TELL YOUR STORY

If you are a male victim of family violence - domestic violence, violence from other family members, child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, or other forms of family violence and abuse - this page is available for you to tell your anonymous story. Please click here to tell your own story. If you feel like you need support, please click here. Stories are moderated to prevent the posting of spam, so it might take a little while for your story to appear on this page.

PERSONAL STORIES FROM MALE VICTIMS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE AND ABUSE

Sunday
Oct142018

Mike's personal story

I met her in 2009 and thought all of my dreams had come true. I look back now and see that I was foolish to rush into having two children with her very quickly. We did not live together but planned to get married just as soon as she finished University studies. I gave up full-time work to look after the baby and toddler. I found myself looking after the children at least 80% of the time on my own and it was hard but very rewarding.

The mother was supposedly studying but after 3 years of this I discovered that she had not even completed one semester. She then dropped out. The abuse towards me and the children was not subtle. Criticisms, smear-campaigns, physical assault, and many threats. The most common being that if I challenged her behaviour, I would never see the children again. She was/is very selfish, lazy and has all the traits of a female sociopath. She would always say, ‘I've got grief, I've got depression’ (her mother had passed away a couple of years before). Initially I wore these excuses.

Eventually I insisted she go to get therapy. She chose someone she had seen previously with another relationship. We both went for counselling separately and she would come skipping out of there like a little schoolgirl. The last time I went I just broke down. Here I was with two little babies and I was being abused by a monster. I ended the relationship and she did as promised and withheld the children from me. They were more bonded to me because I was their main carer.

Thankfully after three weeks she had gotten sick of looking after them because she had no others to do all the hard work for her. The therapist shared with me that she is in fact a sociopath... 'It is obvious when you first meet her,' he said. I asked, ‘why didn't I see it when I first met her?’ ‘Ah,’ he said, ‘you were naïve.’

Anyway a further year of week about went, then she withheld again. I was forced to take her to court. Thankfully a swift interim decision reinstated the week about. Then my worst nightmare came true. The family consultants in the family court who were supposed to (I thought) be impartial did nothing short of bully me, accuse me of being the perpetrator of family violence and my whole story was swept off the table and not even read. Stories of her abuse, an assault charge against her, her admittance of child neglect. Everything of my story became invisible. The last straw was a ‘family report’ done by a woman who was not even a psychologist let alone a child psychologist and she treated me the same and wrote a biased report.

The next hearing, this old man judge who had never worked in the family court before changed the orders so now I am relegated to less than a significant carer. I was driven to the edge of having a nervous breakdown. Years of abuse from her and now this - it got worse instead of better. The system took away my reason for existing. Now I see my daughters' school attendance plummeting. I can't even sign an excursion form. One might think that because the mother has what she wants she would be happy? No! Now she has all the power to continue to torment me. Her Illness means that she will never stop.

Reading many of the stories here, I see there are many female sociopaths out there and they are being helped by a system that is itself demented. My family and I have spent 10's of thousands of dollars whilst she is funded and supported by the government. My children have lost any balance and are destined to spend their childhood with a seriously mentally ill woman who will damage them. Then (I'm always told) they will come back to me (yeah, when they are very disturbed and broken). I am bitter. I am broken. To my two beautiful daughters, daddy did everything he could but the system let you down. Please be strong.

Friday
Oct122018

Rob's personal story

I've had household items thrown at me just missing my head. The Police came but did not record the incident (only in their daily log). On a daily basis I feel helpless against the verbal putdowns. It seems I just can't do anything right in this household. I refuse to yell or retaliate. I just “take it” and don't fight back. I do my utmost to keep control of my emotions. I never let her get the better of my emotions. Every guy should learn never to let a woman get the better of your emotions. Because if they do, you retaliate with verbal or physical violence. Us men are better than that. No matter how much she pushes your buttons to get a response, do not hit or yell back. EVER. I don't know what to do, or where to go.

