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

Wednesday
Feb272013

Mathew

I see many of the stories on here and can relate to the many forms of domestic violence perpetrated in our community. Before I get into my story I would like to touch on the subject. It is my considered opinion that while we genderise domestic violence there will never be equality within service provision or justice until the focus is on victims. Domestic violence should be in terms of victims and not sexual orientation.

Secondly, and this might on the surface appear amusing, but really highlights the ignorance surrounding Male specific D/V, the amusing part is before I knew of this website I actually came across a poster that is used on the front page of this site, "It's amazing what my wife can do with a frying pan." In my role as a community worker took this poster to the local D/V committee meeting, to say I was shocked at the laughter that came from what was apparently a professional group of people's obvious disregard for the subject matter was to say the least dumbfounding. But more amazing reactions were to follow: "this is just women fighting back," "What did they do for the woman to hit them," "Oh they probably deserved it". Really, are you kidding me? These people are supposed to be community leaders.

Anyway to my story and I guess it's one that has been told over and over again. I lived in a defacto relationship for a number of years, and I would lie if I said that it was a bad relationship from the start, mine in fact was pleasant enough for a number of years. We had four sons together, however after the birth of our second son she became addicted to bingo, morning, afternoon and night. The real violence started after one day we had been out looking to buy a new car, we got home rather late and the kids were tired and hungry, as I pulled into our driveway my partner asked me to drive her to bingo. My mistake was to say no. Now I'm not a small guy and I have a few tats but I was beaten by this five foot five inch person I did not recognise as my partner.

The neighbours on hearing the noise called the police. I was questioned and even though I was beaten I felt like the perpetrator. This pattern of behaviour continued on for the next ten years. She would hold a knife to the children's throats and then call the police, I would be questioned (thankfully the children were of an age where they could tell the police what happened), but she was never arrested. I was full of bruises bleeding on many occasions, she was never arrested.

The end finally came when one day she went off to bingo and didn't come home all weekend. I found her at bingo with some other man. This was almost a relief for me and the very next day I applied for custody of our sons and was - believe it or not - granted temporary custody.

If I thought being a victim of D/V was tough it was nothing compared to what was to come. Dept of Community Services would check on me on a daily basis, night and day I was harassed by them (I'll let you know why in a sec). I was a good father, up early, prepared my children's clothes for school, got them up, gave them breakfast, made sure they all had a bath then dressed and off we would go to school. Now I also had to give up work to take care of 4 young boys, at this time there was no social security payments for single dads. My friends gave me part time work during school hours to help me out.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, after a period of time the boys' mother decided to contest the custody and a court date was set. When I attended court, I kid you not, even though she was living in a refuge and had no possessions, no fixed address, nothing, she was awarded full custody. Remember I would let you know something? Well apparently sleeping with the DOCS worker works in your favour!

Many years of heartbreak were to follow. She would disappear with the boys and I wouldn't be able to see them. I paid my maintenance loyally but it was never good enough. She would drag me into court for whatever she could. If the boys ran away form home she would have the police arrest me for kidnapping. When I brought the boys presents she would sell them. When I went to the courts and DOCS to work out a way of making sure my boys were getting the maintenance they dismissed me.

I was told if your wife or partner leaves you, you must be either a wife beater, an alcoholic, drug abuser or child molester. Never once did the courts listen to my concerns as a father / dad. It may have been because I couldn't afford legal representation, I don't know, but I was invisible as a father to the courts.

Fortunately that all behind me now, the boys are all grown up and have families of their own, and yes they do have issues because out of all this they suffered the most. The unfortunate side of all this is now none of them have a relationship with their mother. You may ask "why should they?" Well it's simple: whether perpetrator, victim, child, adult, or bystander we are all victims of and affected by D/V.

Tuesday
Jan222013

Andrew

When Words Rape and Beat Spouses

It's amazing looking back how things change in your mind, how things you normalise you eventually accept were anything but normal. I guess I should start off with saying that I'm Andy, I'm nearly 34 and for 23 years I suffered a combination of pshychological abuse from family members that started out at the age of 6, being sexually assaulted on a high school camp on the verge of turning 16 that my high school covered up and where I was intimidated into silencce, and an 18 month long ordeal of domestic violence and serial rape.

It's the last of these I want to touch on with this article, to try and show people a side to domestic violence and rape in this electronic age which they've probably never even considered. Heck, it might even seem an anathema to most people.

