Ted's personal story
Friday, March 15, 2019
One in Three Campaign

Firstly I will admit to my wrongdoing in the matter. I said some nasty comments about my ex-partner's mother to a friend. The reason was that her mother refused all assistance from nursing staff while in hospital and made my ex feed her, bath her and clean her every night for months. My ex would often come home in tears saying she had to do things a daughter should never have to do to their mother. My comments were aimed in the defence of my ex but when she found out what I had said she took it purely as nasty comments about her Mum.

What I said was “the old bitch is so demanding on her daughter it will be better when she f..... dies” so I can understand her anger. I had no idea the friend was telling her what I had said. Her anger increased to the point where she said she couldn't forgive me and we began talking about separating. We had the home valued and she offered me less than half to leave. When I rejected the offer she said she would take out an AVO if I didn't take the money and f... off. On a number of occasions she told me this and came very close to hitting me when telling me to f... off and giving me "the finger" right in my face.

I realised after a couple of times that she was trying to provoke me into a violent response to get an AVO. At no time did I use any violence or threaten her. One night she tried the same tactic and I told her that I had the same rights to the home that she did and said we should sort this out civilly as we are nearly 60 years old. She called the police and took out the AVO. Her statement said there was never any violence or threatened violence and that I was so calm it was frightening and she was scared about my response to her taking out an AVO. This is an example of the discrimination against men. There would be no chance for a male to have an AVO taken out by police with a statement like that.

Eventually I accepted a mandatory clause AVO for 6 months on the advice of my lawyer to save costs and court time even though the complaint was frivolous. This allowed me to go home and to our business and as per the magistrates wording "it was a sensible decision and would allow us to settle our property affairs promptly". Since this hearing I have been locked out of my home and business and police will not enforce the court ruling on her. She has financially disadvantaged me by overdrawing on my credit card and transferring all business income into her private account. She separated our telephone bills and left me with the NBN and foxtel bundle from the home which I am locked out of.

Under the domestic violence law financial abuse includes:

  1. Not allowing the victim to work
  2. Preventing access to bank accounts.

I cannot go to work or access any income but have been told there's not a case for me. All I can do is spend more money on our property settlement to try and recover some of this lost finance. Transferring money from a business into a private account without the consent of the business partner is fraud by misappropriation of funds but I have been advised that I should let this be sorted out in the property settlement even though it comes under criminal law.

I am certain a woman would be granted an AVO on the financial abuse and would be able to prosecute a male for misappropriation fraud. Police are under a lot of pressure with all the domestic violence stories in the media but there is a definite discrimination against males. It would be interesting to survey police prosecutors to get a comparison in the number of frivolous or unreasonable domestic complaints made by women vs men. I sent a suggestion to the law reform society that an AVO application without actual violence should be passed on to a mediator before being filed. The 2 parties would be told to live separately until the mediation took place. This would take a lot of pressure off the police and curb the unnecessary stress on the male who is kicked out of his home for a month or more while waiting for the court hearing.

My health is deteriorating to a very worrying level. I have contacted Men's Helpline, Beyond Blue and 1800 Respect and they give good counselling advice but I am still suffering financially and healthwise due to the stress and cost of living away from home and having ongoing legal costs for the settlement due to my ex hiding money and not responding to demands to openly show all assets. The media and public services have increased the awareness and penalties for the increasing number of men committing actual violence on women but the increasing number of women who abuse the legal system for revenge and personal gain are wasting public money and court time and this should also be exposed on the media and dealt with by the law harshly.

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