The End

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The End

The End

For an end to have an existence it must be the conclusion of something. The end of the day must have had a morning, and a death must have had a birth. Even the greatest oak trees started from a small acorn. But if I am to discuss the end of my story we must be aware of where it started. At the beginning of my first book (Silent Story) I made the unassuming comment that when I woke on that one Sunday morning, little did I know the night before that the world of which I once recognised would no longer exist by lunch time the following day.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The End

History Paths

Both the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that history was on a linier path and not circular. To put this simply, day to day experiences were independent of each other and they were of no consequence to what had happened before. By todays standards we are fully aware that events are indeed a consequence of events and actions that had happened before hand. If we think about the terrorist attacks that happened on 11th September 2001 they were not just an idea plucked out of thin air. There was a history attached to the ideology behind it all. The attacks took planning and logistics. These events were nearly identical to the 1605 terrorist plans associated with the gun powder plot to blow up the king and Parliament. Both plans were based on a religious, philosophical and the need to spread fear in the name of terror. Although the topic is not about terrorism both events shook the world so much that promises were made to learn and react and yet, the same events unfolded with 400 years apart.

Words

The journey associated with history is littered with events that are either not new or indeed repeated. Time after time I have witnessed great speakers talk about the events before, during and after the Jewish holocaust in the 20th century. And yet, each time these people speak they talk about learning from the past and avoiding the horrors that had happened before. However, in our own lifetimes we have seen ethnic cleansing, mass genocide and victimisations of minority groups repeated time after time all within the space of a few years. Therefore, you can argue that it is okay to study history but why bother if nothing has been learnt or heeded from these events. Therefore, it could be argued that the study of history is nothing more than a high brow soap opera with the obligatory bad character battling the good – and there are countless examples throughout time to give here.

Journey

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The End

When I reflect upon my journey following my abuse and life time struggles with depression it becomes clear that the peaks and troths, the bends and dips were and all part of the recovery. Yet like the impatient child seated in the back of the car it is inevitable that I will ask “are we there yet?” By giving the seated child analogy it is not the journey they dislike it is the arrival at the destination they are impatiently seeking.

Throughout my time struggling to get answers and seeking explanations, I have peered through the windows to discover cover-ups, uncomfortable apologies backed up with nothing more than formally typed letters, stereotypical conclusions, narrow minded protocols, systematic failures and ignorance by public bodies. I have discovered that the journey has not been pleasant but highly educational. The journey has shown me that although there are a lot of errors and faults in supporting male victims of domestic abuse and support for people with depression there is no impetus or encouragement to change. The David and Goliath struggles are far too big to tackle when those holding the cards are so deeply infused with narrow minded ignorance that change appears almost impossible.

Fear the truth

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The End

Over several months I have read and watched both recent and historical events of minorities who have suffered at the hands of the authorities. I have concluded by finding two facts. Firstly, as quoted by Socrates, “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers” and secondly, People start to ridicule because they fear the truth. In both cases the fight to expose the truth is over shadowed by the fight to maintain your dignity in the face of hostility. In so many cases it has been the case that the bringer of facts has had to fight organisations such as the police, both criminal and family law courts, social services and so on. In every case I have attempted to raise the truth I have been stopped by convenient red tape, systematic protocols, and institutional ignorance that suits the blinkered stand-point of which they wish to operate by.

A lack of interest

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The End

Having now reached the end of the journey the car park looks very dull indeed. The dystopian future is filled with dread for our sons (and in part, daughters). In the twenty-first century we still lack the medical support for depression and above all the lack of interest or concern for male victims of domestic abuse. I have found that the future seems utterly disinterested in offering equal support for men who live with the daily horrors of a violent partner (whether heterosexual or not) or the rising numbers of men taking their own lives. There appears to be a complete lack of interest when men are discharged from hospitals following assaults to ensure they have a safe place to go home to. There is an utter lack of interest from the police who attend male victims who call out for help following the utter embarrassment to admit that they are victims. Social services and family law courts still and will forever favour the mothers over good and caring fathers.

