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

Monday
Jul252011

Burto

I was married for 24 years, mentally and physically abused. When I tried to leave early on, her parents told me they would use all their money and contacts in the masons lodge and associated legal persons to make sure I would never see my children again. I could not and would not leave them solely in her care. She thought it was OK to hit them across the head, arms, legs and so-on. She was even investigated once from a report from a local person.

Now once the children came of age I split, only failed my daughter by two weeks short of her 18th birthday. My ex-wife cornered our son's fiance in a corner of his bedroom screaming and raving, this destroyed any chance they had. This was the final straw for me, causing severe distress as my son had thoughts of suicide from losing his fiance. I never thought I could become that shattered - my nerves are stiil shot. As a man I was raised to be strong.

Now comes the ridiculous part: because I was the main income provider, and she refuses to work, the children are in their 20s and stayed with me until she forced the sale of the house to get us out of our "cosy little habitat" (her words). Under the current laws her future needs outway mine and I have to give her most of my superanuation and most of the money from the house sale although I am classified as 13.8 percent disabled due to shoulder injury but can still work living on painkillers. She has no physical issues whatsoever and quit her job when I tried to get it settled in court - I am reliably informed she did this to get a greater portion of the settlement which has been going on for three and a half years. So apparently she should get 60 percent. How can this be fair in any way whatsoever?

The courts are forcing men to put up with abuse or lose everything they have worked their whole lives for. I am 50 now and can never recover from that much loss.

Thursday
Jun232011

Jack

I was with her for ten years. There are so many stories to tell.

My children, 14 and 5, experience the emotional abuse, but I can do nothing to stop her because I have to wait for court. 11 months and we're still going. The mediation centre told me that they don't do mediation for abuse, they send it straight to court, but they are making me do it. I questioned this, and she told me she thought it might help. That makes no sense, if I was a woman, this decision would not have even been considered. It would have been straight to court.

I experienced emotional abuse for the most part. She is a pastor of a church, and a real charming person in public. Behind closed doors, so even my kids didn't really see it, she was an abusive person. My children were trained to be part of the abuse - ignoring me, challenging my authority as a parent, made to feel afraid of me. I will keep working on this part... with strong boundaries, patience and courage, I hope one day they realise the error of this.

The abuse started about two years into the relationship. She king hit me from behind, I pushed her as she had trapped me in a room, and scratched her. She told everyone I abused her.

She constantly threatened me in all manner of ways - locking me out of the house, locking me in rooms, sitting on me, screaming in my face, pushing me, shoving me, hitting me, holding me against walls. All the while, everyone believed her story. She has hit me twice in front of our daughter, she cheated on me and blamed me. I had post traumatic stress disorder from a client trying to kill me, and she tried to tell me I was mean to her whilst unwell and forgot the times I did it, no I didn't.

She cheated on me again. She threatened to kill herself. She takes my children away when I don't agree with her, or believe her stories. She is today throwing away all my belongings because I 'forfeited' them, whatever that means. The big issue with her is lying and severe emotional abuse. "I love you, but you don't love me enough, I love you, but you don't do this for me, I'm angry because you made me angry, I hit because you made me hit you, I hurt you and said those things cause you made me angry." Or she just lies, and says she didn't do it.

I have been out of the relationship for eleven months, but I am still not free. She has taken everything from me - my car (she had her own), my children, my belongings, my friends and then she tried my family. She still sends me abusive messages most days. She constantly tells me what is wrong with me. She makes excuses for me to not see my kids.

The only times I did anything back - the time I mentioned earlier - once when she was screaming at me and telling me I was crazy over and over again whilst being about five centimetres from my face and trapping me on the lounge, so I pushed her to get away after half an hour of this abuse. I sat on her to take pills she was trying to swallow to kill herself and I smashed a guitar in anger once, not at her, just in general. I never hit her, or harmed her. When I told her I would call the police, she would laugh at me and tell me they would arrest me (just as my father used to say to me).

She is very good at waiting until no-one can hear her, not even my children see most of it. I told two friends in the whole time we were together - one guessed because I was covered in bruises on my body, and the other person I just told. No one said or did anything. People still 11 months later bad-mouth me based on her lies and deceipt. Her story changes about what is wrong with me all the time - usually it involves me having borderline personality disorder, or abusing her, or hurting my children. None of which is true, but she continues to perpetuate it.

