TELL YOUR STORY

If you are a male victim of family violence - domestic violence, violence from other family members, child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, or other forms of family violence and abuse - this page is available for you to tell your anonymous story. Please click here to tell your own story. If you feel like you need support, please click here. Stories are moderated to prevent the posting of spam, so it might take a little while for your story to appear on this page.

PERSONAL STORIES FROM MALE VICTIMS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE AND ABUSE

Friday
Sep222017

Allan's personal story

I married young at just a few days beyond my 21st birthday. Our first child came along probably a bit sooner than my wife would have liked. From her birth onwards my eldest daughter was picked on and bullied on a daily basis by my wife. When she was about 10 we received a visit from the local authority Child Protection Officer after the school had reported bruising on my daughters neck (this was as a result of my wife having tried to throttle her before I got home from work). The Child Protection Officer's line of questioning obviously pointed to the assumption that I was the guilty party.

With that amount of abuse I felt that I had to defend my daughter. This occasionally led to me physically restraining my wife which then led, of course, to accusations of “wife beating”. I felt that I had to wear those accusations. She then left me for another man.

With my next wife (married 3 years later) I should have heeded the early warning signs. In the early stages of our relationship she went to the USA to visit her sister. While she was away I re-landscaped the garden from a basic building site to an attractive lawned area with flower beds. On her arrival back home she went out to look at the garden and started to berate me for doing things that were not to her liking (choice of plants, curvature of the beds). Her verbal abuse never let up the whole of the period that we were together. We were both officers in the RAF and I was senior to her but she constantly made put down references to the fact that she had been commissioned as a direct entrant whereas I had spent time in the ranks. She was very good with words and always liked to have the last one in any argument. When arguments got heated I could generally tell when the situation had gone too far and I would try and remove myself physically from the scene only to be met with “That's right. Run away like you always do”.

We split up and divorced about 10 years ago. The process of splitting up was not easy and huge problems were created by her over the split of assets. I eventually caved in to her demands just to stop the process. I sent her a quick email the other day politely informing her that our dog had just died aged 15 and that I would be grateful if she would not contact me about it. This was met with a 2 page email from her still trying to argue her points.

I have remarried and have been with my current wife for 8 years. It is a delight and we are totally equal partners. It has reaffirmed my faith in non-violent, non-abusive women. They are out there!

Sunday
Sep172017

Greg's personal story

Her reaction to any issue, no matter how small, was to the magnitude like I had had an affair.

After 27 years of marriage, I have finally had enough. The verbal abuse, put-downs and manipulation were there from the very beginning. The violence started soon after the wedding and continued through the marriage. I have been subjected to slapping, punching, scratching and kicking. I have had numerous items thrown at me. She even tried to stab me one night – I managed to use a lounge cushion to deflect the knife.

I was forced to leave the house dozens and dozens of times because she “couldn't handle living with me”. In reality, I am not hard to live with, she just couldn't handle life and would not control her anger. Instead she would go into this uncontrollable rage – using me for her emotional and physical punching bag. At times I attempted to stay and reason things out with her, but each time she would just step things up to the next level. I had to think of the mental well-being of the kids and not subject them to such acts, as they saw it all.

During all this, I was utterly confused as how to approach the situation. Advice I received was that I made a promise on our wedding day “til death do us part”. So I just thought that I had to stay in there, no matter what. I began to excuse her behaviour with: she's just having a bad day; I underestimated how terrible I was; maybe it's PMS (but not every week!), etc.

To add to the confusion, I WAS A POLICEMAN for the first 12 years of the marriage. I was supposed to go to domestic violence situations, not be in them. I was taught self restraint, and not to hurt women – which I know she took advantage of. Through her violent rages, my career was in jeopardy. If it was recorded that I was involved in a domestic dispute, I would have been, transferred, placed on restricted duties and had my service weapon removed – all through no fault of my own.

There was a period of about 4 years where there was no violence, but the verbal put downs, manipulations, etc, continued. Then about 10 weeks ago, she went back to the violence. That week I decided to leave the house and haven't been back since.

Recently I came across a book by Dr Elizabeth Celi “Breaking The Silence”, about the man being the victim in domestic violence. It was like she was looking in the window of my house! I highly recommend the read.

