fortytwowrites

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

Month: January, 2014

The acceptable face of domestic abuse

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I bought the Belfast Telegraph this morning, not something I normally do however there was a story I was interested in. Yesterday two people were in court charged with attempted grievous bodily harm. The charge related to a incident where the pair arrived at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, Northern Ireland in a drunken state. They proceeded to the Intensive Care Unit where they attacked a patient. They punched and slapped the patient and attempted to pull out the life saving drips that were being used to treat the patient. Nursing staff lay across the patients head to protect them with there body. Doctors eventually managed to get the perpetrators out of the room, however in a bizarre twist they were left to roam the Hospital and regained  and continued the attack. Again Doctors attempted to intervene however one of them got back into the Intensive Care Unit and was seen trying to pull the semi conscious patient out of the bed.

Having read this story you would probably expect wide coverage. You would expect background on those involved, and the incident in general. You may even question the charge of Attempted grievous bodily harm, as this sounded like successful grievous bodily harm to me. You may query, as the judge did would this not concontatute attempted murder. Even on a busy news day when a female member of the Irish Republican Army admitted being involved in the Murder of two Solders yet walked free from court and a previously convicted Irish Republican Army member who became a elected politician received a stern talking to for obstructing Police by clinging onto a Land rover and inviting others to do likewise (a offense that Protestants receive 3 months jail for) one would still expect substantial coverage of this story.

So, how was the story covered, how manny words did the Belfast Telegraph print about this ? NOT ONE WORD. There is only one plausible reason for this. The victim was unimportant. The reason this is not splashed all over the news is because the victim was a MAN and the perpetrator was his PARTNER and his SISTER. I ask how this story can be ignored. I as why in the “on line” reports not once are the words DOMESTIC ABUSE used. This is a person being attacked by their partner is it not. I ask why the organization that are now “imbedded” in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, as the voice for victims, Woman’s Aid are not making sure this story is being covered properly and using this act of attempted murder to highlight the issues and show exactly how dangerous staying in a abusive relationship is. I found none of that, I did however find the picture above. I will state clearly, while women hitting men is still treated as a joke, and incidents like attempted murder in a hospital are not properly covered, this will continue.

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Deja Vu

 As I begin 2014 and assess my goals for this year, selling my house, gaining financial stability, changing my car and gaining independent living are top of the list. All of these items are interlinked and dependent upon selling the house I pay a mortgage for and my Ex Abuser lives in. The other thing they have in common is they are the exact set of goals I started 2013 with. This would indicate I have made little progress in the past year however things are never as simple as they seem. When weighing up the progress, or lack there of I must consider the relevant factors. I am not responsible for the housing market, and that has played its part in the charade. The obstacles regarding overpricing and misrepresenting the house have been dealt with and had it not been for the Estate Agent failing to get some basics in paperwork or communication right, the house would be sold by now. I am now in a position where the house is agreed for sale (yet again) and the Estate Agent is working hard as he has found my constant phone calls are better when he has progress to report. Touch wood, it is actually going to sell this time. 

 

Simply saying “same shit different year” would however, not be a accurate reflection on last years events and this years goals. It would also mean repeating the court case that I attended due to my Ex Abuser canceling my car insurance without my knowledge. It would also omit some very noteworthy events, things that I would not have put on my list of goals in January 2013 as I would not have dared to dream those successes. In the last quarter of the year a torrent of events seemed to slot into place, as did the smile on my face and some personal pride as I look back. I came out of conselling, which in its self was a large step. I then took another step towards society when I attended my first open mic night. I stuttered and stumbled through a few poems and learnt a valuable lesson. Practice is essential ! I returned to Pure Poetry for the December open mic and did somewhat better, reciting four poems with not a piece of paper in sight. That is a giant leap of process. However, what I learnt in the November event was to pay a much more significant dividend. I somehow found myself involved with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and secured a 30 second slot on there Video for Human Rights Day. It was the experience of stuttering through poems a few weeks before that caused me to turn up for the video shoot prepared and I believe I made as big a impact as was possible in the time frame and am delighted to have put the issues of Male Victims of Domestic Abuse and adequate provision of services into a area people are not expecting it. 

 

I can only conclude the year was indeed a success, I fully expect the goals from house sale to independent living will happen this year. What is unknown is what I can add to this. One thing I have come to realise is that in order to achieve anything more than independent living is going to require effort, on a scale above the level of this year. I have a few things I would like to achieve, some travel ranking high on the list. The others I will keep locked up in my head, not for fear of failure, for a better reason. I could not have guessed the Human Rights Video last year, and plans have a way of locking you into a course of action to the point you may miss a target of opportunity. Therefore I am sticking with the improbability drive, it seems to be working well so far. 

 

I look forward to sharing 2014 with you all, I have a feeling it is going to be a good year. I wish you all health, happiness and progress for the year ahead. Good luck ! 

 

My final tip for the year is work hard for what you want to achieve, you can do it. if at any time you feel like giving up, just remember how manny arseholes you have to prove wrong. That always works for me. 

 

Regards

Forty Two