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

Thursday
Apr142016

Luke's personal story

I really do not know where to begin. My life has been destroyed. My ex-partner has stolen all of my savings and has left me in tens of thousands of dollars in debt. She obtained my credit card number and spent my employer payout on clothes, eBay items, dinners out, out court costs relating to an item that she presented to me as a gift but, obviously was not paid for.

At the same time, when allowed to collect some of her belongings from my place, she has stolen five of my artworks. I would have sold these, with great pain, in order to deal with my debts. She has wrecked my car and not contributed to maintaining my place. She has lied many, many times. She has manipulated my life to such an extent that I had no phone nor internet connections to contact my family. I am so disappointed that so many men in my situation have no where to turn to.

We are, indeed, the forgotten third of domestic violence.

Wednesday
Mar162016

Chris' personal story

My story of abuse at the hands of a narcissist. My true love. We met on a Facebook app hot or not. She was hot. From that first picture I saw of her I knew that I wanted her. She was the most beautiful looking woman I'd ever seen. I messaged her asking how she was on this beautiful winters day. She replied saying im crazy because it was -17 at the time. We message a lot over the next couple of weeks. I was messaging other women at the same time but I knew she was the one. She made me smile every time I saw her message. I did meet up with another woman while I was talking to her but that was a mistake. A total mistake. Now the woman I met with was nice and I liked her but all the time I was with her I couldn't stop thinking of N. She was my world.

So after being stood up by N 3 times we finally met. I picked her up from work and we went for dinner. We talked and talked. I was so nervous around her because I was so much in love with her even on our first meet. I know it sounds strange but I was. We had messaged each other so much I did love her. I guess I fall in love really easily. After the date I was so nervous that I didn't know what to do. So I just dropped her off and sat in the car while she walked into her house. Once the door closed I could finally breathe. She was amazing. I didn't message her for a couple of days after that not because I didn't want to but because I thought I was so nervous on our date that I did not want to be rejected by her. She messaged me finally and again I could breathe. I could build a relationship with this beautiful wonderful woman. On Christmas Day she asked if she could come over to my house on Boxing Day. I said yes. Wow she wants to see me again. Holy crap. She actually likes me. My world has just been completed. I am the luckiest man alive. Our first kiss. Wow. The world actually stopped turning. Everything was slow motion. People search their whole life for that moment. I had found it. I had it. I wish I could explain the feeling. Words can not. Only people that have experienced it can understand. A side note I don't think I will ever find that feeling again. It only happens once in a lifetime. So we started dating. I think we rushed into things a bit too fast because it wasn't long before we were living in each other house. Weekends at mine weekdays at hers. We still went on dates for dinner and bars but we slept with each other most nights. In hindsight we should have slowed it down but I was so much in love with her I just wanted to spend every waking moment with her. So after a few months she asked me to marry her in Vegas I jumped at the chance. So far the perfect love story.

In the meantime we had our problems. Like the girl I met up with before I had even met her contacted her. She asked me about it and I did the wrong thing which I regret now. I lied. I told her that I didn't sleep with her. I was embarrassed about the one night stand and didn't want her to think less of me. I was wrong. I denied it all. Later she found out the truth. I broke her trust. Something that she didn't have much of because of her past. I don't want to talk about her past too much but she's had a lot of relationships and a lot of partners that have turned out bad. The fact is I really didn't know much about her past because the stories constantly changed. Her past was a mystery to me but I didn't care. I just wanted her. I didn't care about anything other than right now. There were warning signs before we married she would flip out over nothing. At that point she started to get aggressive. She hit me a couple of times but I brushed it off. I wanted her. So I asked her to move in with me she did. We were good and bad. We got married I loved her so much I just put aside the arguments and the abuse. Then it started to escalate. Every couple of months I'd get beaten. The reasons were beyond me. It seemed and I believe that she would look for reasons to justify her anger. At work the guys were constantly asking why I had black eyes and cuts and bruises all the time. I told them all kinds of lies to cover it up. They joked "did your wife hit you again for leaving the toilet seat up?". If only they knew how those statements affected me. They didn't know and I couldn't tell them. I was alone and isolated. But I loved her. After one beating I drove 3 hours to her mom's where she was staying with "I love you" in huge letters written all over my Jeep because I didn't want to lose her. After being beaten and kicked down the stairs I cried and grovelled at her feet for forgiveness even though I had no idea what I did wrong. After every beating I always apologized for the things I did wrong even though I didn't do any of them. Now for the hardest part of this story for me to write.