The sad thing is - I can see how she could be good, but she just isn't. I had to quit a job for a fake illness - she said she was having seizures, they were fake. The hospital told me. She told me she was raped - it was a lie, she wasn't. She told me she didn't have sex but she got pregnant, she lied. I could go on.... But, ya know, ultimately, I don't want to bitch about her.

I just want to be free of her abuse. Some days it feels endless, like I will never know peace again. I will never experience joy without the anxiety of what will she do next. I will never be safe.

Everytime I hear my phone ring, I see an email, I hear a voice, I see certain triggers... I collapse in a heap on the floor, I panic, I feel my hands shake, my heart beats at a pace not natural, I begin to shallow breathe, my eyes dart rapidly, and I cannot focus on a thing. Sometimes, no, often, I am suicidal.

My head hurts a lot of the time from the stress of worrying about what will happen next, what abuse can possibly happen now, she has done everything she possibly can to hurt me, and then she finds one more way to attack...

Will I ever be free, will I ever not have this fear?

Monday
May232011

Shyian

I am a father of five and worked long hours to feed, provide shelter and clothe the children and their mum.

I had been married to my partner for 12 years. During those 12 years I experienced trauma in my life and even today I still recall all the traumatic experiences that had such a negative impact on my life.

I had been threatened by my wife in 1999 that if I had separated from her, she would ask her relatives to kill me or if I was not killed she would ask her relatives to kill my family members.

I had been continuously harassed at my workplaces. My partner would come to my workplace and harass or verbally abuse me. In 2002 I had been continuously living in fear from the constant use of weapons (knives, stones and wood). My partner actually missed me with knives on a number of occasions. At one point in time she raised a knife to cut me on the head but I quickly avoided the knife, then a year later she missed me with a pocket knife, almost stabbing me on the tummy.

In 2001 she was 3/4 months pregnant and forced me to terminate the pregnancy. I refused and left. After 4 weeks she self-terminated the pregnancy and again in 2005 while studying in Townsville I was told to return because my partner was sick. I withdrew from studies and left for home.

At home my partner arranged for termination of the pregnancy in the house in my room without my consent. I was left in shock and confused.

In 2008 she threatened to terminate the pregnancy when she was 6 months pregnant.

I was late to report this to the relevant authorities because the Australian system is a new system for me and I thought it was shameful to report such a matter to the authorities.

Earlier this year while studying, she accused me of seeing a neighbour and had threatened to break the windscreen of the car while I was in it. I decided I needed a break and asked her to pick up and leave.

I really did not realise how much the trauma had affected my work. I was always having extreme anxiety...

I hope people out there can share with me their experiences.

Wednesday
Nov242010

Anonymous

I remember the first time my (now-ex) wife threw something at me. It was a bag of frozen peas. They were all that were in the freezer in the basement, but she'd asked for carrots (even though we didn't have any). Fortunately I didn't lose my balance and fall. Some time later one of the kids was being fussy about food, and I gave him five minutes to finish. She came roaring in from the other room, overriding my decision as she shoved me out of the way and dragging him off his chair to drag him down the hall for a bath.

I left after one day when we were walking to MacDonalds, where we were going to meet her, and one of the kids asked if they could play on the play structure. Knowing how she was about germs in such places I said "let's wait till we meet mommy and see what's going on." One of the kids pointed out "yes, we have to wait because we all know mommies are the bosses." I had completely lost my authority with the kids, and looked up the DIY divorce papers later that day.

After separation, I planned to drop the kids off after my weekend, and went into their room while picking them up to get their socks and underwear. As the kids went outside to play in the street, she barricaded me in their room, holding a broom across the door and refused to let me out until I put the underwear and socks back, as I was NOT to be permitted to have them overnight Sunday. She refused to listen or budge as I pointed out the kids could be close to the busier street unsupervised. When I put my hand on the broom to move it out of the way, she said "Go ahead, touch it and I'll have the police on you." Knowing from many other men's experiences how biased the police and courts are, I put the underwear and socks back, and gave up on Sunday night dinner with the kids.

