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

Friday
Nov062015

John's personal story

I married my second wife in 1998. I was a fit youngish man enjoying the reality of my new life as well as enjoying a successful military career. My new wife relocated to Sydney (where I was posted).

After the birth of my first child, a beautiful boy, I began noticing a change. Progressively, my wife was becoming increasingly verbally abusive to me. In 2002 My wife just up and returned to Queensland. She cited being unhappy in Sydney and began putting increased pressure on me to leave the A.D.F.

In 2003, my wife and I had a beautiful girl and things were okay again for a very short while. Finally, in 2004, after being constantly told that she would never allow me to see me children again unless I discharged, I left my job of a lifetime. Despite having all the networks in place to ensure a bright future for my family, I relocated to Brisbane and started again.

I commenced a law degree and for the next three years worked part-time jobs and looked after the children. In 2005, my wife stated she wished to have another child. I wanted to wait until I had completed my degree but again my wife bullied me into it. I was blessed with another girl and while I looked after the household, worked part time and continued my degree, my wife went to work in the city.

Things again escalated to a point where I was constantly berated and verbally abused in front of the children, family and friends. I was physically abused on a number occasions with a phone handset, cooking implements, including knives thrown at me and quite often the back of her hand.

In 2013, I finally and most painfully left my marriage. After not being allowed to see my children for over 4 months, I applied to the magistrates court for protection orders to prevent her continuing berating and abuse on social media, by texts and to prevent her from withholding contact with my children.

When I attended court for the mention, I was approached by a volunteer from Mensline. After I had informed him I was in fact the applicant, he abruptly left. The Police prosecutor was nice as pie until I identified myself as the applicant. The magistrate berated me and I was treated like I was wasting his time but I still managed to have the matter go to a hearing.

Prior to attending the hearing, I was bombarded by texts and email from my ex wife stating that unless I dropped the DV matter, I would not see the children again. I then attended court and withdrew the matter, citing the information from my ex wife and the treatment I received in the court. Later that month, I was reluctantly given half the holidays and every second weekend after a favourable report from the Independent Children's Lawyer.

Since then I have been constantly abused and berated in front of the children, she has ignored the court orders and withheld the children on a whim and as I now approach another battle, I was issued with a temporary Protection Order after an incident where my ex-wife physically attacked me and my mother, scratched my face, scratched and punched a 75 year old lady and I'm in trouble for defending my mother! And so it goes again!

Thursday
Oct292015

Will's personal story

Summer caught me at a time where I was at my weakest. I was desperate for love and in need for someone to take care of me. I gave her the world with dinners, gifts, constant attention and compliments. For Valentines Days I paid 200 bucks for a nice dinner and she was texting her ex during the dinner. I should have given up but I kept pushing ahead hoping she'd want just me.

During the span of the relationship, she was emotionally and physically abusive. She'd become drunk and throw things at my head and hit me and try to hurt me. Even when she was sober she'd hit, scratch and pinch me. One time she pinched me so hard it left a bruise on my face and it hurt for several days. The emotional side was being told I wasn't good enough and no one would ever want me.

The pain of this relationship has taken its toll on me and I can't even consider another relationship. I broke up with her after the pain got bad and she chased me for a while. I couldn't look back because it all hurt too bad. I feel ashamed I let it happen to me and a sense of quiet anger. She took advantage of a deep depression and a guy who just wanted to be loved. Now I'm just left with bad memories and a sense of disaffection toward relationships.

Thursday
Oct222015

Rob's personal story

When I first met my wife I was lacking in self –esteem, although I don’t think I even knew what that meant all those years ago. I had been out of a long term relationship for about a year but don’t think I was really ready for another one.

Sally was very intense. She had a lot of fun, liked to party. We had amazing sex and when I was with her I felt really alive. She paid me compliments all the time and it just felt good to be with her. Sure she had a ‘hot temper’ but she was just ‘passionate’ wasn’t she.