After a huge beating where I had to go to hospital because she tried to strangle me we split up. She stayed in my house but we lived separate lives. I looked at her Facebook and saw that she had posted that she was single. And there were all these younger good looking guys liking all her photos. I got depressed. I went on a chat room which was my only outlet. I had to stay anonymous. A guy I chatted to said he was a cross dresser and he's always getting attention for everyone. So I chatted to him. Just as friends. I would go to the bar where she was and see her with other guys. Laughing joking hugging swapping phone numbers. That hurt. Now what I did was wrong. Completely wrong but I had my reasons. We got back together a while later but still the same. She found out about the chat room. It went from once every couple of months to once a month. Now she had ammunition on me so every beating was backed up with "you're a faggot. You just want a dick not me". I loved her. Even though I had those images of her with other guys I wanted her. I forgave her. I gave up everything for her. She controlled me. The love I had for her was so great that I was willing to do anything for her. So I stopped talking to my family after she threatened my mother. She also messaged everyone I know and told everyone in the local bars that I was gay, that I wore women's lingerie and I beat her all the time. She isolated me from everyone. She had everyone believing her lies. I was trapped. A while later and another beating this time with a TV remote I had to get 8 stitches in my ear. So after I apologized again we got back together. She told me that she was going to remove the stitches for me as she didn't want me to go to the doctors. I had to sneak out and get them removed without her knowing. After another beating she went upstairs to have a bath. She called me up so I went upstairs. She was naked and jumped on me saying lets end this argument by having sex. She was really aggressive and I didn't want any part of it. I was thrown up against a wall and kissed against my will. I was grabbed and she tried to remove my pants. It was the most horrifying thing I've ever been through. The hate in her eyes was terrifying. So I pushed her off. This is where she flipped completely out. She phoned the police to say I was abusing her and that I was hitting her. She told me to run because the cops were on the way. That was exactly what she wanted so she could play the victim. I waited for the police. 3 cars turned up. I opened the door not knowing what was going to happen. 2 cops dragged me outside and started interrogating me. I was so scared. She sat on the stairs still naked telling these police complete lies. After a short while and me explaining what had happened. The police saw exactly what had happened as I had cuts, bruises and my head was split open and the only injuries she had was bruises to her fore arms where the punches she threw missed and hit my arms that were up to protect my face. The most horrific night of my life. I was almost raped and beaten then accused of rape and abuse. I still loved her. I forgave her. Another week another beating. We split up again. The usual happened. She went to bars and met with guys because she has this way of flirting even without knowing it. She has a way. She is beautiful. She can just look at a guy and he will be putty in her hands. I guess that's the problem I had with her. She didn't realize she did it. But every time I left her side there was another guy trying to chat her up. I dealt with it the only way I knew how. Ignored it because when I mentioned it she denied it. Another couple of months went by with the usual beating break up get back together. I told her everyday that she was beautiful. It was usually followed by "You're lying. Stop saying that. Don't lie to me". I wasn't. She is the most beautiful woman in the world. The final straw for me was after a beating she ran off to the bar as usual. 3 in the morning I went to look for her as usual. The doors were locked to the bar. I looked through the window and saw her kissing and with her hands down the pants of another woman. I watched for a while in disbelief then she started kissing the guys in there. I was in shock. I just drove off. And drove around not knowing what to do. But still after a while I forgave her again. She denied it even though I saw it with my own eyes I believed that I was mistaken. I still wanted her. I still loved her. The abuse continued. She would not accept anything I said. She still used what I did over and over again but denied everything she did. I still loved her. There was the weekly "You're a faggot. You don't love me." The control of everything. I couldn't talk to anyone. I couldn't try helplines or look up things on the internet because she controlled everything and looked through my phone daily. I only had a work phone because she made me cancel my personal phone. She would call up customer's phones asking why their number was in my phone. She tracked my every movement. She would even know when I brought her flowers because she tracked my movements with the "find my friends" app. I loved her and accepted everything she threw at me. I become hollow. I was a zombie. There were moments of greatness, moments of love, but they were getting few and far between.

