Kyle
Sunday, March 3, 2013
One in Three Campaign

Well where to start, I was with my partner for 12 years, like most relationships everything was fine in the beginning, it wasn't until the birth of our son that the abuse started, her moods changed with every hour, I could do nothing right, it wasn't just physical abuse but verbal as well, my first major beating was with a metal vacuum pipe. I was black and blue, bleeding, the neighbour called the police and they told me that I should press charges, I just laughed at them, I'm over six foot tall and of large build, what would people think of me, they wouldn't believe that she could do that to me, so I let it go, she wasn't remorseful about her abuse, she would brag to her friends about it and call me pathetic.

Over time the abuse would become more often and out of the blue, anything would set her off, frequent punches to the face were a common occurrence, but her favourite weapon was the vacuum pipe, I eventually started buying upright vacuums as she shouldn't lift it to assault me.

I tolerated it for 11 years, I gave her whatever she wanted, while we had money she was happy, but when things were tight, she was a different person, when things got hard she would take my son and run to a women's refuge and tell them that I was the violent one, that I used to abuse her, they would take one look at me and of course I'm guilty.

Foolish me, every time she left I would convince her to come back, she did and more of her abuse followed, I know now that the only reason I kept trying to save the relationship was because of the children, I wanted them to have a mum and dad under the one roof, little did I know the damage being done to them.

When I knew that an argument was about to begin, I would try and get away from her, lock myself in the bedroom, go outside, anything to avoid the abuse, but she would follow me around, yelling at me, punching me, she wouldn't stop, she would call me pathetic, a loser, weak, in her rages she would bang her head against the wall or beam and say, "I'm going to tell the police you bashed me! You're going to jail."

It wasn't just the abuse against me, she would destroy the house, break windows, put holes in wall and break furniture, whenever the pressure got to her she would lose control and just go crazy.

Her attacks weren't just on me, unfortunately the children have suffered as well, if they said something she didn't like she would force soap in their mouth, I would have to lift her off the children, who were terrified and screaming, she would then turn her abuse towards me.

I have that many tales of the violence I have suffered for 11 years and could just go on and on, but the abuse I have suffered after I ended the relationship ended is much more painful to deal with.

Christmas Day 2012, was all I could take, we were bathing the children and she was squirting our daughter with the handheld shower and said to her lets get daddy, so she wet me, thinking she was in a good mood and wanted to have fun, I turned the shower back on to her, wetting her in the process, well she went psycho at me, screaming and she punched me several times in the head, at that moment I realised that I can't keep living like this and told her to get out, I locked myself in the bedroom, she kicked the door in and began assaulting me again, I finally stood up to her and said stop, no more you have hit me for the last time.

When morning came she was still in the house, I called the police and after they came she agreed to leave, she took my son and they went on a two week holiday down the coast, she stayed with my best friend, our daughter stayed with me, she never once rang to speak to her, I was just getting into a routine and then she returned from her holiday, not back to me but to the old faithful women's refuge, she left my son with my parents, so I went and got him. I had both children safe in my care, well for a couple of days anyway, after two days she phoned me, wanting to see the children. At first I resisted, but she knew how to manipulate me and said you told me that you would never keep the kids from me, so I agreed to meet her at the local park, that's the day that has nearly ruined my life, she grabbed both children, I tried stopping her from leaving with them, she punched me in the face several times and then rang 000 and told them that I was punching her. The police came - they weren't interested in anything I had to say, they just wanted to hear what she had to say, eventually the police let her leave with both children, I couldn't believe it, there were no court orders, nothing, they had no right to let her take them. I was lost, I didn't know what to do.

After a few days a saw a lawyer and started proceedings to get my children back, however at every turn I was blocked, with manipulative skills and the ability to be a good liar, she had me charged with two assault charges, one on her and one against my daughter, apparently prior to her two week holiday, I threw a shoe at my daughter giving her a blood nose, this naturally did not occur. On top of the charges she also got an AVO against me, preventing any contact with my children. I missed my daughter's first day at school. Not knowing if they were alright was the worst, my son ran away from her 15 times, sometimes she would catch him, other times I found him, not once did she report to the police he had run away, because I had the AVO against me I had to return him, doing this only fed the idea she had told him, that I don't love him or want him, all of which is untrue.