It was late 2006. I'd met this girl Sarah. We had issues but things were going ok. Then something came up to cause me to act in an atypically sensitive manner. At that point I figured I had to come clean, even though I wasn't ready, so I fessed up - I was a survivor of child abuse [actually the psychological abuse from family members was still ongoing if I was going to be accurate]. Unfortunately the recception I got was far from compassionate. Though she wasn't callous about it, she didn't believe me. I was gutted and wounded, I made an excuse to leave and when I got home, I called her and told her I needed to think. After a week of no contact, I broke up with her. That was on a Friday. The following Wednesday she died in a head-on car crash.

I was a mess, lonely and trying to fill the void. At this time I'd moved to a new city for university and didn't know anyone so chatrooms filled the void.

It was there that I met Kristy. She lived interstate from me, but we hit it off, and things were great, we actually spent the whole first night talking and before I knew it, it was morning.

Anyway she sent me her pic, and to be honest, I goofed after putting pressure on myself. To say my response was clumsy was an understatement. After a period of apologising and reassuring her, I thought things were ok.

However things started to change. To be honest, so much of it is a blur in terms of the order it happened, like an 18 month long nightmare. We were both poor university students, yet I was expected to pay for my phone bills and her phone bills. Initially this meant burning through prepaid phone credit over the space of a few months, so I decided to go on a mobile phone plan. The first month of the plan I take full responsibility for going over on to the tune of $800, so I upgraded to a plan which allowed for $1200 worth of calls a month. However she soon managed to make sure I was in debt $600 a month on phone calls, this time emotionally blackmailing me into staying on the phone longer than I could afford to, or accusing me of being cheap.

This financial abuse extended into the area of presents, where I was constantly told how cheap I was and how I didn't really love her. On top of the phone debts, I was expected to spend over $100 on gifts for her when either birthdays, Valentine's Day of Christmas came up- on a student wage that was only roughly $200 a week. Meanwhile, besides the first birthday I had when we were together, I received no Valentines Day present, no Christmas present and had I not demanded a birthday present, I doubt I would have gotten it either. Forced into debt, I was forced to work, soon at the cost of university, to try and avoid bankruptcy due to her financial control.

The finances were the least of it though. Early on in our relationship, I got porn spam with a nondescript subject line and when I clicked on it, there was a picture there. Between clicking on the email, realising what it was and then closing it, it would have been no more than 10 seconds, but because of that, I was forbidden from watching anything that even implied sex may have taken place or where a woman was in bed with exposed shoulders. At the same time she constantly sent nude pics of herself to other guys.

At the same time I was told who I could and couldn't talk to and at the slightest mention of something even remotely inappropriate by anyone, even if it was a facebook share that everyone on someone's list got, I was forbidden from speaking to them. Meanwhile she'd emotionally blackmail me into not only letting me flirt with other guys, but have cyber-sex with them, playing on her supposed case of social phobia.

There's far worse, which I'll get to shortly, but I want to deal with the elephant in the room which I imagine people must be asking themselves even now.

Why did I stay? Why didn't I just walk away leave? It's not like she was close by so how on earth could she stop me from leaving right?

The truth is that she knew how to control me and looking back, within a few months of being with her, I didn't know which way was up where she was concerned.

I'm sure part of it was the vulnerable state I was in from the aftermath of Sarah's death, but she knew how to press my buttons. On one hand she knew just how to wound me and what to say to really wound me hard in the right spots to do damage. Not even the child abuse I endured was off the table for her to use as a weapon. On the other hand, she played on her physical beauty - telling me not only that I was lucky to have her but that noone else could ever want me (I'm incredibly lucky that my fiance has proven that a lie). However there were also just enough "good days" to leave you suspended in false hope that things will get better - but they never do. But that false hope and your love for them is enough to trap you into staying where the fear fails to trap you. When someone presses the right buttons whilst repeating something as toxic as that, it's amazing what you'll believe after a while and the perpetual state of fear they'll leave you in.

I'm now coming to the worst of it. I got really good at, at least trying, to think how I worded something with her. Because if I worded something even slightly wrongly, I'd be punished with one psychological weapon or another.

However this leads me to the worst of it. Part of this was where the psychological abuse went sexually. She'd constantly make me come up with these increasingly violent and sadistic fantasies to voice over the phone as we had phone sex, where I'd be constantly told it "wasn't hot enough" and it "make it hotter". When I told her I didn't like it, I was told that she was doing it all for me. To make things worse, this wasn't in isolation from my "punishment". Often it would lead straight into this from my punishment where the psychological blows she'd use would have left me paralysed and then I'd be terrified into capitulation. When that failed, she'd finish the job with emasculating me by telling me I was more of a girl than she was and then dealing more blows to finish the job. Worse still was where she'd make me do voices of other guys and be sexual with her whilst making me self-denigrate.