I could write a book of the experiences I have been through. These are just a few. So the end: she flipped out at me in a bar because I called her beautiful. Now I know what you are thinking. She said she was sick of me lying to her and flipped. She is beautiful. She is the most beautiful thing in the world to me. Still is. But she flipped and left me in the bar. I went home 1/2 hour later knowing what was in store. As soon as I walked through the door here it came. The usual "faggot you're a price of shit. You're not a man. You're a loser." And much more. So then the violence started. Glasses smashed punches thrown. Kicked hit with objects. All the time I just stood there and took it. What else could I do? I was trapped. If I left it would have been worse the next time. She left because she couldn't get a reaction from me. She so badly wanted me to hit back. That way she could be the victim. She was looking for a reason to justify her anger. It never came so she ran off. After 2 days of sleeping with my back leaning up against the bedroom door so that she couldn't attack me in my sleep, she messaged me asking if she could come back. It took all the courage I could muster to say yes but we are not getting back together. When every cell in my body screamed "you love her: apologize for what ever she thinks you have done and have her back." I had to be strong. I was finally done. I couldn't do this any longer. I still loved her. I still wanted to forgive her. I would have done anything for her. I was still hoping for an apology and then maybe I'd have forgiven her. The apology never came.

I loved her still. Every day I fought to remove the feelings I had for her. Every time I had a weak moment. I had to look at the empty shell I had become. I used to be a positive guy. I was the guy that got up at 6 on a Sunday to help out a buddy build his deck. The guy that would shovel my neighbours walk just so they didn't have to. The guy that gave money to charity and would give my last dollar to a homeless person so he could buy a coffee. Now I walked with my head down and didn't talk or make eye contact with anyone. I was unrecognizable to myself. I realized that she had taken everything that made me who I am away.

She lived in the basement. I ignored her invitations to meet for drinks to talk. I had to be strong. All the time scared for my life. I stood up to her and didn't know what was going to happen next. I think she realized that her control over me was gone because one day while I was at work a moving truck came and she took everything. Even most of my things but she was gone. That's all I cared about. So I changed the locks and breathed again. The hard part was I still wanted her. I still loved her. So I felt loss from losing her and relief from her being gone. Total confusion. I wanted her and didn't, both at the same time. Shortly after the internet bullying started. The threats, the name calling, the post on Facebook of how I cheated on her with a man. The post of "my husband wore my lingerie" which everyone I knew saw. She was trying to control what everyone thought of me. She was trying to tell everyone lies before I told them the truth so that they felt sorry for her. So she could play the victim. Even after she left me she still abused me. I thought it would never stop. Suicide came to mind. I was hopeless. I was lost. Why did I still love her? How did she have such a hold on me?

Then it came to me. She still controls me even now. So I chose not to be controlled. I choose to let karma take control of me. I choose to be the guy that I was before she destroyed him. That was why she fell in love with me. So I'm going to be that guy again. I'm going to find myself again. I'm going to rebuild better and stronger. My revenge will be to show her and everyone else that she dragged into my hell that I'm me. I'm Chris I'm the guy that this beautiful woman fell in love with. I'm the guy that helps others. So I volunteered at a domestic violence centre. I'm working on myself to get past the abuse. I even thanked my abuser for making me a better person. For helping me find the real me again. Now looking back I still love her and think about her every second of every day but then I think of who I am now compared to who she turned me into. I can smile at strangers now. I can hold my head up with no regrets. I can say I'm a survivor. I lived through hell and it made though the other side to see the light. I now have a great support group. I'm not going to mention names but I owe the people in it my life. True friends don't believe the lies and the people that do aren't meant to be in your life anyway.