She eventually relocated down the coast, some 4 hours from me, she didn't seek the courts permission to relocate with them, she just went.

I put a return child application into the federal court, but she claimed she and the children were the victim of severe domestic abuse at my hands. I couldn't believe it, everything she had done to me and the children over the years, she was now accusing me of, I told them that I was the victim, that she needs help, they would take one look at me and just dismiss it like I never said anything. The court as they do found in her favour and said the children can stay where she moved to. I was shattered.

After spending thousands trying to clear my name of the assault charges, I was found guilty. I must have found the worst lawyer out there, he never even questioned her about the alleged assaults. After some thought I decided to appeal the court's decision. I found a very good lawyer, who if you can believe it had a heart and compassion. I to my delight was found not guilty of all charges, finally I didn't have to live with thought that people thought I could hurt my daughter.

I was on a high thinking that the family court can't use it against me. Wrong, according to them there is still a chance I could have done it, once again I was shattered, why did I fight, why did I waste my time, why did I put myself under all the stress?

The only good thing that came from my win was that I got unsupervised visitation of my children, previously they had to stay with my parents because of her lies.

The court ordered a family report, this didn't go well. The woman took one look at me and found me guilty, her unbiased opinion was that I was violent and sexist and my son was learning the same attitudes as me. She wasn't interested in anything I had to say about her, she questioned my need to want protection and my anger towards the police for not protecting me. I'm not allowed to be the victim, I'm always the perpetrator.

In the 14 months since our separation, she has convinced the children to lie for her, saying I bashed them, she has gotten my daughter put on ADHD medication via a video conference that my daughter wasn't even present for and I have just found out that she has my son on catapres tablets to help him sleep and she is double dosing him on it. I have taken the children to see their paediatrician, he told me my daughter shouldn't even be taking the Ritalin. He wrote a letter saying she should stop taking the Ritalin and that he wants her to be properly assessed for ADHD. As soon as the mother found this out, she rang him and said she wants the children to see another doctor. I wasn't even informed, it was only that I rang him because the mother was still sending the Ritalin tablets for contact and he told me what was going on.

My children have suffered from abuse from her in the last 14 months, they have told me she flogs them, yells at them, they had head lice for 10 months, my son had an ulcer on his penis that she failed to treat, I had to take him to emergency on the first night of contact, 1am at the hospital, my son has burnt his fingers, I had to call 000 to get her to take him to the hospital. They have witnessed sexual activity from her friends and threats from them, the list goes on. You're probably asking yourself why haven't I reported it to DOCS, well I have reported every incident to them and nothing is ever done, my parents have reported it and nothing is done, even a doctor has reported it and nothing was done. I don't know what else my children have to go through before they remove them from her, DOCS are a joke.

After having to spend thousands of dollars to defend outrageous charges and trumped up AVO applications, I have no money to pay for the family court and I am relying on legal aid. My lawyer has told me that legal aid are refusing to pay for anything and I will have to fund it myself. I don't have the resources to do this, so now I have to consider dropping all court hearings and stop fighting for my kids. I can't ever stop fighting for them, but where do I get the money to do so. The most frustrating part is that legal aid is funding her application, they give her everything and I ask for the same and get rejected, why I'm not sure but I'm guessing its because she has made out I'm this horrible violent man who abuses his family.

I'm sure there's plenty I haven't mentioned, mine is a long on going story with no end in sight. I only hope my children know how much I love them.

I hope my story helps someone out there. Hopefully one day people's attitude will change regarding this subject. The more men like me speak out the more people will have to listen and maybe one day there will be equality for us too. I can't even find anyone to give me counselling. I'm told to go to anger management, that might help me learn how to deal with her vindictive campaign against me, but how does it help me heal, how does it help me stop jumping when someone touches me, how does it help me live again? I have gave my real name as I have nothing to be ashamed of and neither do you.

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