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James' personal story

When I was 20 I was in one of my first relationships with another man. Eventually we moved in together. I had strong feelings for him because I was young, new to the city and struggling financially. When we were together he would restrict my access to media, I wasn't allowed to contact my family or even read the news; I had to concentrate on him constantly. He was very restrictive in anything I did and if it was questioned he threatened to leave me.

One morning we got into an argument which resulted in me being beat and strangled to the point where I thought I was going to die. I managed to get out of there and stay with my friends for a few days while I found temporary accommodation in Sydney with my family (I lived in Melbourne). The stigma was hard as my family wasn't supportive of my sexuality and thought it was just 2 men in an argument. I reported it to police who were somewhat supportive of me. After filing a statement of no complaint and getting back together (I had no where to go, everyone was telling me it was my fault for getting him angry and needed the financial support) I also withdrew the intervention orders. After this I was locked out of my own house and left on the street. He had gotten back together with me so that I could withdraw my complaint. I suffered from extreme depression, generalised anxiety disorder and attempted suicide twice. It was very difficult for me. I have never been able to trust a partner the same since.

After a slew of false accusations against me with no evidence and out of pocket paying for lawyers to defend myself I am living my life comfortably and happy away from him. I changed my phone numbers, my life, and my job. I recently did an Freedom of Information Request to find the information from years ago. This found a female police officer described me as the aggressor because I approached him and started an argument.

There is a massive gap here in same-sex relationships and I think there needs to be a discussion about violence against men.

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