I'm not going lie - I still cry at night. I still look over my shoulder constantly. I have to still message people to check if my ex is in a bar before I can leave the house. I'm still scared and still love her but I'm a work in progress. Everyday I get better. Every day I heal that little bit more. Everyday the scares get smaller and smaller.

So if you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship and can't see a way out, you have to take that gamble. The first step is the hardest but every step after that is a step towards happiness and ones true self. Towards healing.

Forgiveness was a big part of that healing. I have forgiven my abuser. I thanked her for making me stronger and for giving me a goal in life. Anger, hatred and resentment are not healthy feelings for victims. You have to let go of negativity and fill your life with positive thoughts. Fill your life with love. Fill it with beauty and wonder. Forgive even when your abuser doesn't want it. Choose to move forward and become everything you dream. Small steps everyday. It will be a long hard fight but it's totally worth it. A great woman once summed it up in 2 words:

"Stay strong."

We as victims have to help others to see that there is hope when everything seems hopeless. There is support when you feel alone. There is peace, love and happiness to be found. There will be love found with someone that understands your past, your weaknesses and supports you. Someone will be there to walk with you. You are not alone.

Chris. “A survivor”

Tuesday
Mar152016

Andrew's personal story

15th March 2016

Jay Weatherill
Premier of South Australia

Dear Premier,

Please be aware that this is an open letter that will also be given to media sources.

Many years ago I was in the unfortunate situation of being in a relationship and was the victim of domestic violence. This abuse was physical, psychological and financial.

At the time I felt quite isolated. There were domestic violence support groups around, but these appeared exclusively for women.

I considered reporting the incidence to the police, but there seemed little to be gained from doing so. I simply did what I have since discovered most men do and suffer alone.

Life was definitely a struggle, and I do feel fortunate that I found a doctor who understood the issues and was able to offer support.

After separation from my ex-wife, there were complex legal battles involving both children and finances. It became apparent at this time that any assets are simply a complication in the family court system that distract from the important issues of the welfare of children. The main asset I own at this point in time is an old car I paid $1000 for. I do not own much else.

I was still subject to physical and physiological abuse from my ex-wife when I collected and dropped off my children.

Eventually I insisted that handovers occur at a police station for my own safety. I will clarify that I sought this change after I was physically assaulted my ex-wife’s father.

It was a difficult conversation to have with my children to explain that I was scared to take them to their mothers place, but it was a necessary conversation. Handovers at the police station have lessened the abuse and the trauma the children suffer, but there have still been a few times where the police have felt the need to intervene. My approach as much as possible is to always remain silent during handovers. All discussions with my children’s mother take place via phone message or email.

Since this time it has become apparent to me that there are many male victims of domestic violence. There appears however to still be quite a bit of stigma associated with this and very little in the way of support.

Given this lack of support and stigma, it is little wonder that most male victims of domestic violence feel there is little to be gained by making formal reports. Indeed, the small amount of men that I know of that have made reports were not believed at first. It appears to take quite serious physical injuries for male victims to be believed by police.

It is therefore little wonder that there is not the statistical data to suggest men are regularly victims of domestic violence.

Last year while working in a public school as a disability support worker, I was exposed to the White Ribbon campaign by the Department of Education and Child Development management. Given what I have previously been through, this campaign aimed specifically at women devalued the suffering I had been through and further aided the alienation and social stigma I felt as a male victim of domestic violence.

This caused me to become distressed and made it difficult for me to work. I reported this distress to the school leadership, and they suggested I contact the CEO which I did. The CEO Tony Harrison simply brushed off my claims. This left me with little option but resign immediately.

Given that Tony Harrison was made aware of the discriminatory effect of the White Ribbon campaign and the distressful effect it had on me, and he chose to continue it, the Department of Education and Child Development is clearly in breach of their employment contract with me.

With the support from medical professionals and a high dose of anti-depressants, my mental health gradually improved.

The Minister for Education and Child Development, Susan Close alleges that I was overpaid by about $450 after I resigned. I dispute this because, as I mentioned above the department breached the employment contract.

