Meg
Monday, August 5, 2013
One in Three Campaign

As a female who has been abused by both males and females I feel the need to apologise to all of you who have experienced such grave miscarriages of justice. Society should be doing better, and our support services need to really take a close look at what is allowing them to continue discriminating against males in terms of the supports offered - counselling, housing, etc.

I know of a male who was asked to give the children back to the mother as he wouldn't qualify for housing and if he applied for it he would be considered unsuitable. The mother was beating HIM AND the children and yet child protection felt the best place for the children was with the mother. They told the father that if he did a runner with the kids that it would look bad in court.

When I made the change from Teaching to Welfare, I had a furious argument with my lecturer who tried to convince me that all victims are female. That was when I knew there was a problem with the system. I knew this was not true as I'd seen my father being consistently overpowered by my mother to the point that when he left her she screamed down the phone at him when he was at work and he returned but the abuse continued. My mother and brother perpetuated the cycle of abuse - hers was against myself and my father, my brothers was against the rest of the family. The police had to pretend to arrest me for questioning to get me out of the house and away from my mother.

So I knew the lecturer was wrong. I became so incensed with proving this woman wrong I started ringing and challenging my local hospitals, local police station and what consistently came back was 'we don't know the statistics on male victims.' 'they rarely admit it and when they do they are talked out of it by their mates' etc. It was saddening. I then dug deeper. There are NO men's refuge shelters that allow children and the reason given is that it's because of perpetrators also going to refuges. There are things that can and should be done.

Why should men have to leave their children behind? Why should't the women be the ones who have to leave - regardless of gender, the perpetrator should be the one who leaves and an automatic retraining order needs to be put in place regardless of opinions of the powers that be.

I live in East Gippsland (Bairnsdale) and I am going to be joining forces with some local welfare agencies as well as people in the community who are interested and we WILL start doing something about raising awareness to the issues at hand.

But as I have said, in the meantime, please, even though I know I was not your perpetrator/abuser, I do want to say I am sorry for what you have been through, what you are going through and what you may go through in future.

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