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Chris' personal story

My family is one of those ‘out of the ordinary’ families when it comes to domestic violence. For years growing up during childhood, whilst Dad would be at work, my mother would mentally and physically abuse my sister and I. She always wanted to get rid of Dad because she didn't see him as someone to show off to people. I put it this way because Mum uses inanimate objects and her own living breathing family members as nothing but status icons. Mum would occasionally attack someone and get police involved and would attempt to manipulate or coerce my sister and I into falsifying statements or lie to people in order to get Dad into trouble.

As years passed and my sister and I became teenagers and later transitioned into young adulthood, things began to escalate. One night my mother chucked dad's work bag at my face and put a hole in the wall behind me as his bottle missed my head. I phoned the police and they made the situation much worse. Despite calling them and showing where and how I was attacked, including my facial injuries, they did nothing. Instead my mother told them that my Dad attacked her and they took him to the station for questioning and made an IVO for my mother against him. He couldn't return home that night and slept at a petrol station. On another occasion I chose to leave with my Dad and slept in the trunk of our car just to get away from my mum. It was my fault as I got attacked by my Mum and called police. A Sergeant from the Police told me, “you're a 20yr old male, I doubt your mother could attack you, grow the f### up son”.

That's just one prime example of how male victims are treated and goes to show how dodgy the police can be. Men beware, when you're a victim of domestic violence, don't rely on the police. They'll just turn around and slap you, your son, your brother or your father with an IVO for no reason and they may also not be allowed to return home. But it doesn't end there. My mother is a narcissist, anything that goes wrong or anything she does wrong, she'd go into denial mode or blame the nearest person, causing heated arguments. Eventually after her constant physical attacks, my sister and I took IVOs out against her and the police and Crisis Assessment Team locked her up in a psych ward for a while. Dad being dad, loving Mum too much despite all the wrong she's done to him and their own children, convinced us to remove our IVOs. I still remember that day. My sister and I had a massive argument with him in the Magistrates Court and all the way back home. Even the Magistrate and police warned him not to take this path…

Fast forward to 2019. After allowing our mother to breach our orders (we failed to remove them) and return to our lives, the trouble began again. She put up this remorseful facade towards Dad but she wasn't fooling me or my sister. Skip to February, I was enjoying another 35+ degree scorcher in the pool. My mother was screaming like a banshee, verbally abusing my Dad and sister (she was angry why I asked her to help me pay my house bills as everyone helped me but her). Things escalated when I heard loud bangs and my sister screaming for help, so I bolted inside, almost slipping on the floorboards as I was soaking wet. My sister was struck in the head and hunched over clutching her face, crying hysterically. My mother was kneeling and filming my sister, breathing heavily looking like she had done something exhausting. My Dad came and helped them both off the floor whilst I stood there in shock.

My sister phoned police and an ambulance. I stood in the hallway talking to my Dad in the kitchen wondering what just happened. My mother came barging out from the master bedroom and yelled to me and my dad, trying to convince us that my sister bashed her, even though I clearly saw the climax. She shoved her phone in my face filming me and I smacked it out of her hand and told her not to touch my sister again. She picked up her phone and started yelling at my Dad saying that I punched her in the eye (even though he was right in-front of me). She then ran into the bathroom and phoned police as well. Later, police and paramedics arrived and assessed my sister's facial injuries. They worked on getting my mother out of the house and send her to the hospital for a psychiatric assessment. One of the female Senior Constables told us that if she was to get another call out to my address, she'd issue everyone with a safety notice. She refused to have my mother charged for assaulting my sister and instead told me off over slapping the phone out of her hand. She also said (as I assumed) that my mother's video didn't really show anything worth needing any action to be taken so they all left my house.

One day later, my mother came to my house in the company of two police officers and got her clothes and electronics. She claimed she needed some time apart to cool off and the officers assured us that nothing dodgy was going on, when Dad asked them if they're not letting her stay with us and questioned what was going on. We never saw my Mum again for almost an entire month. I even phoned up the Melton police station and asked about any reported incidents as I had a hunch that she was up to no good again. They denied it so life continued as normal…

…Until February 26th. I was watching Game of Thrones that evening and I heard an aggressive knock on the door. It was two officers from the local police station. They served me, my Dad and sister with IVOs on mum's behalf and told us that although she didn't live in my house and that we could stay put (apparently we weren't allowed to stay in my house) we would need to leave if she was to show up. This news hit us hard. I attempted my first suicide that night and lost EVERYTHING.

To this day, as I type this story out, things have only got worse and we're still waiting for our court date in October. My sister, Dad and I were made homeless over my mother's fake IVOs. Even though the police knew what happened that day, they allowed my mother to commit perjury and fabricate the facts of the February incident a month later and somehow had a silly Magistrate approve of the IVOs, all without anyone's knowledge that this was even happening behind our backs. The legal system officially stuffed us over. My sister was a victim of my mother's assault and my Dad and I were witnesses and somehow we all became respondents to mum's 3 IVOs. The Magistrate kicked us out of my own home and onto the streets and refused to alter the IVOs on many occasions even though my mother already had housing and support from the various women support agencies. We were left with nothing but the same smelly clothes we were kicked on the street with and that Magistrate had not a care in the world.

Since the serving of the IVOs in February, I attempted suicide multiple times, lost all my belongings and now, my house, as my mother exploited the IVO system, broke into it, changed my locks and started making demands that I sign it onto her. I'm powerless to do anything about it. My Dad also lost his job, my sister never got to complete her VCE and we've all wasted what was left of our savings as my mother took all of our money and started financially controlling us, and the courts don't give a toss, even though our IVOs against her state that she cannot do such a thing. Obviously mothers are granted immunity to IVO conditions and are free to breach them with zero consequences.

2 key points of this story: a. The courts are ruthless and one-sided and will discriminate against men and young adult victims of family violence if the Mum pretends to be the victim b. The police are useless. If you're a male or female victim attempting to get help because of an abusive mother, don't risk it, they'll put your entire family on the street.

This is another example showing just how broken our IVO system is and how easily it can be exploited. Even though I blame my mother for causing all this trouble due to her violent behaviour towards everyone, is it right for me to blame myself too? I cannot forgive myself for destroying my family as I was the one phoning the police every time my mother would assault someone. If I had just kept quiet and put up with her abuse, maybe things would be different today…

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