Equality

27 11 2010

It is no secret that in the Western World there is much talk about equality between the sex’s. And indeed we should push for gender equality and accept it. However I am continually shocked that in the newspapers of today they continue to push the same old barrow that its only women and children who are abused within heterosexual relationships.

In the Sydney Sunday Telegraph 28th November on page 13 there is a interview with the Sex Discrimination Commissioner; Elizabeth Broderick. In it she rebukes the federal government for not fulfilling its promises to reduce attacks on women and children…

This is the Sex Discrimination Commissioner herself who is discriminating against men in society who also are victims of abuse within the society in which we live. I am a man. I am am a heterosexual man. I was abused by my wife. If I did to my wife what she did to me…I would have been locked up in goal.

Why, why, why can’t they make a genderless statement and say.. We want to stamp out abuse of every kind within Australia. And in doing so help prevent abuse for all in Australia?

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Does the state and federal government really want to stamp out Domestic Abuse

17 06 2010

This text comes from page 6 of the NSW Stop the Violence 5 year Action  Plan

This Action Plan provides a strategy for Government, non-government organisations and the community on how we can work together better to stop domestic and family violence and respond more effectively when it happens.
In recent years there have been many initiatives to help stop domestic and family violence, by both Government and non-government agencies. These initiatives have been vital in improving the lives of many women and children across NSW so they can live their lives free from violence. This Action Plan builds on these initiatives.

It then goes on to say

Tackling domestic and family violence is a major priority for the NSW Government as stated in the NSW State Plan. As part of this Plan we are working to:
■ provide safe and appropriate long-term accommodation and support to people experiencing domestic and family violence, relationship and family breakdown
■ provide more protection for victims while increasing conviction rates through reform of sexual assault laws and procedures
■ reduce the level of domestic violence for Aboriginal children and young people
■ provide more support for victims of domestic and family violence, through access to specialist police officers
■ implement a more coordinated and strategic policing response to domestic and family violence while meeting the needs of victims
■ improve support for victims of crime in the court system, particularly victims of domestic and family violence, sexual assault and hate-based crimes.
The NSW Domestic and Family Violence Action Plan builds on the priorities laid out in the State Plan and sets the direction for reducing domestic and family violence and ending the silence when it does occur.

It then talks about Domestic Violence.

What is domestic violence?
There are many definitions of domestic violence. This Plan recognises that domestic violence, also referred to as Intimate Partner Violence, is gender-based violence and a violation of human rights. It involves:
‘Violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour carried out by an adult against a partner or former partner to control and dominate that person. Domestic violence causes fear, physical and/or psychological harm. It is most often violent, abusive or intimidating behaviour by a man against a woman. Living with domestic violence has a profound effect upon children and young people and may constitute a form of child abuse.
The above definition includes violence in same sex relationships. Domestic violence includes physical abuse; sexual abuse; psychological, emotional and verbal abuse; social abuse; economic abuse; and harassment and stalking. These various forms of abuse often occur simultaneously as a form of systematic abuse with the effect of coercing and controlling a partner. Many forms of domestic violence are offences under the NSW Crimes Act 1900.’

Yet according to this Handsard report which is dated the 8th of June, the government is not spending any money, nor is it acknowledging that MEN also are victims of Intimate Partner Abuse (domestic violence)
There is ample evidence and research done in the area of IPA towards men. Yet it would appear that the governmental agencies are not interested in any of that research.

Its been my personal experience and unfortunatly I have heard its the experience of many men also that there is a lack of resources and help for men who are suffering abuse in the forms mentioned above.

I am currently undergoing mediation with my ex wife in regards to the divorce and seperation issues. we are doing that through Relationships Australia which is a governmental funded organisation, which any one who is going through a divorce must attend.

In their foyer is a pamphlet stand that is full of brochures and pamphlets and information for help in regards to domestic violence.  There is not one brochure or pamphlet that contains information about men who suffer abuse. All the information on that stand makes out that men are the perpeptuator and that they are never victims.

