This year’s BMO Vancouver Marathon won’t be without controversy. Several organizations have expressed outrage after a men’s rights charity was granted permission to participate in the run.
But critics don’t take issue with the fact that the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) is a men’s rights charity; they take issue with the fact that CAFE is spreading inaccurate and distorted statistics.
In 2015, the group posted a billboard that claimed that half of all domestic violence victims are men. Those statistics came from Statistics Canada and were gathered from self-reported incidents of spousal violence.
But Todd Minerson says those statistics are misleading. Minerson is part of the White Ribbon Campaign, an organization that encourages men and boys to stand up for female victims of domestic violence.
“Women are more likely to experience violence in an intimate relationship [by] many, many times,” Minerson told CBC News. “Women are more likely to experience more severe and, in fact, far more likely to experience fatal violence.”
Minerson isn’t the only one who thinks these statistics are deceptive. Greg Oudman, executive director of the Health Initiative for Men, also thinks that these numbers are misleading.
“This organization pushed their agenda by perpetuating information that is not accurate in regards to sexual assault and domestic violence that happens across Canada,” Oudman stated.
Phil Johnston, director of CAFE Vancouver, disagrees. He maintains that all the stats provided are 100% accurate.
“We are not making up numbers here,” Johnston asserted. “There’s an attitude about men’s rights that it’s a misogynistic group of people that are antagonistic towards progress that women have made. People are threatened by the idea that men can suffer, too.”
But the public, it appears, just isn’t buying it. As of now, five charities in total have requested that CAFE be removed as an eligible participant in the BMO Vancouver Marathon. There is no word yet on whether that will happen.