Tom
Saturday, August 1, 2015
One in Three Campaign

I was recently removed from my home by the police, having done nothing wrong. According to the Safety Notice they issued me, I had been blocked in a room by the AFM. “The AFM has stood in front of the doorway and bloked (sic) the Resp form leaving as he did not wish to talk about it and wanted to go to bed. The AFM has refused to move from the doorway so the Resp has shoved the AFM out of the way.... The AFM has no injuries as a result… The AFM stating that she is fearful of the Resp and what he may do. Nil property damage, nil signs of any assault nil injuries.”

What actually happened is fairly different. I had been castigated for about 20-30 minutes. I kept moving from room to room, asking her to leave me alone, telling her that I was tired and didn't want to talk. There's no point in arguing back. She shut the door and put her full body weight up against it and continued to call me every name under the sun. I took that for about 10 minutes, constantly asking her to “please leave me alone”. She refused, saying she wouldn't let me go until I understood her point of view. I told her she was restricting my movement, and to let me go. She wouldn't move so I pulled the door in to escape, moving her in the process. She punched me in the back. She then called the police. I said nothing to the police, as I had no idea what I was being accused of.

The police escorted me to the station in the back of a paddy wagon. After an hour, they served me with a family Safety Notice which prevented me from going within 200m of my home or within 5 metres of her. This prevented me from going to my Aged Care course, as she also attended the TAFE.

With all my money tied up in her, I had no money for temporary accommodation so I purchased a tent and sleeping bag from Big W for $30. Being winter, it wasn't really adequate to keep me warm or dry. It was argued down to an “undertaking” in court, but I was still homeless.

I borrowed money and a car and moved back to SA to where my family and friends are. I had moved to VIC to help the AFM recover from her addiction to Ice, as her family was in VIC and she needed to get away from her dealers. She essentially used the police to get her own way.

When under police escort to remove my belongings, she had her whole family there to help me pack the car. Her little brothers and sisters were there. I found this odd, as wasn't I meant to be some kind of dangerous person? What kind of person that fears for their safety locks themselves in a room with me, refusing to let me leave? Why is it that the police require no evidence to remove a man from his home?

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