Contrary to all conventional definitions of rape, I was raped by her and she never even had to lay a hand on me. I may not have been penetrated or enveloped by her, but the serial sexual violation and the psychological scars she left from it are far worse than those from when I was sexually assaulted on a school camp when I was 16.

The only reason I got out was that she pushed things too far one time by telling me she'd only stop if I agreed that not only was she the most beautiful woman in the world, but that I was the most hideous man in the world.

When I refused to do the later, she finally struck something core enough that it knocked me to my senses and I walked away whilst telling her that while she was physically beautiful, that her beauty was only skin deep and that she was a truly ugly person and that people would only want her for one thing. It wasn't my finest hour by any stretch of the imagination.

She kept trying to call me to convince me to take her back, and I foolishly relented. However it was only so she could end things on her terms.

Wednesday
Dec262012

Michael

I'm currently working in Mental Health and have a degree in Psychology. I too have been the victim of domestic violence. In short I have had contact with DV Connect (QLD) who asked me, "what did you do to deserve that" and "are you scary to look at". I've also been in court defending an AVO unfounded, though when my ex-partner admitted to punching me, breaking a plate over my head and throwing full cans of drink at my head the magistrate suggested, "ohh she wont do that again you have separated". We have a 10 month old son that I need to pick up 3 times a week.......total cost in court $5000. I've also had the QLD Police Service tell me to "grow some balls" when asking for help to collect my son. Family Relationship Centres also have not one brochure that is available for men suffering Domestic Violence.

Just as a side note I issued a DVO on my ex partner for various physical assaults etc and the constant emotional and psychological abuse. She is now suggesting that I can only access my son if I come to the door alone, even after her initial DVO stating that I was controlling, jealous abusive and she felt threatened by me. The outcome is that the temporary order I sought was rejected as the magistrate believes it was not necessary that we meet in a public place so as to facilitate handover. Hoping that someone will see some sense and the truth will come out. So at this stage I'm now left with the option of going to the front door alone and risking another barrage of abuse or as she has done previously issue another DVO on me, or not seeing my little boy.

Wednesday
Dec262012

Anonymous

I'm a victim of D.V and also immigration fraud. I married a violent and abusive woman overseas. She was a con artist and had done a good research about Temporary Partner Visa in Australian immigration law which says one of the provisions when the relationship has broken down during the 2 years temporary visa is being a victim of D.V. When she arrived to Australia, it only took 3 months for me to find out she has just used me to move to Australia and she hates me. When I decided to divorce her, she was already aware that she has to leave Australia in 28 days as the visa sponsor has withdrawn his sponsorship. She started a disgusting game, false allegations of D.V and even rape for staying in Australia!! She went to police and lied to them and you know the rest of story, full support of police and authority, free legal aid etc. While I was the victim of D.V, while I am an Australian citizen and the police and authorities income is from the tax I pay and she is a foreigner, she had everything for free and I was financially harassed by them. She physically, emotionally, financially and psychologically abused me.

I wrote a letter to the minister for immigration and citizenship and as you can guess, the answer was blah blah blah, all bull****. Please let the other men know how the law is anti-men.

Wednesday
Nov282012

David

My previous relationship was extremely violent. She hit me with objects particularly whilst I was asleep. On too many a frequent occasion I woke up to be hit with objects ranging from brooms to pots and tools. On one particular occasion I woke up to the sound of a belt sander that was only inches from my face.

I was evidently unhappy and scared for my safety in this relationship with my ex-girlfriend. She picked up this notion and threatened to kill me and herself if I were to leave her. One evening whilst driving home from a friends place she grabbed the steering wheel and directed the car into oncoming traffic. It was at this point I began taking the steps to leave.

I was staying at a friends place. After I had left her when the worst incident occurred. I woke to her in the house and myself on fire. She had poured kerosene on me and lit me alight. I suffered third degree burns to my face and chest, second degree burns to my genitals and hands. It has required many surgeries to regain mobility and function as well as looking remotely human again. I obviously pressed charges.

During this time I was myself charged with Assault and Rape. She had falsely accused me of unthinkable acts in an attempt to either reduce her sentence or get off completely and hurt me more. I was fortunate that many of my female friends that were friends with her during our relationship managed to get her to admit to the false allegations and testified in court.

When the case was completed she received a commuted sentence. Which means that in 5 months time, she has completely ruined my life, disfigured me and destroyed me as a man, and gotten away with it.