fortytwowrites

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

Month: June, 2014

Meeting the First Minister of Northern Ireland

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It is strange what comes into your mind and when. I was sitting in a waiting room for a important meeting, I was attempting to gather my thoughts about what I would say and what was returning to my thoughts was being met at the back door of my old house and being greeted with a “sniff test”.

This was a process where I was made to stand still while my ex sniffed my hands, face and clothing of incriminating scents. Things like tobacco smoke, food scents like hamburgers, chewing gum was also taboo due to its masking agents. Obviously perfume was a major problem, as was aftershave for the same reason as chewing gum. I remember standing perfectly still, opening my mouth on demand whale this deranged human blood hound sniffed me. The last time that happened was under two years ago.

Then my name was called and I was shaking hands with Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson. The reason ? to discuss the lack of provision of services for people that are so controlled being searched and sniffed on arrival home from work seems reasonable. That is a major turn around in anybody’s book, a personal journey I could not have made without the help and support I have received and I thank every one of you.

I began by explaining briefly how I had come from being hit on my wedding day to sitting in a chair opposite the First Minister. I explained the reasons that held men in abusive relationships. The unfair family court system that meant not only do men have to leave their children with a abusive person but can be cut out of there child’s life on the whim of their abuser. The absence of shelters meaning homelessness is a reality for men leaving. Peter for his part was unaware that there was a total absence of shelters for men and services amounted to counseling provided by the Mens Advisory Project. However why would he know this ? shelters and services for men are something you only look for if you need one. I stated that divorce law is set up for two reasonable people to work out how they both move forward, but if someone has been unreasonable during a marriage, why would the suddenly become reasonable during divorce.

Peter said he believed Female Abuse of Males would be under reported, I explained one of the reasons was the tendency of Police Services to see a incident and automatically believe the woman had been attacked. Couple that with a absence of services and people stay quiet, or increasingly find escape at the end of a rope.

I found Peter to be very receptive and interested in the issues. He has given me a undertaking he will look at the Domestic Abuse Consultation Document, he agrees shelters and services are required. Peter has also agreed to help with another matter that needs to remain confidential for the time being, I will ring you this news when the time is right.

To conclude, we at Men’s Rights Northern Ireland believe this was a very positive meeting. One in which the issues and challenges facing men today were taken very seriously. We have created awareness at the highest levels of Government in Northern Ireland. We look forward to seeing the positive results this will produce and we have also made progress toward our next objective. All in all, a very good day for Men in Northern Ireland.

Self Defence is No Defence

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 19.49.08When we think about our basic rights, the right to life, the right to liberty, the right shelter, we must understand these rights stand upon the fundamental right that, if attacked you have the right to defend yourself. Without this basic right, you life can be taken without a struggle, your shelter can be invaded and you can be be forced out. Your food can be removed. Simply stated, without your right to defend yourself, you live at the mercy of others. This is recognised in legislation imbedded within our legal framework.

Article 1 of the Human Rights Act provides that : every person has the right to the peaceful enjoyment of your property. Article 2 Provides your right to life and states you may act in defence of any person from unlawful violence. 

This would provide basic protection for any person taking measures to defend themselves within their home. However there will be more safeguards placed around you depending on where you live. In the United Kingdom Self-defence is available as a defence to crimes committed by use of force.

The basic principles of self-defence are set out in (Palmer v R, [1971] AC 814); approved in R v McInnes, 55 Cr App R 551. The common law approach as expressed in Palmer v R is also relevant to the application of section 3 Criminal Law Act 1967:

“A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large.”

In Australia The general rule regarding self-defence is that a person is allowed to take any defensive or evasive steps that they believe to be necessary. Unlike other areas of law, self-defence isn’t reliant on a specific formulaic approach, but rather, is dependent on the facts of the matter, with the question left for the courts and a jury to decide. The right of self-defense (according to U.S. law) (also called, when it applies to the defense of another, alter ego defense, defense of others, defense of a third person) is the right for civilians acting on their own behalf to engage in violence for the sake of defending one’s own life or the lives of others, including the use of deadly force.

