The maths add up…or do they?

22 07 2010

I am not a great mathematician. Maths was one of my weakest subjects at school, further hindered by a teachers response to my questioning her about how the type of maths we were doing would help me in the work force in the future; that being farming.

We are doing algebra and py then. She said she didn’t know how it could help me, if at all it would…so being the pragmatic type of bloke that I am… I didn’t see the sense of learning it and so I didn’t.

It was only when I had to work out volumes, area’s, weights and ratios that the importance of maths really hit home and I had to go on a steep learning curve to learn it.

One thing that having to work out ratios gave me was a habit of working out percentages. Take my earlier blog entry about forgotten victims of domestic abuse… Mrs Burches assistant was happy to use the statistic that women are 3 times as likely to be abused as men are…but fights against the maths that this means one in three victims are men.

Ms Burch’s spokesman quoted the statistic that women were three times more likely to be victims of intimate partner abuse, but then disputed the same statistic when used by the One in Three Campaign.

Today I was involved in another facilitated mediation session with my ex-wife. She said that her legal advice about property settlement was that I was entitled to a minimum of 20%. Though she didn’t admit it was the minimum. She then offered me $50k which works out at 13.5% of the said houses value… or after the mortgage is paid it works out to be 15.5% of the asset.

I told her that I would be willing to accept that amount, on the proviso that she would agree to waive any future child support payments. Now before you howell at me about my being the children’s father I should be ready to pay for and support them, hear the facts.

I am now on a disability support pension. The future prospects of myself being gainfully full-time employed into the future has a dubious existence after considering ongoing health concerns. Being paid out 15.5% of the asset is well below any reasonable entitlement I could expect from the house. The monetary difference between what I could receive for my share of the home and what I’m accepting is more than 3 or 4 times what could be reasonably expected for me to pay in child support over the next 8 years.

My ex-wife was spitting chips when I worked out the percentages and she hated me saying the amount on offer equalled to 13.5% of gross and 15.5% net of the house value… yet this is what it is.

I would love to be working 40 hours plus a week. I wish I never collapsed at work on the 17th of October 2007 through viral encephalitis. For the first time in 12 years of marriage my then wife had to go out to work… her response to me in January 2008 was that she was going to take the kids, move away and divorce me because I was no longer useful to her.

I am happy for my kids to keep the family home… don’t believe the lie though that I am refusing to provide for them… because I am.

Mike Tyson talks to Oprah about how his first wife was verbally / emotionally abusive

19 07 2010

I’m sitting at the computer semi watching Oprah which is on in the back ground. She is interviewing Mike Tyson and its been an interesting show so far.

One of the things Oprah seems surprised about is Mikes revelation about how he struggled to live with his first wifes abusive nature. She says right out to him that he is a big powerful man, how could his little petite wife abuse him. He replied saying that she was a tough woman who was able to strip him down with her tongue and belittle him causing him great shame and no where to go or ways to retaliate.

I missed the crux of the discussion and am not sure if he admitted that he was guilty of hitting his first wife.

In no way do I condone any man / woman hitting another, though it can be excused if done in self defence.

What was telling was his shame and embarressment in admitting how his wifes behavior affected him.

Forgotten victims of home abuse

18 07 2010

The One in Three Org links an interesting Canberra newspaper article. That reads

Canberra Times (Australia), July 4, 2010

Intimate partner abuse betrays the trust within relationships and can destroy families. The simple fact is that violence is never acceptable, but for decades governments and service providers have focused exclusively on protecting women and children.

Men, however, remained the silent victims of domestic violence.

According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey, a third of assaults in the home were perpetrated by women on a male victim.

The recently launched One in Three Campaign aims to raise awareness not only of the needs of male victims of family violence and abuse, but of the fact that they exist at all.

Men’s Advisory Network executive officer Gary Bryant said the issue of intimate partner abuse against men was not widely recognised by the community or support services.

Mr Bryant stressed he was not seeking to divert funding from support for female abuse victims, but said there was also a significant number of male victims without access to vital support and counselling services.

“Men have traditionally been seen only as the perpetrators of domestic violence,” he said.

“There is very little recognition that they can also be abused.

“Partly that has been because men are reluctant to admit they have been abused. “They might feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help.” Those who did ask for help faced further barriers, Mr Bryant said.

“Police and hospital emergency services do not expect to see abused men and do not know how to identify or deal with these kinds of cases,” he said. “It is completely off their radar.” Edith Cowan University’s recent Intimate Partner Abuse of Men Report found men would find it easier to seek help and disclose abuse if there was greater public acknowledgment that men could also be abuse victims and appropriate services were offered to them.