Currently only 2 of our 5 boys (aged 17-25) are talking to me. I know this is because she has influenced them against me. I am confident that this will change in time.

Many of our friends have been shocked to hear me tell them how I have been treated all these years. My wife would always put up a facade that we had the perfect marriage.

Having said all that doom and gloom stuff, I am starting to come out the other side and see there is so much hope and a better future, and that I am worth it.

Thursday
Sep142017

Peter's personal story

I have just found this website… such relief.. I am not alone!

I read other’s stories and wince… I am hardly surprised. It is familiar, so very familiar.

I am now 12 months post separation. The emotional abuse I suffer has intensified as it has been continuing passive aggression that I am forced to deal with. She is a professional in a regional centre and I the “trailing” spouse. I was the “stay at home” dad when our 2 children were little. I “retrained” at the local university once they got to school, and post-graduation found some project work which petered out so bought a small business. Post-GFC this has had to morph into web based sales. Supplementary income for the family to compliment my ex’s reliable professional income… or so I thought.

She wanted her own professional rooms.. I was supportive, and spent nearly 6 months of my time project managing the renovation of a building to her specifications. We incurred a large debt. That was 3 years ago.

The children have now left home, both graduated from university, and both working in their chosen fields. At least they are not caught in the crossfire as the once happy family disintegrates.

The separation caught me by surprise. I really didn’t see it coming after 28 years of marriage. To say I was gutted would be to miss the point. I was devastated. The pain, oh the pain of it… horrendous. I had been hit with such brutality I was hurting to my core. Not physical but emotional pain… the essential difference - there are no obvious bruises.

I accept that the marriage wasn’t perfect and had lots of issues to work on. Old fashioned idea I know, but I had exchanged vows with the woman, and I did love her. I had invested 28 years of my life with her. I had promised to stick with her through thick and thin. This was the first serious affront to our marriage. I believed that those vows were exchanged for moments like these. To hold us together so we could work things out.

Neither of us have been physically violent. But now I look back on the emotional games I was subjected to. The moods and stony silences, the outbursts of anger that had their origins in day to day things – for example the telco’s privacy policies that had meant I had to “approve” her purchasing a new mobile phone, given I had set up the account 20 something years before when she didn’t have the time to do it for herself - but where directed against me.. the constant walking on eggshells, and the stubborn resistance to any discussion about money, budgets and the like, even to an accusation of financial abuse towards me when her credit card was maxxed and I hadn’t had the time to transfer funds, being as it was the end of the month and pay-week for my 2 part timers. Yes, I managed the family finances, but her interest was in spending (she earned a lot of money – it was therefore hers to spend as she saw fit), and I was allowed no input into that. Any attempts at discussing budgets or questioning the need for the latest acquisition was awkward, to say the least! I would seek the advice of the accountant (a lady) to try and set a budget that would have allowed for all household expenses, and for the debt to be managed, and for me to have just a little bit of spending money. But these meetings were viewed negatively, that the accountant and I were somehow conspiring to control her.

The passive aggression took many forms. If I didn’t give immediate support to her ideas about a new stove, installing central heating, the design of a built in wardrobe, or a plan to leave my fold up bike in another city after she had borrowed it for a weekend, I was shot down in flames. She didn’t like her ideas to be challenged. An expert in her field of training, hence an expert in all matters.

The process of separation was like a slow motion train wreck. Having announced she was leaving one Sunday morning, she returned later in the day. A colleague had suggested to her that some joint counselling would be appropriate. I eagerly embraced the suggestion. She made the arrangements (discretion was to be essential given her high profile in the town) and I went along with it, ecstatic we could at last try and resolve some of the stresses and strains that had built up.

In her mind I was the aggressor, and so she would accuse me of bullying. I refute this of course. Any attempt to get a discussion happening would be interpreted as hostile. Her busy schedule as a professional limited the time we could spend together. In retrospect, I now question this, and suspect that a lot of this was avoidance. I had penned a few notes about issues I wanted to discuss, to work through, bearing my heart and sharing my concerns about our relationship. I was asking for her to walk in my shoes, to look at our relationship from my perspective, what I had contributed to the family. It was interpreted as being an attack on her, that I was insensitive or disrespectful to her. It showed me just how self-absorbed she had become, and how little empathy she retained for me.