I have also explained to Recoveries that I felt a legal and moral obligation to work at a level beyond what I was paid for. I also felt a legal and moral obligation to work longer hours than I was paid for. I provided detailed supporting documentation to verify my claims.
I specifically emailed the minister so she could be clearly aware of the issues. I have explained the specific areas of the Equal Opportunities Act (SA) 1984 and the Disability Discrimination Act (Cth) 1992 that the Department of Education and Child Development are in breach of.
I have not lodged a wage claim on DECD forms. Quite simply it is not my responsibility to jump through the bureaucratic hoops of the Department for Education and Child Development. The Minister at least ought to be aware of this information.
I have discussed with the school principal that I am the primary carer of a young baby and a primary school aged child. Included in this discussion were the facts that I had very little in the way of personal assets or income.

I also emailed details of this to the Minister for Education and Child Development. Given the above information, it appears bizarre the Minister for Education and Child Development, Susan Close has chosen to launch legal action in the Magistrates court with regard to the $450 she alleges I owe.

I have been involved in court cases where the welfare of my children is at stake. A court case involving money I do not have is of little personal consequence. As I have indicated to the minister I am not particularly interested in the money, and should I be successful, I will distribute as much as possible to charity. This will probably be Novita as they also support the children I have been working with. I will also transfer some money to the Child Support Agency in the hope it is used to support my children.

The above issues are of upmost importance and I do appreciate the opportunity to be involved in a court case as significant as this. I will obviously need to file a counter claim to cover the breach of employment contract, having a legal obligation to work at a higher level and having a legal obligation to work longer hours than I was paid. I will complete this in the coming weeks.

I believe the residents of South Australia have a right to know;

• Why did the CEO of the Department of Education and Child Development, Tony Harrison brush off a sexual discrimination claim when the facts were clearly conveyed and the issue was clearly causing distress?

• Why did the Minister for Education and Child Development condone such behaviour and launch a court case?

• Why did the Minister for Education and Child Development condone the lack of legally required disability support required in a school?

• Why is the Minister for Education and Child Development spending tax payer money on a court case when there is little to no chance of recovering funds?

I will also clarify that I strongly support action against domestic violence, but domestic violence does not discriminate and nor should government departments.

Yours sincerely

Andrew

Tuesday
Feb092016

Dean's personal story

I met Sandra about 6 and a half years ago through a mate who I'd played rugby with. We had been in contact for some time, she seemed like a strong independent woman raising two kids after herself being in a violent relationship. We had spoken about her ex and the kids. I decided I'd come up and meet her in Brisbane. It was a whirlwind romance and pretty soon I moved in with her and her kids.

They lived above her parents, who had bought it and renovated so they had an affordable room over their heads. She had suffered from depression and took anti depressants. Soon after, maybe a couple of weeks she took her first of 4 drug overdoses. I came home, called an ambulance and saved her in time. I had left my email account open, I had nothing to hide and she found an email I sent to a girlfriend four years before.

The abuse started when she came home from hospital. I'd cheated, I'd lied, she drank heavily on weekends, the kids were often in the firing line, her verbal abuse was vicious and relentless, sometimes going for all week. I felt sort for the kids, we had bonded and I felt I should protect them.

I started doing research, the drugs she was prescribed were not to be mixed with alcohol. I'd asked how long had she drank with them, I was told her parents put her on the pills at around 13. I went to leave many times, but she always said she was sorry, she was ill she'd get help.

I haven't had a single week in all the time that she hasn't abused me, her children. I've protected those kids, taken the most of the abuse. She got pregnant and had our little girl, who is five soon. I lived in my car for 6 months of last year, work had been slow, I couldn't afford to maintain two places, if I didn't pay her, she wouldn't let me see my daughter.

I tried to get help to get her out of the situation, she has no control and every time she triggers, it could go for days. I've been there enough to know she escalates to the point of losing control. She kept on about us still being together, despite how many times I can't take anymore.

There is no help for men, there's no crisis centre. A friend gave me a place to live, but she has said he is now the reason we broke up, its all his fault. She didn't know where I live, but I went to a meeting with the principle at my daughter's school, she has started year one, Sandra got my address of the contact details and has been here many times, I've woken up with her sitting on my bed.