Not long after, I picked them up again. This time I wanted the video camera, to copy the tapes so I'd have the memories of when they were young, too. I'd just had knee surgery. When I picked up the camera out of a cupboard she slammed the cupboard door on my hand, then crash tackled me. As I could barely stand I grabbed the wall, and pushed myself to vertical so as not to further damage my knee. She fell off my back, snatching the camera and telling me I'd never see those videos. In too much pain to argue, I left, but sagely went straight to the police station to document the injury to my hand. By the time the AVO summons came from her lawyer, I had already filed mine in anticipation. It became a Mexican standoff, thankfully, rather than the disaster it would have been if I had not been able to show at least some evidence that I'd been acting in self-defence. An AVO would have pretty much ended my professional career.

The horrific biases against men have been fully revealed to me through the abuses of the court system and the Child Support Agency, the stress of which has surely shaved a number of years off of my life. I've listened to the glee with which CSA representatives describe in detail how they'll seize my assets and prevent me from ever seeing the kids again if I don't cough up money I don't have. I've reported her lawyer to the Law Society for lying - in writing - to the police about "proceedings before the court" that never existed, which lie resulted in me being unable to protect my sons against her boyfriend's violence, because I was "making it up." The result? Nothing. That old saw about knowing a lawyer is lying by virtue of the fact that his lips are moving needs to be extended to 'fingers typing' as well, it seems.

Photos of my boys with bruises from her new partner? DOCS NSW said "it's not serious enough, we have much worse cases to spend our time on." If your first thought after reading that is "yes, probably females," then you're exactly where I was after writing it. Maybe that shouldn't be the case, but the fact that it is, is telling.

As long as the rhetoric continues around male violence toward women, and not the 3 other types that exist (M/M, F/M and F/F), our sons will continue to grow up not only without effective fathers, but into a world where they've been trained to accept that violence against them will never be dealt with. The helplessness they experience faced with a system that treats them as rubbish cannot possibly help them to integrate well into society. Rather, it increases their risk of lashing out, out of sheer frustration if nothing else. And thus, the campaigns to reduce violence by ignoring reality and blaming men will do nothing but be self-fulfilling prophecy that do the opposite of what they are intended to do. Only when *everyone* has a sense of safety and justice will the violence that comes from fear and frustration stop.

Tuesday
Sep072010

Don

I am a single-working father, raising two young boys on my own. After enduring years of physical and mental abuse from my ex-wife, I decided to end my marriage; uncertain of what the future would hold for my boys and I. I went into "family" court asking for official custody of the boys, nothing else, so that I could repair the damage inflicted on them at such a young age by my former abuser. I left with said custody - and a financial future for my sons which is frighteningly bleak. If I am lucky, the boys and I will get through this without going bankrupt.

Without carrying on about the horrendous bias and destruction being inflicted upon men all across Canada by "family" court, the other tragedy which I have come to realise through this experience is that there is a cover-up occurring within our government. A cover-up that has been executed so well that most people, even those that are living through its' horrors, don't even know it is present. I am referring to the domestic violence myth.

When you mention "domestic violence" to anyone, they immediately picture women or children (most likely young girls at that) being yelled at, beaten and otherwise abused by some horrible husband and/or father. I am certain you thought the same when I mentioned it. Like everyone else, you have been led to believe that "domestic violence" is one-way; males abusing females. The media is full of such images, yet void of anything regarding women abusing men. There are hundreds of shelters, employing thousands of people and receiving millions of tax-payers' dollars in funding, for women and children seeking refuge from some horrible man. There is one shelter in this entire country (receiving zero dollars in public funding) for men, with or without their children, trying to escape an abusive spouse. There are even school districts which are training their teachers how to spot potential "future-abusers" in young boys; without paying any attention to abusive tendencies in the other gender. This has all been by design, not accident.

The government's own study, conducted by Statistics Canada in 2005, showed that just under half (46 percent) of all inter-partner domestic violence is actually committed by women against men. I would bet my paycheque that nine out of ten people in this country did not know that such a study was even conducted; let alone that this was one of the key findings. All the public has seen is a propagation of the stereotypical male-on-female domestic violence image.

Whether or not my boys and I go bankrupt for having ended my former abuser's reign-of-terror, I take comfort in knowing that they will become neither abuser nor abused now that I am in control. This has been my main objective throughout this horror. The other goal which I have inadvertently accepted is to expose the domestic violence "myth". To this end, I will tell you my story.

