Michael
Friday, November 20, 2009
One in Three Campaign

I heard about your campaign on Radio 774 some two days ago. This is the first time I have encountered your organisation’s work. I wish I had known about this two years ago, when I simply had to flee my matrimonial home due to escalating physical and verbal assaults and threats against me (including a conspiracy by my partner to arrange for her sister in law to assault me - as was normal within the culture of her family group). That woman is now in gaol for the murder of her own partner, and I suspect, she was more than capable of committing the assault - most likely when she was under influence of drugs and alcohol. I consider myself extremely lucky that I got out, and moved 2000 kms away, back to where I grew up in Melbourne (where I reside still today).

Unfortunately I was so weak (experiencing frequent fainting and high blood pressure), that I had to leave my 4 year old son behind.

What astonished me during the subsequent ‘Family Law’ court proceedings, was the judge’s failure to believe that violence was the cause of the break-up. I did not run away to another woman. I fled, simply as a life preserving instinctive act. Despite a court ordered psychiatric assessment, which found her to suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, having been convicted of two ‘break and enters’ in the past, and police records showing police attendance to our house several times to stop her outbursts, the judge could not accept any violence had taken place. It further astonished me, that the police had not kept any written records of my reports of violence!! Furthermore, the court accepted that my partner’s father was an alcoholic, but could not accept that his constant drinking did not have any effect on her psychologically, (whilst her mother’s admission that her side of the family were previously institutionalised, again fell on deaf ears by this magistrate, who appeared keen to simply wrap up the proceedings before closing time that day). Clearly the complexity that a violent female presents in a case, was too inconvenient for him!!

It has taken two long years to recover from what a psychologist suggests is post traumatic stress disorder. Functioning at high level at work is hard, and rebuilding a life has been challenging, but not overwhelming.

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