No Support for Male Victims of Domestic Violence | Australian Women Online
Saturday, June 12, 2010
One in Three Campaign

According to those who work in the area of men’s health, the current approach to domestic violence ignores the one in three victims of family violence who are male. While not wanting to undermine the decades of effort that have gone into establishing services for female victims of domestic violence, they want the government to do more to raise awareness about the plight of male victims, many of whom find they have nowhere to turn when a female partner becomes violent or abusive.

Gary’s ex-wife had punched him in the face with a closed fist on several occasions. But it wasn’t until she punched the couple’s 16 month old daughter while he was holding her, that the father of two decided enough was enough. “She walked over and punched my baby daughter in the middle of the back, sending us both flying. It was a terrific blow. I fled the house with my daughter and looked for somewhere to stay, but all my friends were at work or on holidays. So I phoned an emergency refuge who literally laughed at my request for help and proceeded to tell me that the service was only for women,” Gary told the One in Three campaign website.

“I tried another shelter without success. I had no money left and couldn’t afford accommodation. So I spent the night sleeping under a derelict building without blankets and I held my daughter close to keep her warm. She cried for most of the night because she was afraid and hungry. I could only give her water from a nearby tap. My daughter was traumatised and so was I (and we both still are). The next morning we returned home because we had no alternative. I later asked my wife why she punched our daughter and her answer was literally ‘because I knew that would upset you more than if I had hit you’ and she apologised profusely.”

Gary added, “At the moment she hit our daughter I knew instantly that the marriage must finish. I now have sole care of my two beautiful children after a court found her unfit to be a parent for a number of reasons. Violence against men and their children is real.”

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Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
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