In front of others, she was the "perfect wife" and "perfect mother". I played along like a good little husband; afraid to indicate otherwise for fear of retribution later. Behind the walls of the house, however, I was being kicked, scratched, hit, belittled, worked like a dog and blamed for all of her problems. The point where I hit back for the first (and only) time was the very same day that I sought counselling for myself; ensuring that, no matter what may happen, my boys would at least have one functioning parent.

There had been many assaults, too many to count. Just as horrible, though, was the mental abuse. Many people would not be able to appreciate how horrible mental abuse can be unless they have lived through it. For those that don't understand it, the only parallel I can draw is to imagine military boot camp from some of the television shows or movies you may have seen. Mental abuse from your spouse can break you down in exactly the same way.

To help keep myself sane, I started a diary on our computer (locked with a password of course, so she would never be able to read it). Through the worst of the abuse, my diary grew to over 70 pages in length (single-spaced pages); most of which was written while she was sleeping. Inside, I would tell of everything that was horrible that she had done to me that particular day.

One daily entry in my diary talked about her insisting I help with our son (we only had our first child at the time) from the moment I returned from work until she went to bed (as I did every day); yet insisting that I stay up to clean up the mess that she had left for me in the kitchen (from the entire day). It took me until 2:30 in the morning, but I managed to clean everything up. I was tired, and knew that work would be tough that day (on three hours sleep) but, at the same time, there was a feeling of comfort; knowing that there was no way she could be upset at me about anything when she woke up. Just as I was getting ready to go up to bed, she came down from the bedroom. With a look of anger on her face, she walked over to the kitchen. I was terrified. She picked up the dish cloth from the left side of the sink, slammed it down on the right side of the sink then grumbled at me angrily, only inches from my face, "This goes over here!!!". Saying nothing else, she went back upstairs and got back into bed. I cried. I actually cried; silently of course, so that I wouldn't give her any other reason to get mad at me.

Another diary entry described my Fathers' Day experience in 2004. The night before, I was up until past midnight (for the same reason mentioned above). As I went to bed, I promised myself I would not give her any reason to be angry at me the next day; curious to see if she would actually be civil to me on, of all days, Fathers' Day. Morning came. I woke up to the sound of her looking after our son. I was amazed she had actually let me sleep a whole thirty minutes after she woke up. She said nothing when I came downstairs from the bedroom. I started interacting with my child. She barked at me to stop interfering with her routine. I got myself a bowl of cereal then sat at the table with my family. She made some remark about how it must be nice to be able to get breakfast for myself. Without saying anything, I obediently went back into the kitchen and prepared something for her to eat. When I placed it in front of her, she got up from the table angrily, telling me to forget about it - I was too late. She then took our child upstairs. I sat alone at the kitchen table.

The day carried on in much the same way; with me still wondering if I was ever going to hear the words "Happy Fathers Day". Sometime that afternoon, she brought out two wrapped gifts. I thought this was going to be the turning point in the day. She placed the gifts, and our son, in the middle of the living room then sat down beside them. Looking over her shoulder at me, she still said nothing. I sat down with them; expecting this is what I was being ordered to do. She then placed each of the gifts in front of my son and opened them up; saying to my son in a sweet, motherly voice, "These are for Daddy".

Later that night, a friend called. When I answered the phone, the first words she said were, "Happy Fathers Day Don!". At that point, I realised I had gone the entire day in my own home, among my family, without having had anyone say those words (or even be civil) to me. The feeling in my stomach was indescribable. Still, I was afraid to even tell this friend what it was that was bothering me; in case my abuser overheard. It didn't work. The look on my face was all she needed to get angry at me; insisting on knowing who was on the phone and why I looked so upset. As much as I didn't want to fight, I ended up getting raked over the coals and smacked around for half an hour before she finally gave up, took our child upstairs and fell asleep with him in our bed.

When a person is enduring abuse as horrible as this, they are in survival mode; just trying to get through each day - hopefully, without being punished, humiliated or attacked. You inherently stop paying attention to your own needs. Such was the case with me. Near the end of 2004, I started noticing I was more tired than usual. With what was going on at home, I guess I wasn't too surprised. I was also having some twitching in my arms and legs, and the occasional dizzy spell. Again, I thought it was just stress. The few times I did mention something to my abuser about how I was feeling, I was scorned. How dare I be so self-centred; only caring about myself instead of concentrating on helping her. When I finally did go to a doctor, in early 2005, it was discovered that I had an egg-sized cyst growing in the middle of my skull. I was scheduled for brain surgery within three weeks' time.