In Northern Ireland they do things a little differently, painted on the side of a building in the Newtonards Road is a quote from Lord Carson. “we seek nothing more than the elementery right implanted in every man. The right if you are attacked, to defend yourself”

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It would seem to be a straight forward, cut and dried issue. If someone attacks you, and you use reasonable force to defend yourself and restrain your attacker, you will be acting legally and not be found guilty of any offense. Note there is nothing in any of these laws that state gender, there is nothing in these laws that state circumstances. There is no appendix stating “unless she is your wife/ partner” however it would seem police departments and courts around the globe are acting as if this get out claus existed.

The Case I am going to describe is real, and is just one example, there are thousands like it world wide. This is what happened when one man decided he would not be a punch bag. 

There is no good way to respond to your wife attacking you. Over 25 years I tried manny tacticts and none produced results that were good for me. Curling into a ball and protecting your face results in whatever items are available being thrown at you, including hot and cold liquids. Protecting your head/face means you don’t see it coming. Holding your hands behind your back is a insane response, in real life they do not punch themselves out quickly and realise they are wrong. Punching walls produces evidence you are violent. Running away is not always a option and they have a knack of being between the door and you. Grabbing flailing arms and pinning down until things calm down is the best option for the victim, and the method chosen by this person. Given all the legislation about self defense it should also have zero consequences provided she admits attacking you, as the woman in this case did. Here is what happened next.

The attacker called a ambulance, the fact she had no injury makes this a strange decision on its own but it was probably motivated not by the need for medical assistance. It is a well known fact abusive people like to remove themselves from any blame that can be attached to there actions. Therefore calling the police after attacking their partner is not the first choice action. It is much easier to call for a ambulance or visit a Accident and Emergency room, safe in the knowledge they will speak to her alone and ask “did he do this”. For those of you that were not in the know, that is the reason a man is asked to leave when his partner is being treated. The fact this question is not asked i reverse is the reason she is not asked to leave while he is getting treated. At this point the police will be informed. They will then arrest her innocent partner and she can say “the hospital called the police”. In this case a call for a ambulance delivered a police car only. This alone shows how serious any injury was.

The man was then arrested. Spent 2 hrs in a cell and received Domestic Violence Order, for self defense. This seems bizarre, and you would be forgiven for thinking she must have misrepresented her case. The fact is she admitted attacking him, she stated his reaction was to pin her down. No claims of punching, kicking, over reacting, and admitted she attacked him.

Then it gets better. The police, the health professionals, doctors and mental health team, her friends all give her the same advice. Get out, he is dangerous. Somehow the bit abut her attacking him was removed from their thinking. The only part the authorities wanted to deal with was his reaction. The implications of this are far reaching, for all parties. The miscarriage of justice upon her victim is just the beginning. He now has a unwarranted blemish upon his record. Say she stays with him, without some form of treatment or even recognition that what she did was wrong it is entirely predictable there will be repeat offenses. He will suffer harm and be subject to ever increasing punishment under the law.

Say she takes the advice, gets out, moves on and finds a new victim. This will be repeated. There is a chance the new victim may not defend himself at all. He would then face ever increasing levels of violence, and due to the absence of any criminal record both he and the system would be unaware she was habitually abusive. One should question how many previous convictions she should have had, and what effect that would have had on her ability to ruin more lives. Prosecuting innocent people has a cost attached. Both to the person involved and to the state. When eventually she either gets someone put in jail or worse still, gets away with murder, will those involved now and in the past recognise the part they played ?

The biggest question of all however is why did the police not advise her she committed assault. Why did they say “get out, he is dangerous” and not “thats assault, he defended himself, be glad he did so in a controlled fashion” Why did the doctors not ask why she attacked. Why did the mental health professionals not ask about her anger issues. Why did they not warn her self defense is a rational response to being attacked. Why did her friends not say “hitting him is not a good idea, you want to have a look at yourself”.

