Calvary Comments

8 03 2011

Over on the Calvary Comments blog they have posted 4 myths about Domestic Abuse.

They being

1. Domestic violence doesn’t happen in my community.

2. Only men can be abusers

3. It’s obvious when someone is the victim of abuse

4. It should be easy to leave an abusive partner.

 

It’s good to see this points being emphasised; though there are some serious statistical numbers being presented that are clearly wrong…such as 25 % of women will suffer DV, and 85 % DV victims are women. All together though there are some worthwhile points that have been made.

I made this comment; which awaits moderation and frankly I will be surprised if it is allowed to be posted.

Your statistic about 85% of dv abuse victims being women is wrong and a little miss-leading as DV is not considered to be just battering…but includes emotional, sexual, physical, mental, verbal and spiritual abuse. In the west; current research over the last 10 years has shown that within heterosexual relationships 8% of those relationships will be women who face abuse and 7% will be men who suffer abuse from the hands of their partners. This equates to a minimum of 40% of males being victims of intimate partner abuse.

Then the figures raise significantly higher within same sex relationships where the level of abuse is considered to be the same between male / male and female / female.






Finally: Some one is doing their job.

19 02 2011

The Australian Family Law act requires divorcing couples to undertake mediation; and thus free up the court system. There are a couple of exceptions; one of them being the case of domestic violence. I choose to go ahead with the mediation because I felt it was safer for me to do that; with a facilitator; then what it would have been in any face to face negotiation.

During that time; I challenged the facilitator about the lack of services and options that his company provided for male victims of DV. I have blogged about this before. Last week I received a phone call from the centre wanting to do a questionnaire with me about their services and how effective I found them.

I told her that I was extremely dissatisfied. That the process had empowered my ex’s abuse; and that I was really peeved that when entering the office, the walls were plastered with posters about dv being a crime and that all the public pamphlets in that office were to do with women being assaulted and they had nothing on display for men. Further more I told the lady about my questioning the facilitator about this and he went to look for some information for me and came back with a pamphlet from a mob who do general counselling…

To the credit of this lady on the phone; she seemed a little shocked. And she asked me if it was OK for her to put some stuff together and send it to me. I said thank you. Two days later I get a bulky envelope containing some brochures; fridge magnets, etc from various org’s. Such as Dad’s in Distress, Men’s Line, Catholic Care, Father’s Support Service and as well a photocopied list of various specific services; with the ones specific for men highlighted. She had also hand written some numbers on this paper with the name and number of someone from the Salvation Army.

I cried when I got this information. And while I still hold my reservations about the overall mediation experience; I say to this lady “Well done and thank you!”





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.