Tuesday
Oct022018

Peter's personal story

I haven’t always talked openly about growing up as a ward of the State. I kept it quiet for most of my life, because I was ashamed. But now, I think it’s important to tell my clients what I went through. When they hear my story it makes them feel safer in telling theirs. They seem reassured to learn that although I’m a lawyer, I’m not from a privileged background. My childhood was one of beatings, anger, disapproval and loneliness. As a child, and for years of my adult life, I felt worthless and unlovable. I was convinced I was a bad person.

I was born in Geelong, Victoria, and am the second youngest of eight children. We were very poor. My father left home when I was six-months-old, and my mother gave me away when I was five. It was 1962. I remember the big black car arriving. My two youngest brothers and I were given a bath, before being driven away by two men.

My welfare file explains that my mother had a new boyfriend, who had left his wife and six children. My mother phoned the State welfare department and convinced them to take three of her boys off her hands.

I was separated from my two brothers and put into Winbin Depot, a home for young children in Sydney, while I was waiting for a foster placement. I didn’t see anyone in my family for 17 years and I missed my brothers terribly. Many times I asked where they were and whether I could see them. I promised myself that I would not forget their faces, or their names, and that when I was old enough, I would go looking for them.

I was fostered by a couple in Sydney who raised me as their only child. They physically and emotionally abused me. I know what it is like to be beaten so hard and for so long that it feels like it will never stop. The only reason my foster mother ever stopped was because she was so physically exhausted she couldn’t carry on. I was beaten so badly I planned to kill my foster parents. I plotted carefully how I would murder them, though I’m glad I never did.

I grew up thinking the abuse was my fault. When I left home at 22, I sat my foster parents down and apologised for ruining their lives.

My foster parents abused me emotionally too. My foster mother said I was nothing but a creature and one day, if I was ever good enough, I could change my surname to hers. I believed I was bad and I’d done something terrible. I longed for the day I would be worthy of her name. I grew up thinking the abuse was my fault. When I left home at 22, I sat my foster parents down and apologised for ruining their lives.

Once I left home though, things started to improve. I found my mother and my siblings in Newcastle after 17 years of us being apart. When we were reunited they were all crying. But I couldn’t cry – I hadn’t been able to from the age of 10. Crying had been beaten out of me.

It wasn’t until I went on a men’s retreat in 2005 that I cried for the first time. I cry a fair bit now and I’m happy that I can do that. It feels good to be connected to my emotions again.

Growing up in foster care made me feel like I was different to everyone else and that’s something many of my clients can relate to. I felt I was weird or unusual. It was overwhelming and I longed for the day I would be the same as everyone else. It seemed impossible that anyone could ever love me. As a young man, I honestly believed that no-one would want to marry me.

But six years after the reunion with my family, I was married. My wife, Michelle, agreed to move from Sydney to Newcastle, so I could be close to my brothers and sisters. This was important to me because we had missed out on spending our childhoods together.

Michelle and I have four adult children and I see my siblings regularly. I go on road trips with them every year. I really enjoy long drives. They give you lots of time to talk.

Being fostered did give me the advantage of getting an education, which my brothers and sisters missed out on. All of them left school at 14 years and 9 months, but I won a scholarship in Year 10 that enabled me to do the HSC. My foster parents wouldn’t support me to go to uni, but I got a bank job and studied law at night. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but I look back now and think, ‘How did I do that?’

As a lawyer, I represent victims of abuse who are making claims against churches, religious organisations, charities, State governments and other institutions.

These courageous people are helping to make sure that reforms are put in place, so that the abuse of children, in an institutional context, never happens again.

Most recently, I’ve been supporting people who were sexually abused as children and who are telling their stories to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. These courageous people are helping to make sure that reforms are put in place, so that the abuse of children, in an institutional context, never happens again.

Many of these people have such a low opinion of themselves, they never dreamed they could make a difference. I’ve sat at the bar table and watched the public gallery break out in applause, acknowledging the courage of Indigenous women, people who have lived in poverty and those who have battled a lifetime of mental illness. Some of those people have never felt approved of, so to receive a standing ovation at the Royal Commission is amazing.