A big part of the answer can be found in Australia’s Domestic Abuse Policy. It states

Domestic violence refers to acts of violence that occur between people who have, or have had, an intimate relationship in domestic settings.This  These acts include physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse.

All gender neutral, a good definition, however it goes on to say about those at risk

At risk groups

Younger women
Indigenous women
Women living in rural and remote areas
Women with disability
Women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

The reason the at risk groups are all female is the reliance on The National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and Children. The clue is in the name. If women are the victims they can not be the perpetrators. If you use models that teach your medical and law enforcement professionals to look for female victims and male perpetrators, you should not be surprised when that is what they find. This government policy is, and will continue to ruin lives until some real equality kicks in, and actions, not gender dictates who is pursued through the court system.

At some stage we, as a society need to recognise that men have a fundamental right to defend themselves, even if their attacker is a woman. 

 

Source; http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/self_defence/

http://www.findlaw.com.au/articles/5022/self-defence-law-in-australia.aspx

http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Right_of_self-defense.html

http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2011-2012/DVAustralia

 

 

Why Forty Two

why forty two pic

So, eventually you get to see my face. This picture was taken at a poetry slam event. I think I will change the colour scheme, then again, perhaps not…..

It’s Not about the Money

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Writing about other people’s Blogs is not really my thing. Yes, i will leave comments and read but I have never sat down to write a reply. I have no intention of doing that now but it is relevant to state I read a “article” that was madder than a bucket of monkeys the other day and I intend bringing some rational thought to the subject matter. I will not rip the thing apart into little peaces and correct every erroneous “fact” so if I have not challenged a portion it is not because I think it is correct, merely that there is enough rubbish in this “thing” to provide about 6 blog pieces for the necessary corrections. Why am I bothering at all ? it brought up some issues that should be addressed. It was titled

FeMRA’s cashing in on the Detroit Conference Gravy Train 

It was concocted by Diana Boston AKA “Feminist of Doom” and peanut butter apparently.  

Peanut Butter ? this should be your first “Trigger Warning” for Deja Moo, when you know you have heard this type of bullshit before. Anyway, a quick bit of background. A Voice For Men are hosting the first ever International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit. The very fact that people will be getting up on a stage and talking about things like Domestic Abuse from a perspective that is not Male Abuser Female victim, Male suicide rates, Male homelessness from a perspective that is not blaming the victims was enough for some Feminists to phone in Death Threats. The threats included direct action and protests by people inside the hotel disguised as guests. These threats were not limited to the organisers, or even the speakers. These went on to include those attending the event. One would think it would stop there however it continued on to include those working in the hotel. This extending of the list of Legitimate Targets to include people who work for a company that provides a service to the “enemy” is actually not a new concept. It is common practice for Terrorist Organasations such as The Irish Republican Army, who used this to ligitimise the murder Milk Men and builders.

Legitimate Targets

A term that was initially used by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) to indicate those groups, organisations, etc, that could be attacked, and members killed, as part of the IRA’s ‘armed campaign’. The list of ‘legitimate targets’ included not only members of the British security forces (British Army, Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), RUC, etc.) but also civilians who worked for the security forces.

Source http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/victims/background/glossary.html

The hotel having a duty of care to its guests and employees demanded A Voice For Men pay for Policing Costs and provide insurance for the event to the value of 2 million dollars. The cost of this was 25 thousand dollars. AVFM opened a fundraiser, they had little choice. The fundraiser was open to feminists outraged by the threat of violence in there name for 24 hrs. This was done so they at least had a opportunity to show in a meaningful way that they felt this action was wrong. I believe three, yes three people donated $ 25. Truly, thank you those three people. In the next 24 hrs the necessary £24,025 were raised.

