fortytwowrites

The world through the eyes of a male domestic abuse victim, but its so much more than that !

Month: December, 2013

My You Tube clip on Human Rights

 

Forty Two talks about Human Rights

 

Small steps do indeed lead to progress. This is not a new concept however the ease of the steps and the level of progress can catch you unawares. This was definitely the case in the chain of events that lead to me producing this clip. These events also show the importance of finding your voice and making it heard on the issues you believe in, as contacts you make while vocalising one form of injustice will bring your voice to the ears of people who can be important contacts in another. I will explain.

You all know my views on Domestic Abuse and the inequalities in services provided, however there is another injustice that is unfolding in Northern Ireland. The erosion of the culture and identity of the Unionist population, most noticeable in the removal of Flags and Emblems and anything that looks “too British” It was through my writing about these issues that I came into contact with the Media Office of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. For there yearly presentation on World Human Rights Day, 10th December they were looking for Protestants/Unionists to give their views on Human Rights. The perception of the Commission was given the marches and permanent Human Rights Camp in Belfast they wanted these voices on there video as it would seem they are underrepresented.

I believed their are others better placed to engage with the Human Rights Commission on this issue and suggested they contact the Progressive Unionist Party, the only political party with clear links to the camp. I also told them that there was a group of people that have even less access to there rights and a smaller voice. Male victims of domestic abuse. I explained my situation and asked if they would like my comments on that. To my surprise they were very interested and I secured a thirty second slot in the video. I was delighted about this as I knew it would put the issue somewhere it was unexpected, which is my primary objective.

Arrangements were made and the video was made. From this I got a invitation to the “launch event” and managed to speak directly to elected Members of the Assembly. I am well aware a five minute conversation is not going to bring major change, but it is a beginning.

I have edited the video and it now forms my first You Tube clip.

My question is, given thirty seconds to change opinions, what would you say ? my clip shows what I came up with. I am not a strong believer in self  but I am quite proud of this clip.

Enjoy 🙂

Forty

Some jokes are just not funny

This picture has been doing the rounds on Facebook and other social media for years.

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I believe they are part of the problem, and making sights/pages remove them and part of the solution. They also need the reason explained in small easy to understand words, like these.

The thing is, a woman’s hands find themselves around a man’s throat very regularly. This would be funny if it was a outlandish statement, like say “I did a shit in the park, lets see how the dog owners like it when they are scraping human shit off the dog’s paws” or some other unlikely event. The fact that people joke about this perpetuates the myth that Women don’t hit. It makes females abusing males seem less serious. I also wonder, what the reaction would be with the word woman was replaced with Man ?
A big thank you to the Facebook page “Shut Up” Cartoon’s, for trivialising female violence, and a bit of advice. There is a difference between stupid and funny, get it right people.

more about the Daily Mail from my friend at SGW Blog

more from the Daily Mail

It would seem Jan Street Porter fails to read the rest of the paper, or communicate with other female colourists…..

Court Sanctioned Domestic Abuse ?

I was flicking through the Daily Mail the other day and this headline/title caught my eye.

 “I cut my ex out of our daughter’s life. Now I’m glad he fought tooth and nail to see her”

 Sally Windsor ends the peace with “If James hadn’t fought me in court, Ruby wouldn’t be the delightful, clever, kind and happy child she is today. I’m just glad I eventually saw through my own resentment and hurt—and put my child first” During the article sally talks about the benefits of her child having contact with her father, and is grateful James has forgiven her for making him fight tooth and nail just to see his child. In all probability Sally believes she has produced something that extolls the merits of allowing a father access to his child and has in some way moved the plight of fathers seeking access to their children forward. However, there is something much deeper held within her words.

