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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
May272010

Craig

I met my wife who was a single mum of 3 boys in 1997 and we married later that year in December. Over the years I was to become a father of 2 more boys.

On the 17th of October 2007 at 2:45pm I collapsed at the farm I worked on: paralysed on the right side with a high temperature of 40.9 C (105 F). I was found about an hour and a half afterwards and taken to hospital where I was to stay for the next 52 days. I was eventually diagnosed with viral encephalitis and I was to relearn to walk and do many things that we take for granted... such as walking, getting out of a chair and showering.

The virus affected my strength, noticeably my right side. I had problems with my right leg that would often freeze up and stay dead for a period of time between 10 seconds to a few hours. I developed uncontrollable shakes if I was to over-exercise and had chronic fatigue where I would need to sleep after 10 – 15 minutes in the gym. Another symptom that was even more disturbing was the partial amnesia that caused me to forget many significant things from my past. For example, I was to walk into my sister-in-law's home and remark on their new kitchen, only to be informed that it was 3 years old and I had been in it many times before. Another time I asked a friend how his sister's kids were, only to be informed that one of the kids had drowned at least 10 years previously. I had known this, but it was new information to me.

Another side-effect is that it affected me in that I cannot remember lists. If you tell me 3 things to do, I will only be able to remember 1 or 2 of them.

Upon release from hospital I was given a walking stick and was supposed to acquire a shower stool to make sure I was able to shower safely. The cost was $65 to buy one and my wife said that I would have to cope without one as we couldn't afford it. A rehabilitation nurse came to visit the home and sat both of us down and explained the processes needed to be put into place to make sure I managed fatigue and mobility issues. The major one with Christmas coming up, was that I would have to go shopping in a wheel chair.

The morning we went to go Christmas shopping I asked my wife if I could have some money to buy the kids some presents. She replied to me, “No. A real man would not be begging his wife for money. A real man would be out earning his own!”

This remark cut deep to my heart. It struck deep into the very core of my identity as a man. I was struggling with the major life changes that had happened to me and it was as if she had belted me with a lump of 4-by-2 in the inner man. I remember saying a prayer that went like this: "Lord, I know you heard everything that just happened. All I want is some money to buy some presents for the family." We went shopping and I met a man from church who said to me, "Craig, I'm glad I met you today. I have carried this around for you" and he gave me $100. When I told my wife what happened she wanted me to hand it over to her, saying "You don't deserve to have any money, you have to give it to me."

I replied that I was going to use it to bless the boys over the Christmas Holidays and use it to see a movie or something else.

Over the next 12 months I was to hear this comment about not being a real man many times in many varied forms. I slowly gained some strength and resumed my interest in woodwork and slowly made some kids furniture: tables, chairs and toys. I was only able to manage about 40 minutes a day in the garage and so progress was slow, but over a couple of months I made a few things and decided to try and sell some at a local market. Nothing sold, but I was asked to make a bookshelf for some people who were OK about the extended time it would take me to build it.

I started to make the bookshelf using the materials I had in the garage and needed to get some more from the hardware to finish it. I asked my wife for some money to go and get the materials I needed and was told "You have a garage full of stuff. Use what you have. I’m not giving you a cent. A real man would have made some money selling what he made by now!"

I replied, saying I didn’t have what I needed - mainly some sandpaper, putty, the right screws and stain, and that I wouldn’t be able to finish it without those materials. A week later she told me "I have the utmost contempt for you. You promised these people a bookshelf and you won’t finish it. A real man would finish what he began!" I replied about how I could finish it within the week if she gave me some money to do so and she said "No. Go and earn your own money. Be a real man and go and get a real job."

I was told many times that I was cursed by God, that he didn’t hear my prayers. On two occasions she organised some people to come around to exorcise the devil from me, telling me a few minutes before they come what she had done.

I was slowly manipulated and ostracised from family and friends. Often told that even my family didn’t want anything to do with me, nor did my friends. For me to shower safely I would sit on the shower floor. One day she came to the shower door telling me that I was only acting, that the doctors didn’t know what they were on about, that there was nothing wrong with me. She knew better and she was going to force me to go and work and be a real man whether I liked it or not. (In 12 years of marriage my wife had never worked until I fell sick).