Her interests seemed to match mine. We both loved travel, planned to emigrate and enjoyed scuba diving. I was so much ‘in love’ with her that I failed to notice how unusual her family background was, with many fractured relationships over seeming trivial matters. I also did not notice how unusual it was that she asked me to marry her after only six months together.

She was very jealous of the time I spent with my friends – justifying the behaviour by saying that they were all womanisers and she couldn’t trust me when out with them. (This was true of some of my friends but by no means all of them). I told myself she just didn’t want to lose me and would try to reassure her.

There were some warning signs before we got married such as the time she yelled in my ear repeatedly when I was driving. I put it down to stress. It was only after we got married that she truly revealed what she was capable of.

After we were married about 6 months my mother forgot her birthday. I was unhappy with this too but somehow I became ‘responsible’. There was an argument (well less of an argument than her abusing me – but I called it an argument back then) which culminated in her throwing a wine glass at me. It shattered and shards lodged in my leg. I looked at my blood soaked training shoe and she was still yelling. To my shame I lashed out and kicked her. The only time I ever retaliated.

This incident was used as a source of great guilt for me over many years. She would say ‘I have shown what I am capable of’ and ‘she knows the type of man I really am’. I thought of divorcing her at this point but after a few days all was forgotten.

Visits from my family were always a source of tension. I always found she was trying to angle for an argument or a reason to berate me later. She seemed to take everything my mum and dad said to her the wrong way. I never spoke against her in front of anyone, always playing the loyal husband but I would raise my concerns in private and she would abuse me in the most disrespectful ways. She made time with my family a misery for me and them. It was always a source of conflict between us. She burned my friends but found it difficult to isolate me from my family.

We eventually had 3 children over a period of 6 years. Things deteriorated in such an insidious and gradual manner. It was the proverbial frog in the pond. The temperature changing so gradually that I did not know what had happened. I eventually ended up isolated from my family. My time was carefully controlled and I endured emotional abuse on a daily basis. She became an alcoholic and was stood down from her job for drinking on duty. I had a fractured skull from being pushed down steps. Still I told nobody.

I actually did not realise I was in an abusive relationship. I did not think at all. My existence reduced to meeting her needs and being berated daily. Her life consisted of drinking and watching soap operas. Our home stank despite the fact she wasn’t working but she would not let me employ a cleaner.

My salvation came from doing ‘the wrong thing’. Sex had become non-existent as she was normally passed out and was unpleasant anyway. It is not pleasant being sober and having sex with a drunk. I did something very out of character and met a woman on an adult dating website. We became very close friends and eventually I shared some of the things that went on at home. This woman, who had been an abuse victim herself, educated me on what was happening.

I started to understand that I was a victim of domestic violence. I started to understand what had happened to my life. Of course, to the world I am one of those horrible narcissistic male adulterers. To be honest I don’t care. I was faithful to a woman for 15 years who turned me into a pale shadow of the man I was. Who sucked the life out of me like a vampire. The biggest thing I have learned is to judge nobody for what happens in their relationships. You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

Thursday
Oct152015

John's personal story

The big worry I have is that I have failed my sons. I have three sons and all of them have anxiety problems - I should have got them out of there. Kids are vulnerable - I can cope with living with a crazy person but they shouldn't have to. If any of my sons read this - James, Thomas and Tim, I'm sorry. I wish I had done more - I'm sorry.

Your Dad

Friday
Oct092015

Re Duced's personal story

PHYSICAL VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ONLY VIOLENCE

Female violence does NOT have to result in physical black eyes to be significant. It's a shame most stories you hear are of that extreme. Here is a different one.

PART 1 - the in-relationship violence

It began as a mistake. On us getting together a friend of hers told me, "just don't let her get angry with you" and shuddered. I laughed. I'm attracted to strong women, it's cool. If you're into astrology, which I'm not, I'm an Aries, she a Scorpio. An astrologer enthusiast said to me, "oh my, you must have some terrible fights". Indeed.

