I have long been what can be called a quiet supporter of "men's rights". I say quiet support because it is not something I have gone out of my way to advertise. I am going to change that today. I am taking this step because a great Canadian passed away recently.
Earl Silverman, a man who spent twenty years of his life crusading for better access to victim and emergency services for men and boy who are victims of abuse, was a victim of abuse himself at the hands of a former spouse. He dedicated his time, energy, and money towards creating a shelter specifically for male victims fleeing abusive situations.
And three days, Earl took his own life.
For the last three years of his life Earl ran the Men's Alternative Safe House out of his own home, taking in about twenty men and children over that period. Earl spend the entirety of his own savings to keep his shelter running while trying to convince government to allocate funds for his and other projects directed at male victims.
After years of being able to keep the shelter running through his own funds and private donations he was driven to financial ruin and forced to sell his home - by extension closing his life's work.
Three days ago, after selling his house, he walked into his garage and hung himself.
Suicide rates have demonstrated to be a predominantly male problem in Canada. In Canada, one in every five hundred men will end their own life. In Yukon, Quebec, and the Northwest Territories that number rises to one in every four hundred men. And in Nunavut, to one in every one hundred men.
Earl made every effort he could to change this. And in end, he spent so much time working to help others like him, but he could not help himself.
I didn't know Earl personally, but I shared his philosophy of equality for all. Because of his work I will no long be a 'quiet supporter of men's rights.'