Len's personal story
Friday, September 18, 2015
One in Three Campaign

I got married in 1986. Immediately, the control started. I was told I had to give up playing football or the marriage was off. Her family had put her up to this one and she dutifully carried out the ultimatum.

Next was that all forms of drinking or socialising with other males was banned. Resisting this control, occasionally I would arrive home after having a few drinks with work colleagues. No, I'm not a drunk or alcoholic. This would occur maybe one or twice a year at most. The result was always a hysterical session of verbal abuse accompanied by kicks, wild punches and objects being thrown. On one occasion she locked me out of the house and I had to sleep in the freezing cold in a car.

I was also denied any access to money and if any friends of mine showed up at our house she would lock herself in the bedroom and refuse to talk to them.

Fast forward to 2000. We've had 3 kids. I tell her I've had enough and want to separate. Truth is, I wanted freedom to go out and enjoy the company of good, kind, sane, rational women. She thinks I'm kidding. I tell her in no unqualified terms that I'm serious. She also gets evidence that I'm seeing another woman.

Suddenly, I arrive home 2 days later and there's a police car waiting for me. Two burly police officers (who were very polite and professional, I have no issues with them) serve me with an interim DVO evicting me from the house I was paying the mortgage on. All this humiliation right in front of the neighbours. The basis for the interim DVO? A statutory declaration from my ex-wife outlining how I was a "controlling" male who had beaten her and broken her wrist. She'd had a feminazi friend coach her on how to construct the narrative. My ex wife would often take all of the intimate affairs of our marriage to this interfering pig and between the two of them, they could always come up with a version of events that made me responsible for everything.

So I'm made homeless. What resources of the State or support is available to me? Nothing. But unlike other men who consent "without admissions" to DVO orders, I'm not going to cop it laying down. It outraged me that a person who had initiated 100% of the violence in our relationship and had been "controlling" from day 1 was now saying no, no, no, it wasn't me - that's actually him. What a manipulative sociopath. I organise a place to stay and a Barrister to represent me in a couple of days.

I contested the case and WON. Despite being made homeless and offered no support, in comparison she turned up with a free legal aid lawyer and some domestic violence support worker as her "comforter". This stranger was apparently allowed to sit in and hear a court case that was closed to the public.

Her story unraveled so badly in the witness box, even her own lawyer said, well, okay, we can't prove he's a physical abuser - but he is a verbal abuser. That didn't stick either, fortunately. And totally unprompted, during her own evidence she confessed things I had forgotten about!!! (I'm still angry at myself for not remembering). Like having kicked me up the arse really hard when I turned my back on her, then running off shrieking with laughter. And spitting in my face. Of course I could recall the kicks to the testicles and the mad flailing of her arms at me when arriving home after having had a few. I also recalled the mad swing at me with a vacuum head that left me with a permanent lump on my forearm. And the torrents of vile abuse. Fortunately I had an independent witness to it. A bloke who drove me home from work on one occasion. We were too late for her liking. She thumped at his window, scared the hell out of him and screamed "F**K OFF" when he told her how she'd frightened him.

So, I defeat her application for a DVO. Does this individual give up on the lies? NO. Because at the same time I was served with the interim DVO, I file a Family Court application for contact orders with my kids to overrule it. And that was ultimately heard 3 days after the failed DVO attempt. She filed an affidavit repeating the same discredited lies again, to defeat me seeing my kids. My Barrister dealt with it well, stood up and told the Judicial Registrar that the DVO application had been dismissed and the Magistrate had remarked that the only order he would have made was one against my ex wife, however no cross application for such orders had been filed so he had no jurisdiction. Like a lot of men, I didn't file a cross application for fear of being seen as a "sook" or "weak". I regret that seriously now.

The Judicial Registrar gave me all the contact orders I applied for and some - he expanded it to telephone contact as well.

My message to all Men:

1. Stand up to any false, malicious court applications made against you. Don't get talked into taking the easy way out.

2. If your female partner is abusing you, make an application to protect yourself. Everyone has the right to live a life free from violence.

3. Don't get sucked into these White Ribbon Days. I've read the material on their website. It trivialises women's violence against men and excuses it when it occurs due to the "power imbalance". If it's NEVER acceptable for a man to hit a woman, it's NEVER acceptable for women to hit men. Why are men targeted to swear oaths never to commit domestic violence? I'll swear 100 oaths when women are called upon to do it also.

4. There are good women out there. I did something I swore I'd never do - I got remarried. She is a wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who allows me to have my own life, independence, friends and judgement on what I will or won't do. I could have a lot of reasons to hate women and the "system" but I refused to let my ex wife have that power over me. I choose to live life happily and I know this bothers her more than anything else I could do.

Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
See website for complete article licensing information.