Her words were like bullets entering into me. The barrage of words striking me deep, and I curled into a foetal position crying out to God to make her stop, that I couldn’t handle her words and actions any more.

I also suffered some level of post-traumatic stress and depression. I would often wake up of a night with dreams that I was paralysed and unable to move or call out for help, having flashbacks of the time I collapsed. My doctor gave me some antidepressants which I tried, but couldn’t handle the taste and went off them within the week. I actually felt better about talking about the issues of being sick with another guy at church, though I was not able to talk about the way my wife was treating me.

I was thinking about writing a book and started to plan a kids' book with the boys. Again my wife said "who are you to write a book? You’re not good enough to write a book." She would often tear up my writings, come and stand over me and throw things at me, often threatening that one day she would stab me with a knife.

Eventually she did hit me, punching me in the head. I became so frightened of her that I could only bear to talk to her for a few minutes before fearing she would go into one of her rages. Eventually I sat down with our church pastor and told him what was going on and he laughed at me saying he didn’t believe things were as bad as they were, but they would pay for us to have counselling.

At counselling I would share what was going on and my wife would sit there saying I was lying and mentally ill. Then on the way home she would verbally abuse me for mentioning what was going on, saying it was none of the counsellor's business. That it was me who needed fixing up not her. The counsellor gave us some homework to do in the form of journalling a letter. In it we were to tell each other exactly what it was we wanted to say to each other, with strict instructions that we were not to read each other's letters.

My wife found mine and ripped it out of the journal and gave it to the ladies and elders at church to read, saying look at the letter I had written to her. It was from this point on that I was ostracised by the church. I was thinking of resuming some study at a bible college and thought perhaps I could get a room at the college. My pastor got wind of what I was thinking and rang me saying, "Craig, I’m good friends with the college president and I will make sure if you leave your family that you will never be able to minister within our organisation ever again, and you will not be allowed to continue any study whatsoever."

This tore me apart inside. I had no money. Even though I was on government benefits my wife took all of it. I had nowhere to go and I was dying inside. I was like a ball of lead. I had no joy. There were times that I thought of taking my life, though I made the decision no matter what I would not do that, as I had only the year before set up a shire-wide suicide prevention and awareness network and had counselled a few people over the years from doing so.

Finally the crunch came when I was bitten on the wrist deep to the bone. In trying to restrain my wife from harming me further I shoved her and she fell, hitting her head on the couch. She rang the police about my abusing her and on their arrival ranted about my mental illness and she had my anti-depressant tablets to prove it. When the police heard my story and asked if that was right, she said "yes" and then they asked me if I wanted her charged with assault and again I said "no"! On their suggestion to move out of the house I threw some things into my Kia Pregio van and moved out of the house and lived in the back of my van for the next 5 or so weeks.

I tried the department of housing. They put me on a waiting-list and I am still waiting a year later for a house to be made available. There was nowhere for me to turn and so I became numb, barely able to live. Suffering from mobility, fatigue and memory problems combined with the issues involved from being abused for so long, I became a recluse.

As a man who suffered domestic violence I found there was nowhere for me to turn. Few people believed me. The public brochures that the NSW government department have dealing with domestic abuse make out that it is the man who is the abuser. The other brochure talking about abuse in society says "Women, children and others" are liable to suffer abuse. The question I ask is, "who are the others?"

My name is Craig Bennett and I am a survivor of domestic abuse and this has been some of my story.

P.S. I have started a blog on this issue and have posted a poem I wrote on my experience here called "Cutting Words." Thanks, Craig B. 

Sunday
May232010

Anonymous

Where do I begin? Well, this is hard to do and I do it with some tears but oh well that's life.

A few years ago I met a female (I can't call her a lady) and we went out for a while and in time we got married. What I didn't know is that behind my back she was having affairs, yes plural. I was so trusting.

We got married and when she was pregnant she told me I wasn't the father and to leave. I was in total shock and I mean total. She used to scream at me and attack me physically and hit me, etc, and I used to hold her hands to stop her. One night I was supposed to have gone to the city for a doctor's appointment re a major injury I suffered at work but the plane was delayed until the next day. I came home and she was shocked to see me.