I was asked not to contact the counsellor separately. I complied to start with, and when I did seek a separate meeting, my ex refused to give her consent. “You can say anything about me to my face, not behind my back”. The counsellor failed to read the signs and did not overrule, and so I was not allowed a separate session just to myself for 3 months.

She made good her threat to move out of the matrimonial home during this time – “long service leave” she called it!

I recall the frustration of trying to have my concerns taken seriously by the counselling professionals. But she had chosen to leave; she is a professional so there must be valid reasons for it. Her motivations were never questioned. I was asked if I had a thing about divorce. She wasn’t. Such a condescending question.. As if I was incapable of appreciating the implications.

The abuse really got going with the separation. I had been able to deal with the passive aggression prior to that. I was able to accommodate the mood swings and the like as being part of the midlife changes many women experience. Always trying to put a positive spin on it, hopeful that my world which was starting to spin out of control could be righted and the destruction of 30 years together could be averted. It had got progressively more extreme. I only had to ask a question to be accused of being a bully.

Once the “trial of separation” period had run its course, the lawyers got involved. The anger that was occasionally evident prior was now reflected in all the correspondence.

Requests for some spouse maintenance have been rebuffed. We had a seaside shack. It has now been sold. I am allowed to use some of the funds to live on. My business struggles on. I look for paying work. I am now nearly 60 (she is 8 years younger) and that is as scarce as rocking horse **** in this regional centre. I live in the “former matrimonial home”. We had downsized and moved into the town as part of the process of setting up her professional rooms. That house is now for sale given the large bank loan we incurred in setting them up. I have to be prepared to have complete strangers come into my home at a moment’s notice, always contemplating that I may not be living here in a few short weeks. Ever hopeful, but to date disappointed. This has been the reality since the house went on the market. So far it has been more than 6 months.

I inherited some family treasures. She insists that they be valued as part of the property pool. I struggle with the emotional implications of all of this. Does this count as emotional abuse?

The process of separation of assets will be long and involved. I am unwilling to move into a smaller (rented) home until the house she insisted we buy sells. She rents a cosy little cottage and has it all “just so” while I am left to deal with what is left. So my life is in limbo. I have very little money. She gets on with her life. I am confronted by the realities of the family disintegration each and every day. I am powerless to avoid them. Does this count as abuse? And then there is the vexed issue of instigation. I won’t go there.

I post this under a pseudonym. Even now I can’t discuss all aspects of my sad situation openly. She remains a practicing professional “above reproach” in the eyes of the community and I have a vested interest in her maintaining that role, at least until I get a fair and equitable settlement. She is the beneficiary of the substantial debt that is forcing the sale of the house I currently occupy. She works hard and generates a substantial income. Her successful business is by far the greatest asset when it comes to the property pool. And she has that business only because of the efforts I went to in establishing it.

And there remains a cruel twist. She evidently continues to view herself as the victim. Correspondence from her lawyer is infused with threats and demands. My anxiety levels increase with each new instalment. New demands are made, more uncertainties revealed. She remains intent on exerting control. My agony continues with no end in sight. This is domestic violence without an end point.

I have been cast aside by a woman in a powerful position.

I am under the radar.

I have the black dog with its piercing yellow eyes stalking me.

Everything I have done to attempt to head off this crisis has failed. The train wreck keeps unfolding. What is my fear? I end up with nothing. No home, no job, no money. And the perpetrator of this injustice will continue to make excuses for her unfathomable conduct.

The lawyers work at their own grinding pace, I am yet to be convinced that the family court can give me any comfort. Dear God that this was all a bad dream!

Sunday
Sep102017

Stephen's personal story

In its own way my arrival at this site talks to a need, for an outlet, for a means of expressing what has been a long journey. However I'm not entirely sure, other than the sense of release, what can be the benefit of such recounting but clearly I'm in company.

This recounting is of my parents and their life and by proxy the impact on their children, of whom I am the eldest of four.