Sally’s story goes along the lines of, after a traumatic birth and failing to bond with her daughter, sleepless nights arguments started. So in order to make a better life for the child she failed to bond with she moved out with the child. She cut her ex partner out of her life and made it impossible for the parent that had bonded with his child, she states “I ignored his calls, I refused to answer the door and slandered him to anyone who would listen. I told  everyone he was a awful father; he didn’t give her enough to drink and didn’t change her nappy often enough” she now admits he was not a bad father. Sally says she did this because “Even then I knew it was unfair, but I wanted to punish him, I blamed him for the brake-up of our relationship and what better way to hurt him, I reasoned, than take his daughter away ?

The effects of this were clear for all to see in the family court. Sally recollects “I remember all too well that wretched day in the family court in March 2009 as we sat in front of the Judge, with a solicitor between us. James, whom I’d once loved so dearly looked gray and hollow. I listened with a growing sense of shame as my legal team reeled off the acidic statement I’d made, littered with stupid accusations I’d dramatised to hurt him.

Now, as you read through Sally Windsor’s story, in her own words you will notice a few things. Quite apart from this columnist over using apostrophes this story is not unusual. This is where the words we use to describe events become very important, and you will notice if you look back at where the terms we use came from, you will notice feminists coined most of them. We describe this as a “Custody Battle”, where a marriage is involved we use a even less accurate term, “messy divorce”. This is less accurate because it implies both parties are doing the same thing. Surely had James been making things up this too would have been covered in the article. So, if these terms are not accurate, what is the correct terminology of this normal event ?

I would call it Domestic Abuse continuing past the end of the relationship. Let that sink in for a moment and consider the ramifications. Let me brake this down. The definition of Domestic Abuse includes

 “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behavior”.

It is undoubtable that removing access to a persons child is “controlling” and then, by default, the oft said phrase “I will make sure you do not get access [to our child/children]” also falls into the “threatening” category.

This is where it gets messy ! If we agree this is domestic abuse, and we know domestic abuse is a crime, this raises manny questions. The courts don’t just know this is happening, they are actively involved. This is played out by solicitors in front of judges. At the very least these courts are guilty of one of the “C” words. Connive, consent, condone. We are told to report domestic abuse to the police, who will present a case for the Crown Prosecution Service to take the case in front of a Judge. I question if any judge would ever sit on a bench and say “yes, I was involved in domestic abuse manny times, and indeed I added and abetted the perpetrator”, and then find that person guilty ? What sanction would the judge then place upon themselves ? If ever men wondered why the legal system seemed to be against them in the legal system and divorce this may hold part of the reason why.

Next, if we agree that this is indeed Domestic Abuse, think what percentage of the female population could be found guilty of domestic abuse, and then be on a register, for anyone to check under “Sarah’s Law” where it applies, and across the country if this law gets rolled out ?

What would this do to the figures for Domestic Abuse. If, every case like this, which is easily proven was taken to a trial, would the number of female perpetrators outweigh male perpetrators ? would the support system that is currently accessible to females need to change to reflect the number of victims ? Would this mean the requirement for shelters for men, and there children would be met and childcare provided to allow these men to continue there career ? Or would this cause a different outcome altogether. Imagine just imagine this.

There is no doubt that the inequality in custody rights and divorce law, heavily slanted to favor females changed marriages. If it was recognised that this state of affairs was being used to perpetrate Domestic Abuse and rectified to produce a truly fair system, this would go a long way towards bringing equality back to the marriage. This would remove the Ace card women have now overplayed “Then I want a divorce and you will not get to see the kids”. For a very long time that has won any and every argument. Take that away, and you remove one of the reason men stay in abusive relationships.

My last thought on this is for Sally Windsor, or any other women that have perpetrated this abuse then, eventually managed to let your child have a relationship with their father. You have nothing to feel good about in doing this, nobody should get a pat on the back for stopping abusing their currant or ex partner. You should however, take the next step and admit, at least to your ex partner if not in public, that what you did was indeed, domestic abuse.

