Tomorrow night, Saturday, April 26, we will be airing a special episode of AVFM Radio, commemorating the life and work of Earl Silverman, the man who founded and operated the only refuge for battered men in Canada. Mr. Silverman committed suicide after the shelter, which was completely ignored by the Canadian Government, fell into hard economic times.
While the circumstances and precise reasons for his decision are not known at this time, we do know that Earl had struggled for years to provide services to men who needed to escape violent relationships. He was first exposed to that violence when he was married to an abusive woman. He sought out help for that and found there was none. Against all odds and in spite of the fact that the Canadian government summarily rejected all of his requests for funding, he pushed ahead with plans and provided services to battered men out of his own pocket and with meager contributions from a largely uncaring society.
Said one advocate today:
"The fellow I was staying with in Calgary hung himself this morning. He had spent 20 years fighting the courts and agencies of government to have men recognized as victims of domestic abuse worthy of equal treatment by the courts and government. He was frustrated because no one seemed to care or do anything about it. In his own case, he was victimized first by his ex and later by a system that didn't care to hear him. No [one] wanted to help the battle.”
His death has just been confirmed by the medical examiner to James Huff.
AVFM Founder Paul Elam will be co-hosting the show with Operations Director James Huff. We will also be trying to bring you someone who knew Earl on a personal level and can give us much better insights into his work and his experiences in his final days.
The call in number for the show is 310-388-9709. All MRHAs are invited to call the show in order to pay their respects to Earl Silverman.