Dad was and is a tall man, average figure but kept himself trim and slim all his life, which is now into its ninth decade. Mum is a small woman, barely cracking five feet at her best and with the ageing process is shrinking under that mark. I mention this only to give a sense of the physical context.

Dad was a tradesman, worked with his hands on aircraft and did well within the context of an artisan of old. Never educated at a tertiary level due to a complexity of his own family situation but a steady good worker. Mum had the intellect in the family. Topped an 'A' level exam in the UK at I think a national context, but irrespective she had her share of brains. They were married and had a family at a time when the social construct had that the man earned the money and the woman stayed home and had children.

Mum did not handle this well. It was clear to me that Mum resented this social construct, the assignment of gender roles. In that she was and is clearly not alone and many in society, including myself, note and applaud the movement made over time in this social more and at a personal level I would and did encourage her to find an outlet for her abilities. To no avail.

However it is in the manner of her reaction to this construct that I articulate here. Mum railed against the social construct in a manner that entirely focused on Dad. He was and remains the focus of Mum's frustration, resentment and ultimately a sense of failure that she was not able to achieve what she felt that she could. In no individual way did Dad perpetuate nor act out this social construct, Mum was free and did occasionally find herself low level employment in the workforce. In itself a mainstream story of unfulfilled ability but in the context of family abuse it played out as an archetypal example of violence against men; my dad.

Over the complete span of their marriage, greater than sixty years, Mum used Dad as her punching bag. Given the constraints of their respective physiologies the physical side of the abuse was unable to manifest in actual bodily harm, notwithstanding some attempts to do so. What was constant, relentless and gradually worsening was the emotional, verbal and intellectual abuse visited upon Dad's acquiescing form. His response was almost universally tolerant, notwithstanding a very occasional attempt at resistance, and perhaps it was no more or less a manifestation of his intrinsically gentle nature. I recall clearly a father/teenage son lesson time where the message was 'never use your physical strength against women'. A good and valuable lesson in life, but I noted later when I brought my own intelligence to bear that there was never any recognition nor articulation of the verbal and emotional abuse that was occurring. A wiser person in Mum would have seen her own behaviour for what it was and sought solutions elsewhere or at a minimum understood the unfairness of her actions and used her husband as a partner in finding a way forward.

Mum and Dad are now in their eighties. Their life's journey has run and their legacy is a close and growing family of three generations. I note even now Dad's respect and gentleness as Mum suffers through some age related health issues, a respect untinged by decades of abuse and still manifestly not reciprocated. I sigh and yet stand in awe as I see my Dad offer the whole of himself in supporting his life's partner, putting to one side his lifetime without bitterness nor rancour: I couldn't do it and I'm not sure if that makes me a better or wiser person than my Dad.

This recounting is not an attempt in any sense to ameliorate the horror and pain of physical abuse by any party on their partner. It is in my own way an attempt to represent a balance to the debate on how to frame the social and legislative protections for the abuse that hides behind the doors of family.

Friday
Sep082017

Roberto's personal story

I am a victim of domestic violence and I should share my story.

We are married for 5 years now and the violence started from the day one. At first I thought its common and we can work out the relationship to do better. Now, I regret the decision I made on the earlier stages where I should have left her before she got pregnant. Now I have my daughter where she is 3 years old and I am locked up to a situation where I cannot leave my wife since I don’t want a troubled childhood for my kid.

She abuses me with vulgar words, scratches all my body with her fingernails, drag me all around the house holding my hair.

The worst part is sometimes she feel sorry for what she has done and as a man I feel sorry for her and just say to myself lets carry on. It’s all because of my angel daughter I am still surviving each and every day with a nightmare.

I am collecting all the evidences I could land keeping it safe at the moment and I am expecting to survive the life for at least the next 3 years where my kid should be able to understand the problems I face and hoping she understand why I had to leave this relationship.

But these days I am getting nightmares and with not sleeping nights since I am getting scared of her arrogance.

I am head of a region working outside country and staying with my family. This gives me more difficulty since she always threatens me to report to police that I abuse her. She is dumb and don't know of the consequences of issues like this in foreign land where my whole career will be gone if I get booked for abuse on a foreign land.

I am dying everyday and all my worry is about my daughter and want her lead as a great women in the future. I don't know what to do and I want my daughter.