She has smashed her way in twice recently, once with my daughter with her and taken my phone and other things. She has driven her car at me and when I've tried to leave to head to the local police station, she has swerved and got in front of me slamming her brakes on, all with our child in the car.

Recently my grandmother died. I went down to my hometown to see her one last time, Sandra started sending abusive messages about my dirty weekend. I had planned to take my daughter down and stay for two weeks, she got a civil domestic violence order, it went to court the day of the funeral, I'd written a letter about my circumstance, they put a temporary order in place and she named my kids, her parents as well, so now I can't see Isabel until I get a court order.

She has and continues to make my life hell. Both her road rage incidents saw her self admit to the mental health ward. I've been to DOCS, about her drug use and mood swings, I've been to the police, no-one has helped. Even with her car door almost torn off, reported to police, nothing. I'm right on my limit, I cant take anymore. My daughter is in a dire situation and I am helpless. I just cant take anymore.

Friday
Feb052016

Andrew's personal story

We met in Newcastle through a mutual friend in June 2001, who came up from Victoria to stay at my place. We got on fine, partying a lot, having fun as new partners do, and seeing each other on the weekends we were able (her to Newcastle, or me to Melbourne). To me it was a fling, and I thought to her the same.

Out of the blue a few months later Caroline rang me from her mobile phone when she was in Gundagai with “I’ve quit work and am on my way up to live with you !!” To say I was in shock is an understatement, but I felt entrapped seeing that she had quit her job and was already halfway to Newcastle. I was obviously a “soft touch”. I was out surfing when she arrived with her old Hyundai hatchback and a few personal possessions. We got on ok but I was never very happy, and certainly never in love, but felt I had to be committed to what was. She made out that she was indispensable and insisted on going everywhere with me, even on work trips, and I look back now and see that it was slowly eroding my confidence and certainly my credibility at work (I was a senior manager with a large company on well over $100,000 p.a.).

Caroline was always an extremely jealous and needy person. Even if I looked at another woman, and I recall just a couple of examples:- after a company Melbourne Cup Day function at Newcastle Racecourse we moved on to the Beaches Hotel where a girl starts dancing with me (the place was packed and everyone was dancing with each other), Caroline comes over immediately and pushes the girl over and wants to start fighting her. The bouncers then evict Caroline from the hotel. Another time an ex BHP colleague and good friend Amber rings me one night, we start chatting, Caroline rips the mobile phone from me and starts screaming abuse and obscenities at Amber. These are just a few examples of many.

She made sure the important relationships in my life were extinguished. e.g. She didn’t get on with my best mate Greg’s wife Lisa and made sure to make it very obvious until Greg and I eventually lost contact. My own mother is another one she didn’t like, and I virtually had to end the relationship with her due to Caroline. She didn’t like this person, or that person, and I soon lost touch with people I had been close to.

I felt entrapped and isolated with this person, and it was around this time that I believe my spiral of depression began (I had never previously had any instances of depression) and it was then that she manipulated me into having a baby – hence our daughter was born in April 2004. She then used the birth to keep badgering me relentlessly to get married until I relented.

She clung like a leech, eroding my confidence and self esteem AND MONEY – an example: I remember she wasn’t working (she rarely worked, being far too precious for that) at all but was sending our poor little 12 month old baby to childcare at $68 a day for 2-3 days a week while she went out shopping and having coffees with friends) and by then my confidence was shattered and I was truly in a rut and feeling powerless to get out of it – SHE WAS ALWAYS THERE AND ALWAYS MANIPULATING!

When in 2006 some political stuff hit the fan at work that I would have just normally managed as part of the job, Caroline insisted I was depressed because of work, and made an appointment for me to see a doctor which she also insisted on attending. Unnecessary anti-depressants, psychologists, and continued badgering by her led to an unhappy and stressful parting of the ways with a company I had been a good and loyal servant to for 19 years.

We moved to the mid north coast, she convinced me her hobby business making baby clothes, which up until then had never made money, was the way to go and that I should join the business and put money into it. I knew it was bad business but I was in such a haze of depression with this overbearing woman that I finished up putting everything into it, including my $315,000 superannuation payout. By 2012 the business was bust. Manufacturing problems and her poor designs never got the business off the ground.

