A Richmond woman is preparing to start a non-profit support group to help men trapped in abusive relationships and marriages.
La Toya Barrington – who has spoken openly about her own domestic abuse in the past – is creating ‘The Good Guy’, based on the premise that ‘not all men are bad’ and that ‘women most certainly can be the most toxic in relationships.”
She hopes to advocate for men’s parental rights, the right to divorce and more support for new dads.
Barrington said she spent part of the summer helping male friends out of damaging marriages and relationships, often discovering a clear lack of available or adequate resources to deal with the situation.
And, given that she has two young sons, aged 13 and 11, she expressed concern for them in the future if they were unlucky enough to find themselves in similar turmoil with nowhere to go.
“There’s a real lack of resources for men facing domestic violence, big gaps in services,” said Barrington, who runs an award-winning cleaning business in Richmond.
“I tried to find resources for my friends, but I was almost unsuccessful.
“Things on there are mostly for domestic violence support and are mostly women-focused. There is stuff for sexual abuse (for men) but very little for mental or physical abuse.
“If my two boys end up in toxic situations as adults, they won’t have anywhere to go unless someone does something now.
“God forbid if my daughter finds herself in this situation, there is a lot of help for her.”
Defending Men Stuck in Abusive Relationships
Barrington said she is still gathering information and feedback from the community, but hopes to launch The Good Guy website soon.
She said, ultimately, wants it to be a place where people can connect and maybe find resources, or dig them up, as well as plead for more help.
“Men’s shelters don’t accept children, but women’s shelters do,” Barrington added.
“And a dad-to-be doesn’t really have a lot of resources or places to go either, unlike women.
“A friend considered suicide because he saw no way out of an abusive marriage. She said she was going to bankrupt him.
“Suicide rates in Canada are staggering among men, they are so high.”
Barrington said she’s had a ton of support, from men and women, since reaching out on social media a few weeks ago.
Barrington accused of hating women
But, as is always the case with social media, there are few negatives.
“Other women have told me that I clearly hate women,” Barrington said.
“A woman asked why as a woman I fight for men’s rights, asking why men don’t stand up for themselves.
“One of them even said that men wouldn’t need parenting classes if they were married? Of course, that made absolutely no sense, but I’m not going to fight these strangers and I know that comes with social media territory and sticking your neck out.
If you are male or identify as male and have suggestions for Barrington and her nonprofit, she wants to hear from you.
“Are there programs you would like to see, is there knowledge and support you wish you had?” she added.
She invites people to email her at [email protected]