About 20 minutes after I got home there was a knock at the door and she got to the door before me and I got there just after her. It was one of her ex-boyfriends and he said to her smiling, "whats new" and she said "sweet f*** all." I hit the roof and told him to get out, etc, and she started abusing me saying she can do what she likes and see who she wants.

Well, he left and she started hitting me, etc, and I didn't do anything to her but restrain her.

When I was going away for treatment she wouldn't come, and after my major operation she attacked me again and bashed me where the operation was on me, and I fell to the floor knowing if I had bent my back I would have been in a wheelchair. I had broken my back at work and I had spinal fusions to help me. I was screaming in pain and crying and she just glared at me with this weird look on her face and it took me about half an hour to drag myself about 30cm along the floor on my face, etc, so I could lever myself up on the lounge. She didn't help me. I was too ashamed to tell my family or her family and she wouldn't come to the doctor's or anyone else for help.

She was always screaming at me "you are not our child's father" and was always lying to me about everything.

She would attack me verbally and or physically if I wanted to have bread, bread rolls and or tomato sauce with a meal. Actually if she didn't like what I ate I would cop the abuse. TV? Well, only if she agreed to the programs I could watch it, as she accused me of having a crush on the female actors.

One time she threw a cup and saucer on the floor and picked up a broken piece of it and tried to cut my face, neck and throat area. With the brace on my back it was hard to defend myself. She was bashing me with her left hand and attacking me with the crockery in her right hand. I was holding onto her right hand with my 2 hands while taking the bashings off her left hand. For the first time in my life I really thought I was going to die. I released my right hand and slapped her face in self-defence and it was not hard and left no mark on her but I thought it would stop her and it didn't. I grabbed her right hand with my right hand again as the crockery was so close to cutting my throat and/or neck. In the end I don't know why she just let it all go onto the floor. Another few minutes and she would have killed me for sure. OK, I was mad at not getting help, but I rang doctors (not in our town) and police, etc, and they all said not much can be done without evidence.

She had control of the money and we would always be late paying bills etc. When I was in the city for a while she didn't pay any bills and debts piled up. She was having affairs and many people I know caught her out and told me. I was away (at the doctor's in the city) when I found out 100% it was true.

I asked her for a divorce. Well, she goes ahead and tells her family, cops and anyone that would listen that I raped her, bashed her, didn't give her money and so-on. Because I wrote to her and asked her for a divorce when I was away at the doctor's, all of them believed her.

She said she didn't want a divorce but just 2 days on her own. I agreed to that. I had to go to the city for back treatment.

Well, off she goes for a few weeks to a town where her ex-boyfriend was and then a few days later (I found all this out and more a few months later) she went to the city where I was but didn't see or tell me but had affairs with some sailor then she went to another town and had affairs with 2 other men. Her grandparents caught her out and went beserk at her apparently but she didn't care.

I came back from the city knowing none of what she did. I was in the city for a few weeks due to my operation, etc. (She had told people I wouldn't let her see her friends, raped and bashed her, got her deliberately pregnant, didn't give her money and in general I was a horrible person. All this came out later).

So on my arrival from the city I came back a day earlier and as I pulled up in a taxi some guy was at my front door (he didn't see me) and knocked on it. Another man opened it and I got out of the taxi and was in shock and they said nothing to me. The outside man left and the one inside (a family friend who she was also having an affair with) stayed. I asked where she and the child were and he wouldn't tell me. I went through some drawers, etc, in my home and found sex/love letters from 2 men she was having affairs with.

So I didn't know where she or the child were or my car.

I got a taxi to my parents' home as they were living in another country town. I stayed there and the next morning I got a early taxi back to my place and she was letting another man out. By this time I was in total shock and I told her I wasn't coming back unless she changed. She tried to kiss me but all I could do was kiss her quickly on the cheek.

I asked where the child was and she wouldn't tell me. She wanted me to come back there and live and I said "no, you have to get help and change and be normal." Later that day I saw the child who didn't want to let me go.

I was in shock at what she did and was doing to me and our marriage.

