Should I or shouldn’t I?

6 09 2011

I have been talking to a number of people who have shared with me their story of being abused. Within the framework of those discussions its been often mentioned that its not to late to have the abuser charged with the abuse and they be punished for it. Within the law system of NSW there is no statue of limitations regarding such events.

I have been been tossing and turning the last few nights and thinking about the issue of taking your own medicine or following the advice given to others and having my ex charged regarding her past abuse. Certainly there has been no acknowledgement of this on her behalf and much manipulation of the children regarding such abuse.

One such issue is the fact that a couple of years ago my then 7 year old son witnessed and was distressed when a member of the family threatened to get a knife and stab me with it. Last night during a phone call he was saying “Dad – you have to build a bridge and get over it” that the person in question was only joking at the time….and that he was worried about it- he was only 7 at the time and didn’t understand that it was a joke….but now he is 9 he does understand it was a joke.

It was no joke at the time and his distress over that event also was no joke. It’s a common practice of abusers to turn something nasty into a form of a joke. To turn and abusive situation into something that they thought was funny. During the phone call my son said to me …Dad you didn’t have to sleep in your van…you could have stayed at your mums…I could hear his mum coaching him to say what he was saying in the background…

Yes its true, perhaps during that 6 week period, when I was sleeping in my van I could have stayed at my mums…but -during  the previous 16 months I had been repeatedly told that even my family wanted nothing to do with me and knew I was mentally ill…. that sort of mental / emotional abuse does play havoc with your mind and as a result I wan’t able to go and stay at my mums during that time.

I have been advised and am seriously thinking that I need to have my ex wife charged with the crime of physical, emotional, mental, verbal and spiritual abuse. For abuse is a crime. And my ex wife committed those crimes of abuse. So the question arises….what should I do?

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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!”





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?





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





The Human Rights Commision is not for Human Rights for all

21 05 2010

I contacted the Australian Commission for Human Rights telling them my story about my experience of abuse and my experience of getting little help from the NSW Department of Community Services.  I explained how the two public documents on the Doc’s website about abuse automatically assume that men are the abusers and women the victims and how that experience caused me to feel more victimized and unable to find help.

I shared with them how I had been contacted by an affiliated Doc’s provider (Brighter Futures) about the behavior of my children at school, who were responding to what was happening at home. I had shared with them how I was victimized, that my wife was abusive and that they then wanted me to sign up for a Anger Management Course.

Hmmm I found this interesting, I was hit, spat on, kicked, bitten, had things thrown at me, holes put in the walls by my wife and had personal items destroyed. I was threatened to be stabbed, verbally abused, mentally, spiritually and emotionally attacked; and they had the hide to say that they wanted me to go and do a Anger Management Course

I had emailed the Human Rights Commission on Wednesday night and I received a phone call from them the next morning. The person ringing me was very touched by my poem “Cutting Words.”

They informed me that they were unable to help me. That even though I had felt discriminated upon because of what had happened they couldn’t help me. Theythen made the suggestion  that I contact the NSW Anti Discrimination Board…which I will do; Watch this space.

The clanger was then dropped. I asked the man if I was a woman going through the same thing would they be able to help me and they replied “YES they would”…Upon asking “WHY”, I was told that under the UN charter and the Australian Federal Government legislation the Human Rights Commission was only legislated to deal with inequality issues with Women and to a lessor degree Children.

Now I am a great fan of Gender Equality with a recognizance of difference in biological function. I think there has been some great strides over the years for recognition and action towards equality for women. Such as the vote, the ability to take out loans, work place payments and I applaud the strides that have been made to stamp out abuse and victimisation of women of any kind.

In saying this, shouldn’t MEN be included in the charter and overall care of the  Human Rights Commission. There is a danger and indeed it is starting to happen that the intent to create basic Human Rights where all have the right to be treated with dignity and respect without fear of intimidation and abuse is failing. If one part of society is failed to be cared for, then all of society will suffer.

Abuse is not a gender issue, it is a issue dealing with broken humanity.