“One of the biggest problems is for men to recognise domestic violence,” a service provider said in the report. “To try and see themselves as victims is very difficult it is really kind of feminising. “The way that we generally conceptualise domestic violence it is all about men hitting women.” The report says services to victims of domestic violence are skewed towards this gender- biased perception of female victims and male perpetrators.

The One in Three Campaign, based on the report, argues established social and cultural stereotypes about masculinity and violence also reinforced the view that men could not be victims of abuse.

“A lot of it is the pride factor and the cultural issues of, you know, that that just doesn’t happen to men,” a service provider said.

“I think that it is an Australian stereotype where we are supposed to be all strong and silent.” The report found evidence this stereotype was also in operation in government, health and welfare services designed for victims of domestic violence.

“Some of those gender biases might have operated within the field in ways that have prevented the development of services for male victims or of family violence services that are designed to serve both male and female victims,” the report said.

A similar range of services should be provided to men as were currently supplied to women, including counselling and support services, gender-sensitive services specifically for men, accommodation services, help lines and crisis response, community education and prevention programs and specialist family violence services.

In the ACT, all funding for domestic violence services comes under the auspices of Minister for Women Joy Burch and is part of the ACT Women’s Plan: “That the ACT provides strategies to break the cycle of violence against women and their children and to instil an anti-violence message”.

A spokesman for Ms Burch said these services included Australia’s only men’s sexual assault service the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre’s Service Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Assault. But the program’s executive officer, Veronica Wensing, said the service was almost exclusively used by men who were sexually assaulted as children.

Other services for male victims of intimate partner abuse included the Canberra Men’s Centre, the Canberra Fathers’ and Children’s Service and the Domestic Violence Crisis Service.

In 2008-09, 8 per cent of people accessing the service were male victims of violence, while 2 per cent were men who used violence. The other 90 per cent of clients were women and children.

Ms Burch’s spokesman quoted the statistic that women were three times more likely to be victims of intimate partner abuse, but then disputed the same statistic when used by the One in Three Campaign.

“The recent One in Three Campaign, attesting that one in three victims of domestic violence are men, does not make it clear where this figure has been derived from and it overestimates men’s victimisation compared to our most reliable population surveys,” he said.

“The intimate partner violence that women experience is more likely to be part of a pattern of coercion and control and to cause fear, injury and death.” When Ms Burch announced increased funding for domestic violence services in the 2010 ACT budget, men were implicitly excluded through the language used.

“We know that the level of sexual assault and family violence against women is significantly under-reported,”she said.

“However, the Government’s coordinated Family Violence Intervention Program and Sexual Assault Reform Program have provided increased confidence to women victims of violence.” The One in Three Campaign says, ironically, advertising campaigns and government programs such as these designed to prevent violence against women have reinforced entrenched views about male perpetrators and female victims in the community and service providers. “Regrettably, while well- intentioned, many past efforts to reduce family violence against women have inadvertently used incorrect or misleading statistics which unfairly stigmatise men and boys as violent and abusive, while simultaneously denying or downplaying the existence of male victims of violence,” the campaign’s website says.

“For decades well-meaning governments and NGOs have presented the myth to the public that family violence is only something that men do to women. This message has prevented the development of more comprehensive policies, programs, services, campaigns and funding to cater for male as well as female victims of family violence and abuse.” The One in Three Campaign wants state and Federal governments to include all victims and perpetrators.

For help contact Samaritan House: Single men (62476691); Minosa House: Single men over 18 (61633701); Mary’s Place: Single men (62991619); CANFaCS: Men with children (61234000).

YWCA Families Experiencing Accommodation Transition in Tuggeranong (FEATT): 62918333 YWCA Family Housing Outreach Service northside (FHOS): 62426211 Saint Vincent de Paul’s Family Services: 62087330 Service Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Assault (SAMSSA): 62627377 or 24-hour Hotline, 62472525.

Provided By: Financial Times Limited – Asia Africa Intelligence Wire Index Terms: General News ; Society & Social Affairs ; Statistics Record Number: WCTS79861961 Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved.

An excerpt from my journal

10 07 2010

I have decided to post up some excerpts from my journal. This is the first couple from when I was released from hospital.

Friday 7th December 2007

I”m a little excited and fearful about coming home today. I have been in hospital for 52 days and I’m not sure how I will cope with my disability at home. I am also excited that the family will be back together again and will not have to do so much travelling back and forth.