I asked the facilitator for some info for myself in regards to undergoing some help and counselling regarding my experience. He went and did some search and came back with a brochure that promoted Oxfame. It had no information on it about males being victims of dv only that they had some counselling services.

The point is…this is a government funded center. It is clearly marked that they offer counselling and resources for anyone who is a victim of dv. Yet…again because I am a man… they couldn’t and wouldn’t help me.

In the action plan it says, that Intimate Partner Abuse is a violation of Human Rights. This is such a funny play on words. You can read my other findings about Human Rights in Australia and what the Government says about that here





Been approached with an offer to help

8 06 2010

I have felt a bit down today. I have found it hard to get things done and wondering if I am suffering some form of Post Traumatic Stress. I have a few assignments to finish before Thursday and am really struggling putting them together.

I received a email from another organisation tonight which really was a great encouragement to me. They made the offer to help me\ to contact the NSW Police Department about the information they offer on their website about Domestic Abuse.. you can read my post on that here

I don’t want to say too much about who offered to help me yet until I have spoken more to them about it and I have their permission. What I can say though is a very public thank you… you have no idea how much your email tonight really encouraged me. ….. then again…. perhaps you do!





Fortified defences / How I responded

1 06 2010

So far in my posts I have spoken about whats been happening to me. I think its important for me to write about the ways I responded to my situation. There are times when I struggle with the way I acted and responded to my wifes actions. And there are times when I will feel a weight of guilt and shame rise up within me that indeed the way I responded made my wife do what she did.

It came to the point where I was no longer able to sit down and talk with my wife for more than a few minutes. I feared what was going to come out of her mouth. When she would shout or call me names I would turn my back and walk away from her.

The study become my man’s shed. It became my place of refuge. There in peace I could listen to music. I could sleep in my chair. I could write. I could read. I could pray. When I was  housebound from my disability it was the place where I could interact with the world through the internet.

When the violence escalated I would put my hand out like a stop sign saying, “If you don’t stop I will ring the police and have you charged. This would settle the situation down a little, causing her to retort to me about being a snivelling snitch who needed to run to the police.

After I had been punched in the head I felt physically sick in her presence. If I went out I would not want to come home. It seemed that no one wanted to listen to me or were willing to listen to me. Inside I craved a kind word. A kind touch. A kind gesture.

Because of my health limitations I would often be bored and started to play poker on the internet. Never for money though. I started to talk to people and meet others on the net through forums such as Face Book and other forums. This to some extent started to meet my basic needs for human acceptance. Because of my broken spirit, I started to turn to anyone who offered me a kind word. I found people on the internet who would listen to my heart ache.

There were a couple of people who I met for coffee whom I had met on the net. Over the years I have met people through various forums and have made some good friends from these meetings. The first of these coffee meetings happened a few months before I separated. None of my coffee meetings were sexual in nature nor were they a start to any affair.

I did meet one girl on the net who did like me and I did like her.  I quickly realised that it wasn’t possible, practical nor sustainable.  A marriage counsellor asked my ex and I to do some homework by writing a letter to each other, but not to give this letter to each other…nor were we to read each others letter. I started to write a letter to my wife telling her how she was destroying me. How her actions were causing me to hate her…

It was too much for me to write these things and on the next page I started to write a letter to this other girl whom I spoke about above. I wrote about how her kindness affected me and how I wanted to be her  man. There were a few more things I wrote on each page…but I can’t remember. What I do know is the things I wrote  on the second page was actually the things I wanted to say to my wife. I wanted to tell my wife that I wanted her to the woman in my life. I wanted to  say how much I appreciated her words. How much I appreciated her kindness….these were things I wanted to say and needed to say. The reality though I wasn’t able to say those things.

I tried to set up tape recorder to record my wifes behaviour, often saying to her can you speak up more louder for the tape…holding a microphone up in my hand …she would storm out away from me and it became a way for me to feel safe, a self-defence mechanism.