 

Three Honey Badgers (Female Men’s Rights Advocates) had also decided to set up a table in the hotel reception. There aim was to attempt to defuse any situation that may arise and also show any visiting media journalists that the perception that the Mens Rights Movement was purely white middle class men was in fact untrue. These ladies also intend to stand between any protesters and the male attendees in order to show any aggression was brought not by violent men, but by violent women. Due to the escalating threat it was decided the original three, Alison Tieman, Hannah Wallen and Karen Straung would be joined by Kristal Garcia, Rachel Edwards and Jess Kay. Honey Badger radio set up a fundraiser to get the three ladies there. The cost would be around $ 5,000. This was again reached in a day.

 

This is the gravy train Diana Boston claims the honey badgers are riding.

 

Being a working class man from Belfast Northern Ireland I am not to familiar with conference etiquette. However I can make some educated guesses. It is safe to assume that if a person is attending because they, for example work for the government or a large body involved with that conference they would be in fact classed as working. If they were on a salaried income they would be getting paid. If they were on hourly pay there would be a agreed payment for attending. Their air fair and accommodation would be provided. I doubt there is anyone that goes to a conference in a official capacity and finds themselves out of pocket. I would also hazard a guess that some people who are “front and center” of a conference command a Hefty fee. That is without the very real possibility of coming face to face with a baying mob. So would anyone really expect these ladies to pay their own way at short notice ? Certainly no one within this movement would. This is a legitimate expense and also a way those who want to feel part of this event can do for $ 5.

 

I would also state that people involved with the Mens Rights Movement do not tent to be affluent. We, by in large belong to a class of people that by necessity plan travel in advance and save up for it. We therefore realise the very real problem faced by the three badgers and were only too happy to donate the small amount of free cash we had to get these people to the conference. This was a one shot time where our collective $ 10 or $ 20 could make a real difference. Not only that but you got free stuff for “donating” its like buying a concert t shirt when you could not get to the concert. Yes, there was the mad 20K bid for dinner with Raven Moon Dragon (the Feminist alter ego of Alison Tieman) but nobody believed that was genuine for a second. So I ask where else was the money going to come from ?

 

Not from the Government, thats for sure.  Perhaps if you worked in or ran a Domestic Violence Shelter, you could divert funds and send a “delegate” to a “Conference”.  Perhaps if you worked as a teacher in “gender studies” you could find a reason the Government or collage should fund it. If you were part of a over funded movement there are hundreds of ways to get those ladies there for free. However the only reason there is a Men’s Rights Movement at all is because people knew it was needed and gave there time, there abilities, all they had to make it happen. They do it not for the money, power or fame. They do it because its what they believe to be right.

 

The plus side to this is, people can speak there mind without the fear of loosing the Government funding.

 

However, in this underfunded movement there actually is a fund, sitting doing nothing. In fact Honey Badger Radio contributed $1,000 to it. As did AVFM, as did CAFE. The thing that strikes me is this. Currently there is a $4,000 reward fund sitting waiting for anyone with information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone involve in the “attack”  on Queens University Student Danielle D’Entremont.  She claims to have been attacked because of her Feminist Ideology. She claims to have been attacked by one of us, a Men’s Rights Activist. There have been repeated calls for a feminist organasation, any feminist organasation to put money into a pot to secure justice for Danielle. There has been silence about this initiative.  This fund has been dormant for months as neither her, or the university has been willing to actually engage with the police to secure a conviction. Now if you were to raid that fund, redistribute the $ 500 Alison Teiman donated to the original appeal due to insurance and policing costs you are almost there. You would now be talking about each badger raising $ 83.

 

So, if this is all about the money and the freebees why is this not the chosen plan. Its simple, the Men’s Rights Movement is not about the money. Its not about the power or fame. Its about doing what is right, whatever the personal consequences.

Source

http://mancheeze.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/femras-cashing-in-on-detroit-conference/

http://www.avoiceformen.com/allnews/avfms-camaign-for-free-speech-reaches-25k-goal-in-under-24-hours/