Verbal interrogation and control with the most explosive temper I have ever witnessed by far, were her modus operandi. Shouting tantrums were childlike, and she'd never back down, no way. After a while it became habitual, a constant. She got physical too, throwing objects at you her favourite weapon, and became a common event when her tantrums became tornado like, hard objects, not teddy bears, a glass smashing inches away from your head against the wall; once a full blown punch to the stomach swinging out of her rage; pulling the handbrake on at 100km/hr on the highway as the passenger as she's screaming her lungs out. After we split, death threats, a phone call telling me she's going to send some thugs she knows to beat the crap out of me with baseball bats; and realities, sending friends of hers to break into my house while I was away to take the fridge and washer and leave meat to rot all over the bench for my return.

I'd not experienced such violence in my upbringing. I grew up in a peaceful household and outside that had only ever witnessed a few people getting the shits type thing, including myself. This was a whole new level and I found it very disturbing, but tried to put on the brave face.

Causes of her anger I accept some responsibility, if not a lot of it. Much of her anger was sex based. She always wanted sex. I didn't. What I was doing in a relationship with someone who didn't arouse me I have no idea and accept the blame for it. For the first time in my life, I couldn't actually get an erection.

I find anger very unattractive and it made the problem even worse. She tried to be understanding at first, but eventually she started intimidating and taunting me that I was a sexual failure, that my penis was pathetic anyway. She even called my very non sex oriented mother up to tell her I was sexually inadequate, adding that I wont talk about it to her without getting violent. What? A psychological tactic of hers, spread dirt quickly.

Her favourite intimidation was her threatening to call the police and claim abuse. My method of handling her constant interrogation, harassment and verbal shouting, was to remain calm and not fire back. I'd discuss the issue, but remain calm in the face of her serious aggression. She'd just push it and shout. To her 100 shouting tirades, I'd reply with shouting back in defence one time. I could exaggerate but I'm not. As soon as I did shout back, she'd call the police. I had to grab the phone to stop it - which she called first rate abuse. It made me very uncomfortable and she knew it, so used it regularly, including when I disobeyed orders. One time she demanded sex. I had a serious back condition giving me acute pain, I said no, she ordered me to the couch, to which I refused, no shouting, and she'd do the call the police routine. I went to the couch.

I thought no meant no? And all this coming from a feminist? Wasn't the right to say no to sex a feminist war cry?

That's just a select few categories of her intimidation and violence. I could go on and on. It was daily, weekly, monthly. I was living in hell, scared to get out of bed in the morning for fear of the shouting that would confront today. I began to physically feel nerves tingling, endless nausea, and walked on egg shells, would extend work, stop at a McDonalds on the way home, checking the clock realising Ive been there 3 hours reading the paper, just to not go home. Being late you'd cop it sweet and sleep on the couch.

I'm no angel, I don't intend to portray me as such. For starters I'm a very unromantic partner, socially inadequate, hardly your prince charming, which she demanded. But yes I have a temper. I have anger. We all do. Though I generally control it, especially when in the face of a real aggressor. They intimidate me and I'll speak my mind less than I do with a weaker person. But I reach a point, that 1 in 100 times where I'll retaliate. When I get verbal I can really cut. I was beginning to lose patience with her attacks, fuck this shit, raising my voice in retaliation. You do this, you begin to copy the behaviour, it works for her, why don't I give it a try? Even throwing objects like the remote control I gave a try, but never at her, more childish tantrum like.

After an attack lasting for hours one night, I told her in anger to get out. You can't live under that violence, you just can't, and a child shouldn't have to see it, and he was beginning to. Including mine. Enough.

Part 2 - Use the child as a weapon, and really squash him, subtle violence.

