I was at a local community center yesterday and was talking with one of the workers there about domestic abuse and how women can abuse me. I expressed some of my frustration and hurt at the brochures on the subject, which say, “Women, children and others can be victims of abuse.” I then asked her, who and what were the others.
She said to me – “Oh, that’s easy, that could be the family pets, or other animals”
I was heart punched by that comment. I was totally gobsmacked. It completely deflated me. I started to tremble inside. The inner pain washed over, through and covered me as painful memories from my experiences of a few short years ago came flooding back, threatening to overwhelm me. And so I exited that conversation and that building as soon as I could. In this case workers ideology, there was no room what so ever for her to consider that males could fit into that category. As the woman from the NSW Department of Community services told me in 2009 when I rang their domestic abuse hotline – “I don’t believe you – because only men are the abusers!”
On a brighter note. I shared my story with an up and coming student journalist, who is questioning the current feminist ideology that exists to become superior to men and the tactics used to implement that. (Her words, not mine) The conversation heartened me a lot. She too was gobsmacked when I told her of yesterdays conversation.
I have had a number of interviews now by a variety of media reporters regarding my story. Few of them have been published. Though I have been filmed, none of them have made it past the producers editorials committees and gone to air. But, I am encouraged by the fact that student journalists, who are the media faces of the future, are willing to grapple with the issues of equality within our world. And perhaps, one day, we will see the reality, that all genders are capable of being abused and being abusers…and when that is acknowledged – real programs can be implemented to help all who are abused, and all who are abusers.