She wouldn't change and kept seeing whoever she wanted to. She bashed me in front of 2 witnesses who were in the car and she didn't know it. She bashed me from behind (hit my back again) and kicked me in my face and body and ripped my shirt, etc. The people are to do with the law. They wanted me to press charges on her and I declined.

While she went away for her so-called 2 days on her own (which turned out to be a few weeks), she was getting all of my wages (I had no money and was in a rehab centre for my back), money off her father, money off one of her boyfriends and would you believe she went to community welfare and told them I gave her no money. They sent me a bill for $1000 And I refused to pay it. I gave them all the banking details, etc, and in the end I gave them $100. To this day I still think I should have given them nothing. I also was sent all the bills she didn't pay for months.

I didn't go back to her but she kept trying for us to get back together. It took me nearly 3 years - yes 3 years - to get evidence on her to what she was like and what she did to me.

The last bashing when I had the 2 witnesses, well, she sent me a letter 2 weeks after she bashed me and said I killed a baby she was carrying. I collapsed when I got that letter from her. My family read it and it was sent to her father with the 2 people's evidence I had. It really freaked him out and she was forced to see a psych.

I forgot that when I came back from the city the last time and refused to go back to her, she went and told the police I killed a man in the city and I was running away from it. The police came and spoke to me and just as they wanted me to come to the station one of them said "have you got a blood group ID?" I said "yes, it's a rare one and I need ID about the blood group with me all the time." I showed it to them and they were shocked and kept saying sorry to me for a fair while as it proved I didn't kill the man in the city. Eventually they did catch the right killer.

So all in all I lost a wife, a child that I thought was mine, our home we were buying, friends, family (as they said I should have gone back to her). My health was wrecked due to my accident. I had a heart attack after we split up a few months later. I couldn't play sport, etc. You name it, my life was not good.

A few years later I met someone really nice. We got married and have kids and own our home. We live hundreds of kilometres from her and have not had contact with the child or her for many years. She has rung our home but it's silent on her end and she never speaks, just listens (creepy, yes). We had our phone listened to by the proper authorities so we know it's her though she hasn't rung for about a year. She was warned to stay away or else.

So many things happened while I was with her but the ones that I have typed here are some of the main things she did against me.

My wife knows of my past but our kids don't. Need to know basis I guess.

I am shaking typing this. I am wondering why I was so trusting of her, so "in love", so stupid to stay there for all that time. I got out alive. Oh, I forgot, she tried on about 5 or 6 occasions to have me bashed by other men but that failed. One of her boyfriends laughed about it how he shot my dog (which he did) as she didn't want it. They knew I was coming to get my dog but he took it out and shot her. That was so hard to take. I loved my dog and she knew it. Now I have tears. She is mental, truly.

I hardly think of her, as life is for living.

I don't compare my wife to her... You couldn't compare her to hell... That's what she is… A living hell and worse.

I forgot to say I have not had any contact with her or the child in over 20 years.

I also had never hit her before or after that crockery incident.

The last time when she attacked me and there were 2 witnesses, what happened is I knew 2 elderly people and one unfortunately died. On the day of the funeral, after the person was buried, the other elderly person asked to see my child as I used to take the child to visit them, and I rang my ex up and she agreed to bring the child to see the elderly person. Anyway, she turned up with another boyfriend and the child. They stayed a bit and when I was with the child she actually ripped him from my arms, verbally abused the crying child, and verbally abused me and upset the elderly person. I can tell everyone at the wake wanted to destroy her. The elderly person convinced me to go and see her with 2 witnesses later that night to tell her I can't see the child for a few weeks as she was destroying me inside. The elderly person let fly at her with a few home truths and my ex left with child and her boyfriend.

I went to my ex's home and told her I couldn't see the child for a few weeks until she stopped abusing me and I turned around and suddenly my head was hitting the step of my ex's home. I was being assaulted by someone and all I did was grab the hands of the person assaulting me. I was dazed and bleeding, etc, and it turned out she was the one assaulting me. I initially thought in my daze it was her boyfriend hitting me, etc. I pushed her away, got in the witness' car and left. I was crying, upset and dazed and went and got medical treatment after I stopped crying etc.