Amid all of this depression and failure, she convinced me to have another baby, so I agreed thinking it might improve our pointless relationship. She had a miscarriage, but continued to try and eventually our son was born in 2009.

It was around this time that she began assaulting me, while continually screaming in a narcissistic rage, “YOU DON’T LOVE ME !” “YOU DON’T LOVE ME !”. The assaults consisted of a vicious and violent fully swung open hand to my head, usually occurring when she was drunk, but sometimes sober. This happened on about 10 – 12 occasions within the 12 month period before she left with the children.

Caroline left in 2012 after she had made sure she had spent all of my money, and I was still glad to see her go but she of course took our two children and made sure I had no access to them (isn’t it the way that you stay with a women you don’t like and who assaults you, because you know that if you leave that you have little chance of having a relationship with, or even seeing, your children).

She made an appointment for me that week to see her doctor, which she insisted on attending with me – back on anti-depressants, psychiatrist, etc., even though there was nothing really wrong with me – just been in a miserable relationship for 11 years! She then used my “depressed state” as a means of keeping the children from me, and as a means for her to get what assets I had left. Two and a half years of Family Law Court and enormous legal bills later I have shared custody of our children. In the meantime during that 2 1/2 years Caroline had done things that, if I had done the same, I would have gone to jail for, and would still be in there – kidnapping our children / denigrating me to our children with an ongoing history of lying, deceit, and manipulation / stealing my car / break and enter into my house to steal my private and legal documents, the children’s toys, and anything else of value she hadn’t already taken / a history of stalking and hunting down myself and the children when we didn’t follow her commandments of the time we could spend together. All of her above offences were documented and proven, in addition to the 12 months of physical abuse I received from her.

Anyway after Final Court Orders where the judge grants me every request in my proposal regarding the children, I believe I can finally start my life again. I don’t count on the neglect of our children’s welfare due to Caroline’s continued self- absorption, or the children coming to me to do something on their behalf regarding concerns they have because they are too scared to go to their mother.

I email Caroline regarding these concerns but receive no response. This neglect of the children continues over time so I email her more forcefully, happy to tell her as it is after she imposed herself on my life uninvited all those years ago and then proceeded to ruin my life, career, and success with her debilitating negativity, banality, jealousy, neediness, and narcissism.

Sure enough in March 2015 the Police phone me with paperwork for me to pick up for an Application for Apprehended Domestic Violence Order instigated by Caroline. The AVO is in regards to my emails sent to her regarding my concerns (and the children’s) about Caroline’s neglect and also concerns about her new moronic boyfriend and his interaction with our children. What a joke – here she is, with a documented history of violence against me, a documented history of kidnapping our children, a history of lying, deceit, and manipulation, a documented history of stealing my car and break and enter into my house to steal my private and legal documents, the children’s toys, and anything else of value she hadn’t already taken, a history of stalking myself and the children when we didn’t follow her commandments of the time we could spend together – and here I am the defendant to her AVO Application for sending her a few frustrated emails trying to look after the best interests of our children.

Of course I defend against the AVO being placed on me, submit all the evidence of the above criminal actions committed by Caroline (she is referred to by the Court as the PINOP, Person In Need Of Protection, and while waiting for the case to begin she is located in the Victim’s Room – the poor thing) but when I get to Court the magistrate and the Police Prosecutor haven’t even bothered to look at my statement or evidence and after a day in court I have an interim AVO placed on me!

Meanwhile mine and the children’s concerns regarding Caroline’s neglect, and her new boyfriend, remain real concerns that can’t be addressed. And now Caroline goes around a small town using the AVO she obtained from a flawed and biased legal system to back up her vile and malicious lies about me, to the detriment of her children and her children’s friends, as someone not to have the care of their child. (i.e. some of the parents now don’t let their children have playovers or sleepovers when our children are in my care).

I lost everything I worked for during 25 years of university and then a well paid career, and I am a shadow of my former self, but I am proud that I fought so hard for the shared custody of my beloved children – that she can never take away. My only advice is to document everything and never give up. Thanks for letting me tell my story.