Giving evidence at the Royal Commission has helped many of my clients achieve a breakthrough in their life. So many victims have perpetrators living rent-free in their heads, but giving evidence has helped them to be set free from their memories.

Helping victims achieve justice.

This work has become my purpose in life. I am passionate about it. I know that when I take my last breath, I will have helped thousands of people to achieve what they needed, in order to start healing. There is a lot of personal joy and reward in that.

More at https://kelsolawyers.com/au/peter-kelso/.

Thursday
Sep272018

Anthony's personal story

Hello. My name's Anthony. I'm 41 and I've been a full-time caregiver for my partner who has an acquired brain injury. Her ABI affects her ability to do many things including controlling her emotions, controlling her anger, coming at me with knives, constant (and I mean CONSTANT) yelling and shouting profanities at me. She's been unfaithful on at least 5 occasions I'm aware of, very inappropriate behaviour around others, attempting to get me arrested numerous times even when proven she is fibbing, attempted on more than one occasion to get me killed. Her family have threatened to kill me (even in a courthouse to which the judge did nothing). In fact I could write a book about my experiences (and indeed I have been) as there's simply too much more to mention here. She even ‘runs away for up to 12 months and I don't even know if she's alive or dead.

She is in fact a lovely woman so long as outside factors don't intrude (rude, mean, pushy type people and her VERY nasty family). My partner's uncle sexually abused my partner when she was young, her sister made her eat CAT FOOD and put lemon juice in her eye, her Dad used to belt her and even made her sleep outside in a cardboard box during a thunderstorm! So it's reasonable to understand why I don't want them anywhere near us. So long as others don't upset her, or she simply loses it.

As her carer I feel obliged to assist her but what gets my blood boiling is the TOTAL lack of proper support. I need to add that the times of infidelity occurred when she was supposed to be in a care facility, but the staff at these places have NEVER respected our relationship status and I believe encouraged her even to engage in this behaviour. DHS and her family have played a big part in it all in an effort to destroy our relationship (I have plenty of evidence). Went to see NDIS for assistance but they said there's a 2 to 3 year waiting period for emergency respite?

I am unable to have friends, I have no supportive family, suicidal thoughts occasionally (although after witnessing someone jump from about 30 floors onto the ground I'm aware of just how foolish that thinking is). Nonetheless it creeps in from time to time. I do love my partner and I'm fully aware she cannot be fully responsible for ALL her actions due to her disability but I do fear for my safety on a regular basis. I once had 3 big scary guys at my door with weapons one night. She kept screaming, "Help me! Help me!" and I was just sitting there! Luckily they actually listened to my explanation of her disability first before reacting. LADIES PLEASE respect your man - they have FEELINGS TOO! I do wonder what correlation there is between this and the biggest killer of men under 30 (suicide)? Where has all the LOVE in this world gone?

Sunday
Sep232018

Dean's personal story

Briefly I was involved in a relationship with a woman who apparently helps the domestic violence centre with advice. After a brief relationship with this lady, a beautiful little girl was born. After being kicked, punched and called disgusting names (which were also said by the domestic violence judge at the time) I still proceeded to allow the domestic violence order upon myself for a period of two years.

Our little girl was so involved with the system at this point that my head was spinning with exchanges in public places. Then came the sad part to me. During an exchange, my ex-partner placed her hands upon my throat. Police were involved and I was told they would help me in getting a blanket domestic violence order upon her. She lied to police. I just really wanted to see my girl, so I did not make Sharon the respondent of a domestic violence order. I made notes and left it as that.

After years now I have still not seen my little girl. I have asked my ex-partner many times just to focus on our daughter's needs, not on me. It's sad but the good thing is now I help people with their domestic violence and family law issues.

Oh and in between that, my daughter was brought to me suffering thread worms which was diagnosed by a doctor. After trying to contact her many times via lawyers, she refused to answer, so she went and placed a recovery order in place and never to see her ever again. My story is sad but true.