic violence in America, as opposed to the demonstrably false opposite narrative that is presently the conventional wisdom. For example, the whole raison d'etre of the Lifetime TV network is that myth of "woman as victim"...
10.16.2008 7:59pm
in the same way that nearly every woman is forced to have sexual intercourse against her will if you use the ideologues definition of "forced" to include verbal persuasion, cajoling, etc.
10.17.2008 5:35pm