To cut a long story short, she told everyone I was a violent abusive man. In mediation, she refused to allow me unsupervised access to my child, insisting I'm watched by her mother at her mother's place, some 6 hours return travel. It was a very uncomfortable, difficult and humiliating position. She claimed I was a danger to my child's safety. They believe that without any question. She cried just at the right times.

I swallowed it and did it. The most important thing being the child. After 12 months of tolerating this untenable torture perfectly, I insisted more freedom, which was refused, apart from a very small unreasonable window during the day with all sorts of conditions. She added assurance this would continue for at least another 5 years. The mediator sat in silence. He was highly incompetent at dealing with an overbearing woman.

On my first very brief excursion with him solo, a walk up town, she called me repetitively, threatening to call the police, that I was about to abduct him, all this hysteria. I was now 15 minutes late home for the strict deadline, running the last few hundred metres in fear. The mother in law was bitching to the ex on the phone about it as I entered.

It was very frustrating and I'd had enough. I threw my coat, robustly, onto the couch and said sternly but controlled, "I've had enough of this, you need to start treating me with respect, do you understand?"

She was no shrinking violet and told me the only way I could be treated with any respect was "if I paid more money".

I was insulted and infuriated, I'm actually very poor under large financial stress, and gave her a verbal spray. She stood up to me and argued back, which urged me on, and yep, I gave her a verbal spray, swear words and all. They'd hurt me with this nonsense revenge, intentionally, and I now wanted to hurt her. I left the scene in anger. I never physically intimated her once, I'm not that type.

But I'd taken the bait.

I road my bike down the highway at 240 km/hr and didn't give a damn if I got caught. I'm an experienced rider, skilled, and at that speed they wont catch you anyway, and I'd be in for the chase in any case. I was so upset. I knew that was it.

I called mediation and asked for another session, to rework this untenable situation. She refused any more sessions. There's nothing you can now do but go to court. I can't afford that.

6 weeks later, I was served with an AVO, claiming they were terrified to sleep at night, claiming a violent relationship, her as sweet little victim. 6 weeks later? Surely I'd have done the violence by now?

With 2 women crying and testifying in court that I'm a violent male, I figured I had no chance. I was deeply depressed and disturbed. To be accused of violence by someone who actually is highly violent, was too much irony to deal with.

I actually went insane; my hair long and unkempt; body unfed; no appetite; jeans hanging loose from protruding hips. A terrible sight. The sun had no heating effect on my body lying in it after waking at noon everyday. I felt like a vampire, without soul.

Friends wanted to know nothing about it. They're progressive pro-feminist male wary types, as I always was too. If a man is accused of violence to these types, you are violent, period. Other male friends are the opposite, 'women are just bitches' types. No intellectual stimulation there, but it was something at least, though empty.

If a court did pass an AVO on me with my being there, I feared I would not be able to mentally handle that. I didn't go.

All very foolish, but this is what trauma does to you. If they did give me an AVO in my presence, I had visions of riding my motorcycle into a truck after the court case. I was so upset. I loved my child and he me, and cried hopelessly watching videos of me making him laugh. I desperately wanted to be with him. But wiser to save my life and come back later.

The AVO was for 2 years, and after that separation, I couldn't go back to make contact. Too scared and intimidated, still am. There would and will be trouble. This woman knows exactly what to do and which strings to pull, a master of domestic violence. She would definitely have put the child against me by now, claiming victim of abuse. I believe she has a fantasy for it. I can't bear the thought of it. All I know is she's moved away and I have no idea where my child is and I'm not allowed to find out.

Worst of all is, now, after not going back, I'm the one to blame, and everyone tells you that - if you can get anyone to talk about it. I did lose my temper, and didn't go back. All else is irrelevant. She's played it brilliantly, I played it terribly. My child, that beautiful little boy I made laugh so hard, loses.

Domestic violence is deeply disturbing, especially the mental kind. I kind of wish she was just physically violent, it would be much easier to explain and deal with, oddly enough.