When my wife disconnected the internet, I had to ring my bro on his mobile as I used to chat to him on the internet. As I was calling him she said that she was going to cancel the house phone and just use her mobile phone because I had no right to use the phone because I wasn’t working and paying the bills. …. I had no money, had no mobile phone and had no way to contact others.. She snarled at me saying…whats the matter can’t you survive without being able to be contactable…

Up till that point I had walked away and tried not to respond to her attacks. Deep anger rose up in me and I threw the phone to the floor.  I grabbed her phone and took the battery from it and she reacted saying give me my battery back, this is my life line. I didn’t and she attacked me tearing my shirt from me, hitting me. She then threatened that if I didn’t give her battery back to her she would destroy my computer, destroy my writings and rip up my books.

I stood in front of the study where she attacked me again telling me to get out-of-the-way. I was able to restrain her and somehow move her more into the center of the room. Then I was bitten on the wrist to the bone. I pushed her away from me and she fell onto the couch hitting her face while doing so.

It was then she rang the police telling them I had abused her. They came and eventually asked me if I wanted to charge her for abuse. I said no, and they advised me to move out, which I did.Into the back of my van for a several weeks.

When i moved in with my brother, she would ring there abusing me and I would hang the phone up on her. Whenever she would yell, shout, criticize etc I would hang up on her. This action caused her to be more angry with me.

While living at my brothers I had access to my boys. I lived across from the school and would pick them up most days. On the days I would pick them up for them to stay with me she would force herself into the house and make the kids change from their school uniform into other clothes. She would say things like…I’m doing this for the kids sake because you don’t know how to look after them properly… in the end I had to tell her… you cannot come in her any more…if you do I will ring the police and have you charge with assault and trespass.

I still don’t feel safe in her presence. At our last mediation session I told her that I do not feel safe in her presence. While the facilitator’s back was turned away from us as he wrote on the white board, she smiled at me making a gesture of playing a violin. I said to her, I find your actions very abusive and as the facilitator turned to us she stopped doing what she was doing and pretended to do some reading.

I often question myself asking if what I did cause the abuse?  Was it a natural reaction to what was going on around me? Could I have reacted in other ways? Were there other coping strategies that I could have put into place instead of the ones I did?

The questions I ask others who tell me I did the wrong thing and made the wrong choices is “What would you have done if you were in my shoes”?





When is the truth not the truth?

20 05 2010

Its been interesting to read what information is out there regarding domestic abuse from official websites.

The department of community services in NSW Australia have nothing…not a thing to help men who may be going through an abusive time. On the NSW Police force’s website on its section about domestic abuse it begins with saying that men are more often the perpeptuators of voilence in a relationship…this is for the most part correct when it comes to physical battering, though women are mostly guilty of slapping, throwing items and biting.

It then goes to say that emotional and vervbal abuse are the most common forms of abuse and its results are often more devastating then other forms….which means the information offered by the NSW Police Force is wrong because research shows that it is women who are the greater offender of emotional and verbal abuse.

A survey research paper done by the department of Health by the Canadian Government says that in hetrosexual relationships 8% of women will face domestic abuse and 7% of men will suffer from abuse..

In England and the United States research is saying that 40% of all domestic abuse victims are men…and that figure most likely is under reported as men tend to suffer a greater deal of shame and embarressment to report it. As someone who has been involved in suicide prevention and awareness, I would like to be able to find out the number of men who have taken their lives because of continual abuse?

If so then the information that’s given by the government and accepted as truth by  society is wrong, for if  someone takes their life because of abuse then those people are victims of abuse…m

There are no indications to say that the research done in Canada, America and England would have any different social markers for society in Australia and indeed most of the research that is publicised and used in Australia references selected papers used in those other countries. Whether we use the Canadian percentages or the stats from America and England the truth is that there isn’t such a big difference between who is a victim of abuse.

I stand against abuse of any kind… I am against abuse of any kind against men and children and I am against abuse of any kind against women.

In the fight to stop it, lets stop with the lies that is fed to society and admit it is more then just a gender issue.