Source

Daily Mail, Thursday 26th December 2013. Page 61

Back and Blogging

Hello people, it seems to have been quite a while, however I am now preparing for my new year resolution, which is blog more. To that end, I thought I would post some of the items you mist while I was being a hermit. One of the things I can mark down as progress this year is I am now out of couneiling, and actually doing all right without the support I received during my time with The Mens Advisory Project. I have been busy, and over the next few weeks I will get everything up to date. As 2014 approaches, I have a feeling of hope for next year, that I have not felt for quite some time. The following is my thoughts on the day I left MAP, enjoy.

Today I had my last counselling session with The Mens Advisory Project (MAP). I have mixed emotions about this as doubtless I will miss the support and guidance I have received over the last fourteen months. Yes, that is right, fourteen months, that is how long it has been since my escape. At times it feels like yesterday I ran from that house with two bin bags of rags, yet in other ways it feels a lifetime, well I am a quite different person now. Not the finished article but definitely a improvement. 
To demonstrate the change I will go back to my first session. When asked what I wanted to get from the sessions I said “a clear understanding of what had happened to me, and was I abused” This question seems absurd, however back then it was a real question. The counselor simply asked me to recount how I had been treated. My list was along the lines of, Hit, kicked, bite, screamed at, had hot and cold liquids thrown at me, deprived of sleep, left in a house for days with no money and little food, thrown off stepladders, insulted, had my family insulted, had little access to my own money, made to live in debt, had my time off work organized for me, given impossible tasks such as set up a stereo in one room (ten feet from the nearest socket), speakers in another room and there be no visible cables. There are other items, but that is enough to give a idea. Even while I recounted this I was unsure if I actually was a victim of domestic abuse. If anyone reading this finds that strange, there is a logical reason. If something happened yesterday, and again today, and doubtless will happen tomorrow, it becomes “normal” for the person suffering it. That person begins to believe the reasons for the abuse. You failed to make the bed properly, so I screamed, you did not tidy the shed so I threw the untidy drill at you, you caused the problem. I had been suffering this form of “normal” for 25 Years, and therefore took some convincing. So we discussed the definition of Domestic Abuse. 
The British Government defines Domestic abuse as

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
psychological
physical
sexual
financial
emotional

I concluded that my experiences fell within that range, in all five categories. This was a turning point, because before a person can say “no more, I am not going to accept this any longer” they must first come to terms with the fact something is very wrong. This new understanding on its own could have caused more problems than it solved. Presented with these facts returning to my abuser and trying to “fix” the relationship was no longer a option. However, not returning involved telling her that I was not coming back. It involved telling my family I was not going back, and something of the reasons why. It involved “asking” for our house to be sold and “asking” for some of the profit. It involved all these and a million other things, when my emotional state meant simply washing my face and putting on clean clothes in the morning was a struggle. How would I manage ?

However this new understanding did not come on its own. It came with a open ended offer of counseling, support and guidance. It came with the offer of help from people who had helped people in a worse position than me through the process. It came with assistance from people who said “you can do this, and we will show you how” and that is a totally different proposition. During World War Two 36 men escaped from Colditz Castle and made it back to “home soil” however none would have made it without the assistance of a “Escape Committee” inside the castle and the “Resistance” on the outside. I count myself as extremely fortunate to have MAP as my “Escape Committee” guiding me through those difficult days and handing me over to the “resistance” all the wonderful people I have met both on line and in the “real world” since my escape. I may be the one with the keyboard, but my typing is dependent on “standing on the shoulders of giants”. Not least the nameless very few that knew me before and after. I digress ha ha. 
Anyway, I left those early meetings hopeful of making it through the next few days, and I leave MAP confident I can make it through the next few years, and grow. I have a offer to come back as a client if I crash and burn, however I intend to return in five years (the minimum allowed !) as a volunteer. The wheel is turning, hopefully in the next few weeks I will post positive news on the “sell the house front” followed by the “get a sirocco” front and the whole “all new, improved, Forty Two” front. I am indeed moving Onward.

White Knights and Acolytes

White Knights and Acolytes.