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

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.

Thursday
Jan072016

Peter's personal story

A day doesn't go by that I am not verbally abused. I am either lazy and thoughtless or overthink things and don't know how to relax. Once it week it gets really bad. She screams, throws things and breaks them; has hit me on the odd occasion. I have a great job, do all the housework and never deprive her of anything. She has major issues with her parents. Every time she talks to her mother she gets so worked up I wear it.

Sex is off the table. I'm either a rapist for trying to initiate anything, or don't love her if I don't try. I'm at the point where I feel suicide or winning Lotto are my only options.

Friday
Dec252015

Jared's personal story

I am a young father of 24 years age. I have been a father for 5 years now to my beautiful daughter 5 yrs and my son 3 yrs. After the relationship with my ex de-facto partner deteriorated, I decided to move home with my mother, rather than continue to have the children subjected to our bad moods after arguing more and more continually.

Whilst living with my mother, I had maintained nearly 50/50 shared care of both children. These arrangements had been in place for just under 6 months until an incident occurred, which due to concerns for the safety of my children (after receiving a suicidal phone call from their mother, succeeding a tirade of verbal abuse and threats) I made the decision to retain custody of them while I urged their mother to seek serious mental help. For the three days that continued after the suicidal phone call, I had allowed her to have access to see them under supervision at the house I am living at with my mother. On the third day, my son was subjected to a massive amount of trauma as his mother and grandmother came again to see him at my property, and forcibly removed him from my care, by physically abducting him and running out the front door of the house to an awaiting getaway car. I watched my son, unrestrained and screaming, be driven off the scene at high speed.

The police were called and attended the property, who, after seeing visible signs of the assault that I had sustained by the children's grandmother (trying to restrain me from pursuing my son during the abduction), refused to do anything to the culprit. After the incident, I contacted Child Protective Services, and a family court lawyer. I have since collated an affidavit and contacted the relevant agencies with my concerns regarding the children's welfare and have sought mediation services to be able to have access to see my children again. I have contacted and attended the police station multiple times regarding welfare checks on the children also to no avail. I again had attended the police station to attempt to press charges for the assault that I sustained to which I was told there was nothing that they could do. I was contacted weeks after this incident by my lawyer, only to find out that we were unable to attend a family court hearing until nearly 3 months since I have last seen my children.

As time has progressed I have been continually harassed by the children's mother and grandmother, with false accusations of burglary, stalking and intimidation (which I have had to attend Magistrates Court to give a defence for. The Magistrate was convinced that the story was fabricated to try and sway the family courts and subsequently struck the requested intervention order off the record, resulting in a huge waste of police and court resources and time). I have been subjected to emotional abuse, death threats, physical assault, economic abuse, damaged property and continual harassment all of which constitute a severe case of domestic and family violence that no one seems to want to do anything about. All of this has been documented and evidenced with photographs, text messages, eyewitness accounts, etc.

Throughout this whole process I have done nothing but follow my lawyers' advice.

I have contacted multiple agencies for the children's sake (CPS, DHS) and they don't care to hear it. I have had to seek personal counselling and financial help for myself to cover the upwards of already $10,000 debt she has left me with, not to mention the legal fees.

It seems like there is nothing anybody will do, and it is hard to think anybody even cares to listen. I do not want to play the victim in this, because the real victims in this are the children, and no one is willing to come to their defence. They are being deprived of having a father, and all the extended family that comes with that (uncles and aunties, cousins, nan, etc). I have been met with no help or compassion for the situation by anybody in the system. Something needs to change!

All I want for Christmas is to see my children.

Something needs to happen. It seems that all the rhetoric is swayed in one direction to portray women as the only victims to this kind of abuse. How can somebody abuse the legal system for their own gain and get away with it? False accusations need to be addressed. Parental Alienation needs to be addressed. Male victims need to be taken seriously.

This has been a disgusting eye opener, and what makes it worse is that it seems to be brushed under the table like it isn't worthwhile.