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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
Oct062017

Pete's personal story

I am now 18 months since separation but her abuse lay in her ability to draw me back in with promises never fulfilled. Last Christmas I took a stand and I refused spending a night with her after her success at reuniting us the previous month. I took a personal stand against twelve long years of alcohol fuelled domestic violence and abuse which came in all textbook forms.

My brilliance and I guess ironically my downfall was at hiding her abuse from others. I have no witnesses. My own children feel too intimidated to come forward. She assaulted me with her parents in the very next room one night, splitting my head open before attempting to drive from our farm drunk. In trying to get the keys from her, I received a barrage of kicks through the car window and then she forced me to hide my blood stained face by climbing through a bedroom window. I then overheard the humiliation as she returned to her cheerful self, explaining to her mystified family that I had suddenly got tired and needed some sleep.

That is one of about fifteen assaults – always around summer time – always when she's had a skinful. In between I have dealt with economic and emotional abuse, social isolation, irrational and imagined jealousies and gas-lighting, where she would set me up in conflict with people ranging from her sons, to my own brothers and with complete strangers, sit back and watch the carnage and then deny ever having said a thing: building a protective wall around her violence by fabricating evidence that ‘Pete clearly has an anger issue’.

And why was last Christmas so important for me to be strong and make that final break? Because exactly twelve months before, she attempted – drunk beyond comprehension – to kill me in her car in front of our then seven year old son. A Christmas night ruined. Gifts damaged; our son screaming; the night punctuated by a punch to the back of my head: a king hit that would have had a man jailed within about an hour.

It takes time to recover. It takes time to sit back and take stock and after a year apart and the anniversaries of assaults and the overwhelming dread of being alone and realising that your behaviours are due to the trauma you have suffered, it finally dawns. Sadly the twelve month statute of limitations hinders any prosecution. Attempted murder and it was her lawyer gloating to me that the cops had given up before I finally asked them for an update. Their response: ‘oh, yeah? didn't we mention? Must have slipped our mind.’ Her lawyer has threatened me with an AVO and has demanded I make all communication through him. I refuse because it would give that ounce of credibility to her nonsense where there is none: I never hurt or threatened to hurt her or any family member. Or any person for that matter. Ever. The irony in being threatened with an AVO cuts deep. And it shames where there needs to be justice instead. Her lawyer quite hates me: well, he thinks he does. He's blinded by his well-funded heroism with a one-woman audience who knows how well he's being duped. Poor sod hasn't quite worked it out yet and so keeps advising her poorly.

And now she has withheld my son from me for eight long months and I am beside myself with grief for him. What will that first conversation look like? What do I say when he asks ‘where have you been?’

What protects me and him? Is it any coincidence that her two now adult sons from another man never saw their father during their lifetime? Is it any coincidence we only have her word that he needed lawful action taken against him? I raised those two men of hers. Homework. School fees. The sex talk. Scooping vomit, the drop punt and wrong-un (I even built their bloody bedrooms from scratch) and their thanks has come in the form of estrangement. Even in the face of their mother's irrational drunken madness, they show that their blood is still thicker.

She is now doing the same to my son. And there is nothing I can do.

Sunday
Sep242017

Mum flower's personal story

I will first start with my personal story regarding my 34yr old son. He is a big built kind hearted teddy bear type of person. Everyone loves him. She (his wife) is a small petite, soft spoken women when others are around.

His life before the violence. He was separated from his partner of 10 years and had his 2 children with him the whole time he was on his break. He was a FIFO worker and a loving doting father. He worked on the Mines, fully qualified and earning good income. He had 4 cars, house full of furniture, latest phone, plenty of money to enjoy life, and very close to his family and spent much time with them. There was never any abuse whatsoever.

My son now. My son got married 2 years ago, and now has 2 children to his present wife. His current wife has another 2 children from 2 different fathers from previous relationships. (4 children now in one government, 2 bed apartment). The bashing in the head, and the biting on his body started on their honeymoon. He is not allowed to work at all (has to look after the kids), not allowed a mobile phone, she controls his email. She sold everything he ever owned, sold all his cars and controls all the money. She has cut up all of his clothes too many times to mention. He is not allowed to have anything to do with his previous children (they are very disturbed and the eldest has been suicidal), not allowed to see his own family, gets bashed (punched in the head) stabbed with car keys all over his face and body, had a knife held to him and the list goes on. The police have been called on many occasions by her, and then they arrest him and take him away with all his scars, cuts, bleeding etc, TO PROTECT HER! He has been given move on orders, arrested, placed in a paddy wagon and locked up overnight. She has had restraining orders placed on him, then picks him up, while the restraining order is still on. She has called him back to the house, then called the police and said that he is there. She has had him charged with something (not sure what) and has never been injured by him. The court told him that if he even raises his voice to her, she can call them and he will be arrested and incarcerated until his court date. He doesn't call the police, is very scared of being arrested and placed in jail. She has made him grow a beard to hide the scars and a cap to hide the scars on his head. His body is covered. She made him tattoo her name over the name of his daughters name from his previous relationship. He has never harmed anyone in his life and has never had a police record.

Three days ago, it all happened again. Outside of his fathers house (the only person in the world he is allowed to visit) she made him crawl on the ground like a dog towards her, then said roll over like a dog, and then put out his paw (hand) and he said sorry, sorry, sorry! She filmed all of this on her phone. She then hopped in their hire car and almost ran over their 2 year old daughter as she took off in a hurry. My son's father was in the house and saw it through the window. He called the police, and guess what they said..........Sorry Mr .... you know that if we come out, we will arrest your son! His father took photos of his injuries.

This is not the son we know! He has been totally manipulated, controlled, and abused both mentally and physically for the past 2 years.

What do we do? I've taken him to the police about a year ago with bite marks all over his body, they took pictures. I've called the Child Protection Services, and they do nothing apart from check on them and listen to that soft still voice of his wife and believe all that she tells them. He has numerous hospital records of the beatings, stitches (she hit him on the head with a pan) and the list goes on. He does not tell the hospital staff that she did it as he is scared of repercussion. He needs help, but is so manipulated by her that he can't make decisions on his own and is fearful of her.

Nobody is listening and nobody believes us because he is a big built man, and she is a small built woman!

HELP!

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!