News Articles on MESA Archive (return to list)
Cochrane Times - October 15, 2003
It’s not easy being male. Speaker tells Cochrane group men
face significant challenges
— Victims of sexual abuse. Victims of domestic
violence. Victims of spousal alienation.
These terms often conjure up images of
battered women, but that is not always the case.
Men too, feel the brunt of these onslaughts,
says Paul Millar, vice-president of the Men’s Educational
Millar was speaking Oct. 10 to a group of
about 20 Cochrane Ideas Society members -- a casual gathering of
open minds and ideas.
The group meets over coffee and tea on the
second Friday of every month to embark on philosophical
discussions or even just talk about a good book they’re reading.
On this particular Friday, they were huddled
around an overhead presentation about issues like custody,
access, child support, false allegations, parental alienation,
reproductive fraud and domestic violence in relation to the
Millar started off by explaining that, while
his organization caters mostly to men, they do have some women
in the group.
He assured them their organization is not
made up of woman-haters and he has seen his fair share of
“There is a lot of male misbehaving in the
area of child custody and support,” said Millar. “Just keep that
According to Millar, the courts are mostly in
favour of women in custody battles. He said nine times out of
ten, women are awarded custody of their children.
“You are more likely, as a woman, to get your
kids in court. The courts don’t award things in an even way,”
So by default, most men are facing access
“They are really going through the wringer,
trying to see their kids,” said Millar.
The problem with access is it’s very easy to
disrupt and no one is around to witness it.
Mothers may not show up with the children to
the pre-arranged meeting place. She could say the children are
sick or she could leave if the father isn’t there right on time.
“It happens privately and no one is there to
witness it,” said Millar.
Men are also sometimes subject to parental
alienation, when one parent systematically cuts down the other.
“It’s the symbolic destruction of the other
parent and it’s fairly easy to do because frankly, divorces are
bitter,” said Millar.
Domestic violence is typically something that
men don’t report when they experience it and therefore find it
hard to handle.
“This is an issue for men too and it’s
typically difficult for them to deal with,” said Millar.
If you would like Millar to speak at your
function or for more information about MESA or the services they
offer, check out the web site at www.mesacanada.com
The Cochrane Ideas Society will be meeting
Nov. 14 at the Anglican Parish of All Saints at 7 p.m. to listen
to Alberta Wildfire Officer, Rick Arthur, give a presentation
called 2003 -- Bad Year to be a Tree.