I never ever went back. Well, why? I lost weight and went down to between 6 and 7 stone, had a heart attack, my hair was falling out and one of the specialists I was seeing said to me... I will never ever forget these words: "If you keep going like this you will end up like a piece of meat in the morgue." He then stared at me for ages. I had been smoking between 3 to 4 packets of smokes per day, I didn't do illegal drugs, I hardly drank alcohol in my life. And I was not eating except for a meal every few days. I was living on my own in my parent's other home.

My survival instincts kicked in and I knew then and there I would die if I didn't stop seeing her and child. I went on a holiday for a couple of weeks. I went and saw my elderly friend and they were shocked at how much weight I put on, etc, and looked good. I knew then and there my ex was and is a very sick person and she didn't want me alive, etc.

After few years I met my now wife, gave up smoking about 24 years ago.

I am OK and my new family are not in any danger at all.

I was so lucky I got out of that relationship then or I would have been dead years ago.

Thanks for reading this, I won't go to your site and read it if it's there, it's too upsetting.

Friday
Apr302010

Michael

The emotional and psychological abuse started from the first day I moved in with my partner, as she was pregnant with our daughter I tried to fool myself that hormonal changes were responsible, however, it soon became apparent that lack of the ability to trust, an eating disorder with all of its underlying causes, and childhood emotional abandonment from her Mother were at the root of it. After I was badly physically abused on one occasion I arranged Family Counselling through the Courts in our home town in N.Z., however, this did not benefit her. I asked her to go to Violence Counselling, only to find later that the sessions she attended were for victims of Domestic Violence.

Most of the violence was emotional, for days on end she refused to speak, leaving me isolated within the relationship, constantly putting me down, never wishing to engage socially on any level. Whenever we went anywhere together, the slightest thing would see her belittling me publicly. When our wee girl was born I gained employment as a Counsellor, but the emotional abuse continued, and along with poor treatment from my employer, saw me having a breakdown. I took the employer to mediation, where they settled out of court, and moved the family to Australia, which had been an intention anyway, because I believed that my partner would benefit emotionally from being close to her family, that this would in some way help heal her family rifts, and as a consequence she would start to begin her own healing process. I also wanted our daughter to have the benefit of having Grandparents available to her, as my own parents had passed away some years before.

My partner's choice in Australia was that I become the primary care-giver, while she worked in her chosen profession. I had become quite numb by this time, but I believed that this new start would see improvement, but nothing changed. My partner's constant isolation of me saw me withdraw more and more, the more I tried to get her to see what it was doing to us, the more emotional abuse I received. I cried, I yelled, I sent her to counselling, I couldn't sleep or eat properly. I would be up all night just wandering around the house with my head in my hands, spinning out. All of this time, she would be telling work mates that it was me who was violent. Eventually, my daughter was to suffer a bout of her anger, and I told her to leave. A few days later, I agreed that she could return on the grounds that she both attend counselling again and confront her work mates with the truth, that it had been she who was the perpetrator, and not me. By this time, however, I was at the stage where I was completely numb. I looked after my daughter's needs totally, but whenever my partner was home I retreated to the computer, just zoning out, trying to stay out of harm's way.

I came to witness her mother's continued abandonment of her, when she would drive long distances for weekend workshops, and not even ring or drop in to see her granddaughter; when my partner had her 40th birthday, and did not even get a call from her; when she babysat our little girl for one night, and when we came home at 10.30, to find that our daughter was wandering the house while she had gone to bed at 8pm, before our daughter was asleep. These things reinforced for me why my partner could not trust anyone, when the one person she she should have been able to rely upon since childhood, had never been there for her. The stories of having to look after herself as a wee child, of having to be the parent to her siblings from an early age, started to make sense to me. I had two people on my hands, one the responsible professional in her work, and the broken and hurt child at home. I could not help or compete with her mindset, and confronting those issues with a professional counsellor was too scary for her. I now understood why she had an eating disorder, trying to fill the enormous hole inside herself left by her mother's absence, then feeling guilty, as if somehow it was her own fault, that she was intrinsically unloveable.