The hospital has given me all my paperwork, medical records, next doctor’s appointments etc.

Sat 8th Decemember 2007.

It has been an interesting experience coming home. I was super tired and had a long soak in the bath. Its interesting being in a different environment without having the hustle and bustle of the hospital going on around me.

R and I had a arguement yesterday on the way home about the hospital wanting me to have a shower chair to shower in. She reckons we can’t afford it and said that a real man doesn’t have to sit on a chair to have a shower. The cost of the chair is only $65 and while things are tight, I don’t think its that tight we can’t afford it.

I’m not sure how I feel about her comment about being a real man. Lord help me to forgive and not carry any hurt or resentment.

Tuesday 11th Decemember

Margarete the hospital physio came out for a visit today. She sat down with R and myself to talk about energy management, self care, and to check the house out for any changes that may be needed to be changed. Such as step rails etc. She asked if I had a shower chair how I was coping with bathing etc and left some more info about it and other equipment.

She also asked about what plans we had to manage Christmas and the festivities, saying that if I go out shopping to use a wheel chair to conserve energy.

Friday 13th December

I don’t know what to think. Yesterday we made plans to go Christmas shopping. I asked R if I could have some money to buy some Christmas presents. She snapped at me…more like snarled… “I have organised everything, look at you…a real man wouldn’t beg his wife for money… a real man would be out working earning his own money rather then laying on his back in hospital for 2 months. …

This cut me to the bone inside and I could barely contain my tears. I turned away and prayed, Lord you heard all of this, I don’t know what to think. All I want to do is buy some presents for the kids, can you give me some money so I can do that.

An amazing thing happened. At the shopping centre Anthony a guy from church came up to me saying. Craig, I’m glad I ran into you. I have been carrying this in my pocket for you, I felt the Lord prompt me to give it to you. And he handed me $100.

Wow, I started to cry and he gave me a slap on the back and went off. Thank you God for answering my prayer. When R heard about it, she wanted me to give it to her, saying that I didn’t deserve to have any money. I said no, I was going to use this money to bless the boys during the school holidays.

Thursday 27th December

Christmas was interesting. I didn’t get a present from R or the kids. She said we couldn’t afford to buy each other presents this year and wasn’t interested in the vase I gave her. We had Christmas lunch at my mums place and I slept most of the day.

I’m not sleeping the best. I keep waking up of a night dreaming that I’m paralysed on the ground once again, calling out for help and no one coming to help me. I don’t have a lot of strength. I trie easy and its frustrating not being able to do the things that I once took for granted.

The thing that gets me is that we can afford presents. Our house mortgage is only $532 a month at the moment. The church has been very generous with us and had taken up 2 offerings for us that amounted to a large sum of money. Two of the older step sons are working and paying a small amount of board.

Wednesday 2nd January

I was reading through one of my old journals and was reminded how often I had written I would like to write a  book. I started to get excited about the prospect and spoke to the kids about it and they got pretty excited about it also. I thought it was a brilliant idea to keep myself occupied and felt like I could do something useful again.

I can’t believe it. I spoke to Rose about it and she shot me down. Who did I think I was to write a book. Your just a nobody. No one is interested in anything you write.

I can’t believe it. One minute she is being nice to me and then shoots me down. I can’t do nothing right.

Thursday 9th of Jan.

Yesterday was R’s birthday. It was funny how she gave me some money to take the boys shopping for her present.

Thursday 10th Jan

We went and saw a movie today. I saw Dr Ho yesterday and shared about my dreams of when I first collapsed on the farm. He asked me if I was depressed and put me on some anti depressant tablets.  She went off her nut at me saying she wasn’t going to have me sit at home depressed while she was out working.

I had to see centrelink also. The lady there was really nice.,..when she was talking to me about my illness and experience, and I was sharing about what it did to me, I couldn’t help crying. The centrelink lady said that she was going to give me a 6 month reprieve from having to return any information to centrelink regarding my having to return back to work. I can’t go on a disability pension as you have to be incapacited for 2 years or more and the docs don’t think that will be my case… they are expecting a full recovery… only time will tell.

Mon 21st Jan.

I have decided to go off the anti depressant tablets. They leave a horrible taste in my mouth. Yesterday Anthony at church took me aside asking how I was going. I started to cry when I told him I was having night mares about my collapse at work . That I was depressed and frustrated about not being able to freely walk, run., do the things I used to take for granted such as drive a car.