There was a lull in her abuse of me in the six weeks that I was off work following my surgery. Shortly after I returned to work though, she returned to her old ways. A few days later, while I was feeding one of our boys (we had two by then) some dry Cheerio's, she started insisting that I let him pick the Cheerio's out of the cup rather than me taking them out and placing them in front of him. I (foolishly) ignored her demands and continued what I was doing. When she grew more irate, I picked up our son and started walking down to the bedroom so that I could avoid a confrontation. She attacked me from behind while I was carrying our son. I set him down, turned around and hollered at her to stop. When her fist connected across the side of my head, there was a sharp pain and immediate ringing in my ear. Wincing, I stood up and hollered at her again. She did the same to the other side of my head. After yelling at her one more time, she began wailing across my head with both arms. I grabbed my coat and left for work before there was any more violence in front of the boys.

Later that day, when the pain and ringing hadn't subsided, I went to the hospital. After naively trying to tell the doctor that I didn't know what was wrong, telling him some story about how I woke up with a strange feeling in my ear, I eventually told the truth.

Having already been charged with one count of assault against me, and subsequently released on twelve months probation (less than a year earlier), I knew that reporting this incident to the RCMP would result in her being charged again - and left with a criminal record. Over the next couple days, I tried convincing her to sit down and talk with me; explaining there was something very important we needed to discuss. She eventually conceded; insisting that I tell her over breakfast with the boys present. I looked at her and calmly said "When you hit me two nights ago, you fractured my eardrum." She stared at me for about five seconds then said, with a cold look on her face, "You deserved it!". She then returned to having her breakfast.

I calmly grabbed my jacket, walked out of the house and drove to the RCMP station where I reported her latest assault on me (and breach of her probation). She was arrested and removed from the home. She spent a couple days in jail then moved around various places for the next few weeks; all the while putting lots of pressure on me to let her back into the home. She explained how she was in counselling, felt sorry for what she did, promised it would never happen again, etc. I eventually gave in and let her back into the home. However, her remorse ended a few weeks later and, in the middle of another one of her “episodes”, I asked her to leave and have not let her back into the home since.

When I went to "family" court, all I wanted was official custody; so I wouldn't have to worry about how I was going to get the boys back if she ever decided to run with them. I didn't want money, or to point blame; all I wanted was the approval of the courts to carry on raising the boys the way they deserved. The problem is that she had no intention of keeping it this simple. After I supposedly ruined her life, she had one thing on her mind - revenge; and the perfect vehicle with which to enact it - "family" court. Consequently, the boys and I have been ordered to pay her more money than we have every month. I have become another "Deadbeat Dad" statistic; still owing her the $15000 in spousal support that she supposedly "earned" between the time she was removed from the home by Criminal Court process and the judge's decision. I have also incurred $30000 in legal fees trying to get my divorce and have the original (erroneous) spousal support decision corrected. Unfortunately (for the boys), with the way the system is set up, she has no incentive to settle anything; having been granted a nice monthly bonus (in the form of spousal support) from now until 2033 as well as unlimited (and free) legal services - courtesy of Legal Aid. She won't even agree to the divorce (almost three years after she was removed from the home). As a result, the only financial support that two young boys have (me) is now bordering on bankruptcy.

I was a good husband and father while our family was together; and I did everything a person could be expected to do in order to try holding it together. A point came, though, where I realised it was beyond my control and I could no longer worry about "rescuing" her (my former abuser). My priority had to be salvaging my boys' sanity and childhoods; making sure that they did not end up repeating the cycle (as the abuser or the abused). This decision will likely cost us (the boys included) our life savings – but I have no regrets. If we are ever to eradicate domestic violence in this country, there are a couple things that need to be changed:

i) “family” court needs to be fixed (so that men are not punished so brutally for trying to end the abuse they are enduring); and

ii) the current “one-sided” view of domestic violence needs to be updated to include all of the male victims that are enduring abuse (most of them silently because they are afraid to speak up).