Throughout the relationship, I have had the responsibility for arranging educational and medical needs for our daughter, housing and moving, all financial affairs, arranged holidays, creating a home, and making sure all of our needs were met. My partner's absolute inability to trust anyone, her constant belief that I would leave with our daughter and go to N.Z., her belief that I don't care about her or love her, were totally unfounded. If I had wanted to leave, I could have done so on countless occasions, I could have been in N.Z. before she got home from work. I stayed because at the deepest part of me, I could not believe that she wouldn't, or didn't want to change, and within my heart, however I tried, my love for her still existed. My partner's continual need for positive reinforcement while only giving me negatives drained me, until there was nothing left in me to give. I am now nearing 61 years of age, and after eight years of this treatment from her I feel totally broken, lost, and the me I once knew has disappeared from sight.

It must be hundreds of times that I have heard her say, "I am sorry, I realise what I have been doing, you don't deserve it and I will change," only to see her do exactly the same to me the next day again. It seems so long since I have felt any kind of safety, of belonging. We are in an Australian country town now, where we have been for almost two years, and the abuse just continued until she left at the beginning of February 2010. I still have primary custody of our daughter, however, she still continues to tell all and sundry that she is the victim of the abuse. Still, my partner tries to control everything, leaving me with all of the family related responsibilities, financially, educationally, while making out to all that I am responsible.

I now feel at the end of the line, crushed, defeated, with nowhere left to turn.

Monday
Apr052010

Royston

I have a long history of being a victim of domestic violence and still suffer from the consequences. My ex was found guilty of 150 breaches of the intervention order I have against her. She got off with a good behaviour bond. Then she was found guilty of criminal damage and got off with another good behaviour bond. She re-directed, opened and withheld my mail for two weeks, was found guilty (by Australia Post investigations) of three federal acts, but the DPP refused to charge her.

She breached the intervention order another 80 times and was charged by police with stalking. She commissioned a man (who pretended to be an off-duty police officer) to assault me. He was found guilty of assault. Two years later she got a 2-year jail sentence for the Stalking charge but it was suspended for 3 years. She swore a false rape statement to police, but no charges were laid. She admitted making the allegation then offered to withdraw it if I dropped the stalking case against her.

Although knowingly making a false statement to police is a criminal offense, Victoria police have been instructed not to prosecute women for knowingly making false rape allegations. Eventually she was declared a vexatious litigant under the new Victorian Family Violence Protection Act.

She has destroyed my career and my relationship with our younger daughter. Despite Family Court Orders giving me 40% residency, she has prevented me having any contact with her for the last 6 years, and the child exhibits advanced stage of parental alienation syndrome. At every stage the police and courts have given her the benefit of the doubt, except when I have produced overwhelming concrete evidence.

She has not spend a single night in custody, paid a dollar in fines or done a moments community work order. Despite receiving $940,000 in our divorce settlement, had had massive handouts from government. She has also prevented me from receiving any government pension by falsely telling Centrelink that I own a block of 21 apartments.

I am happy to provide evidence of all of the above should you require. I have only told you a fraction of what she did to me. She has a permanent "get out of jail free" card!

Friday
Jan292010

Aunt M

I was with my nephew last night and didn’t get home until quite late. His wife has taken a DVO out against him, he is very down and I am quite worried about him.

Apparently he has been a victim of domestic violence throughout his marriage, she used to hit him with baseball bats, kick and hit him all the time. She has had affairs and is now living with the new man, it was all a bit much for him and he pushed her again.

Horrible situation, just giving him some backing and non judgemental support at the moment.

Thank-you for finding these websites, I have read with interest about what is obviously a very silent problem.

The sad part with D... is that we all saw him change from a happy, light-hearted practical-joking young man to a withdrawn, very unhappy person. It was often commented on at family get togethers, but never really questioned the radical change that occurred over the 16 years of his marriage.

Never thought that anything like that was happening, we all knew that his wife was moody, clingy and emotional and just put it down to that.

I so wish now that I had gone on instincts and asked, I often used to say to him that if he ever needed anybody to talk to I was there, but I didn’t understand the depth of his unhappiness and situation. It is so easy to just think it can’t be that bad!!

I really want to be able to help now, help him find the courage to get passed the hurt, guilt and embarrassment, he’s only talked to my niece and me about everything and that was last night.

Please use what you think will be useful and thank-you for listening and caring, it has been great to be able to share with someone.