Ken's personal story
Thursday, May 11, 2017
One in Three Campaign

I met my partner in 2005 & we were both living in different states at the time, a romance ensued & I flew regularly to spend time with her. She fell pregnant very early and from here everything changed. I very quickly moved in support of the situation to be present for the relationship and the baby. Upon arrival I was treated to a screaming fit about my friendship with an ex-girlfriend, and other accusations & constantly bullied via verbal abuse, shaming and guilting and other forms of psychological abuse & control. I also endured abuse from this woman's mother who would simply walk into the house demanding dinner for herself and 1/2 dozen kids she would faerie around everyday, and would make demands about her access to my child like she owned her.

I moved us to a different state of Australia, because I believed taking the partner away from the abusive family environment may help. But her angry outbursts and aggressive behaviours magnified, I never knew what person I would find when I returned home and felt like the home was a minefield. She made frequent unreasonable demands for constant involvement in all household duties (cooking 4 nights week, cleaning, bathing child, etc, etc). She remained at home all day while I worked & I would come home and find the place in utter chaos? If I brought this to her attention I was abused and called a misogynist, and constantly berated about my input to the family. I transformed from a very outgoing, high-achieving & optimistic person into a reclusive, pessimistic & angry one. So much so, my family felt I was unrecognisable.

One year I tried to have my young adult daughter from a previous relationship live with us, the ex turned it into an absolute nightmare and verbally abused my daughter & kicked her out. Despite the fact I had raised her child as my own for the 9 years of the relationship. The ex also denied me the time and space to respond to a friend who was suicidal and needed a safe place, and was so unbelievably selfish and insecure she made it about proving she was more important? So sustained, directed and aggressive was her abuse that I eventually lost 3 jobs in just 6 months due to depression and stress & ended up in a psych ward.

We ended up in court twice for domestic violence orders, both times because she instigated physical assaults on me & I was forced to call the police to stop her. The second time she destroyed nearly $4000 of my personal items after unplugging the phone line when I attempted to call 000 to stop her. Fortunately the police wrote the order on her but she then went to court & filed a cross order on me. When all I did was try to recover an expensive device she was running off with while screaming “I'll smash this f**king thing”, & caused a small bruise on her wrist when I grabbed her.

Since leaving this woman 18 months ago she continues to use CSA, and the legal system (through grants) to harass and exploit me for increasing levels of money. Even though she has more than 80% of the family assets and was paid 3 times the nominated support. And has never offered settlement for relationship debts or the cost of the personal property she destroyed in a fit of rage. The amount of time I have to waste communicating with various agencies she sends after me, money for legal fees & the complete lack of support I have as a male in this situation are impacting on my emotional and physical well-being.

I feel utterly powerless to stop this woman who seems to be able to access unlimited free legal support & is now taking me to court due to her own refusal to agree to settlement of what she owes, so we can have a fair division of assets.

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