I found it was really good. He just listened and said he would be depressed also if he went through what I was going through. I couldn’t tell him about the things R was saying to me. This was too hurtful and I didn’t think he would understand.

I am finding it hard at church at the moment. The music levels are really loud and I am finding the full service tiring. I’m thinking whether I should go back to a more reflective quieter church. I find its so noisy in the morning tea area at the end of the service. The noise is confusing as I can’t really understand what is being said to me. The problem is I have made some good friends at church and the level of care and concern is terrific. One of the things I might do is to go every 2nd or 3rd week. Or perhaps skip the first 30 minutes of worship and get there for the sermon and announcements and the worship after the sermon.  Lord give me wisdom to do what is right.

2nd of Feb

Today I drove the car for the first time since I collapsed. I only went around the block in it. I’t’s lucky we live in a quiet  area and don’t have much traffic here. I am not sure about going to the shops yet which is only a few blocks away. I’m not sure about my ability to cross the main road. The doctor was good allowing me to keep my licence on the condition I didn’t try to drive till I was ready. It’s been 5 months now. I need some  more time I think to get my confidence back.

7th of Feb

Its my birthday tomorrow. R needs some stuff at the hardware and I have a specialists appointment at Campbelltown Hospital this week.  I must say I’m a little nervous about it. Some of the things I need to discuss with her are,

  1. When I walk in open places I tend to veer towards the right instead of walking straight ahead.
  2. I find it easy to walk along paths with a clearly defined pathway, but the other day I came across some crazy paving which made me a little anxious.
  3. When we went shopping my wife dropped me at the front of the shop to find parking. She found a spot 2 places away from the front door. When walking to the car, there was a large square drain with a grate over the top beside the car. I had a lot of trouble walking over it, trusting it.
  4. After I do a bit of work I tend to get shaky.
  5. My memory problems, I have trouble with both long term and short term memory. Some of this could be a result of depression, yet not all of it will be. It does get embarrassing at times to admit that you have no idea at times what a person is talking about, when it is obvious that I was there at the time…
  6. Not sleeping well, am tired most of the time, yet find it hard to sleep.

. R says to me I can choose a birthday present at the hardware if I really want one. I though a bench grinder would be nice. When we went to pay for it, there wasn’t enough money in that account and we couldn’t get it. She laughed at me saying this is what happens when you are not a real man who is not out working earning his own money.

8th of Febuary 2008

It’s my birthday today. Mum gave me a card with $25 and a lottery ticket in it, and some undies and socks. Thanks mum. I got nothing from R or the kids. What a birthday. This afternoon R told me that I was no longer useful to her. She told me that unless I got off my arse and started to work again she was going to the kids away and leave me. She reckons its embarressing that I don’t bring any money into the house and she has to do it all.

When I mentioned that my centerlink payment went into her account she sneered at me saying, that little amount. I’d be better off without that and you. Fuck me. She hasn’t gone out to work since we got married in 1997. She thinks its embarressing that she has to work, doing some of the jobs I had left over from my cleaning business. I was working two jobs when I collapsed and doing some part time study.

What does she want from me? I was working on a dairy farm. I become sick, had a high temp, threw up, collapsed on the ground paralysed on the right side. Was found near two hours later. Ambos called, had a high temp 40.9 c, and got put into hospital for for 52 days. There I had to relearn to walk, talk, mobilise, have some level of amensia, find it hard to concentrate and remember lists. I don’t have the energy or strength to work. What does she want me to do?

Melbourne Mum, pours boiling water over 4 year old for soiling bed, gets 7 months.

6 07 2010

The Melbourne Sun Herald reported on Friday 2nd July about a mother who poured boiling water over her 4 year old daughter’s leg and back as punishment for her spoiling her bed. The mum had told the girls dad on a access visit that she had a bad nappy rash…on advice of a GP, the dad took the girl to hospital where it was discovered it was a liquid burn and not a rash.

Judge Sue Pullen said the mothers actions were on the extreme end of abuse and yet defended her sentence of the mother saying;  “That she had already suffered enough punishment through her depression and the fact she had lost custody of her child… and found her guilty of recklessly causing serious injury”

The report notes the girls father now has custody of his daughter.

I believe any parent who abuses their children in any extreme way should lose custody of their child.  The judges decision raises questions that have to be asked in regards to our societal response in caring for those who are abused and how we respond to the abuser. Would this judge sentence a dad the same way?