A dystopian future

The real pain rests with the fact that no matter how hard a few voices have shouted out that enough is enough, absolutely nothing has changed in my life time. We can only conclude by stating that male lives just do not matter. Men are replaceable, expendable and unequal in the eyes of the law and in the role of a husband, father, brother or son. And this is where my argument holds so much importance because every wife, mother, sister or daughter has a male counterpart of which feels the same pains as them. It will be hard to bring up our sons telling them not to bother being in a relationship because the breakdown can and would destroy their lives. Or tell our fathers that they might as well put that rope around their necks because nothing will be done should you choose otherwise. This, as stated, is the dystopian future and my journey to this point has shown no impetus or need for change.

The end

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The End

However, I suppose that by concluding my work I have discovered that there are so many other men out there that have experienced what I have. It has brought me great comfort to know that by telling my story I have been able to be open and frank about my experiences. I am certainly wiser about the system and how it does not practice what it preaches. At the time of writing this I am still awaiting support from a police domestic abuse support officer two years after raising my concerns.

I suppose I can now see that I am stronger than I originally gave myself credit for. I have learnt that to survive the nightmare conditions I had found myself in, recovery must and does start from within. I have found that people who suffer with depression are often the kindest and (ironically) the happiest people you could know. Furthermore, having a dependency on an agency doing the right thing is a fallacy. But here lies the irony, by accepting these newly found facts and adjusting my stance to how society should respond I am now in such a better place. My happiness is genuine and my knowledge is stronger. So I suppose by concluding my work I would like to finish with two quotes from my favourite (and often misunderstood) philosopher, Friedrich Nietzche (1844 – 1900)

Insanity in individuals is rare – but in groups, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

And finally

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

 

Fatherhood

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

Whilst I recall my younger years I can remember always wanting to be a father. Admittedly, life didn’t always go to plan and I had found myself over time being a young father, an old father, an adopted father and a step father at various points in my life. Like most parents, I could say that although these roles had been rewarding they had also been difficult and often demanding.

Common thread

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

When I set out to write about fatherhood it took a great deal of time and consideration to identify a common thread. Like mother’s there are fathers of whom are; natural, adopted, step, young, old, disabled, fit and so on. However, I have heard it said a number of times that fathers are a biological necessity, but a social accident. This train of thought was certainly present during the 20th century and most evident during the 21st. Unfortunately, this idea of fatherhood has seeped into our culture and many sections of society have both conformed and adopted this stance.

C. Passingham (Lone Fathers – One Parent Families. Pg 35 – 1975) described how important paid employment was to a mans self-respect. This was not just based on the fact that fathers could earn more and felt that poverty was as much a threat to children as was ‘inadequate’ parenting. But ‘providing’ during this period was what was expected of men.

Useless and inept?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

During my lifetime it has appeared that fathers have been portrayed as being uninvolved with the daily routines of childcare. It has been implied that the father was useless with the changing of nappies or hopeless at warming a bottle in readiness for a feed. This has re-enforced the idea that child rearing has, and always was, a female role. The mans role, as a result was to provide material and moral support to the mother and to be the breadwinner. Therefore, as being an inactive participant in the rearing of the children the father did indeed become the social accident. My own experiences of my fathers’ was varied and mixed. My adopted father was kind and loving but I don’t recall him dressing me or collecting me from school. In fact, he rarely cooked a meal but he had a positive effect on me – he was a good father. Whereas, my natural father was able to play a role that soon fizzled out when his true character emerged (I found him when I was 40) and as a father he was utterly useless – he was not there from the outset and failed to make any positive efforts when I found him.

Stereotype

I strongly doubt that this stereotypical view of fatherhood ever actually existed. Many historians (namely; Stearns, “Fatherhood in Historical Perspective: The Role of Social Change” and R.D. Parke, “ Fatherhood and Families in Cultural Context) have both argued that this portrait of the uninvolved father is, at best, oversimplified and at worst utterly wrong. I am both sure and confident when I say that there has never been, and is not, one single type of father. Indeed, I accept that there are some fathers (like some mothers) who wish to remain uninvolved. But equally there have been fathers who have played an active and positive role in childrearing. It is also now accepted that some fathers do it alone. Like myself I raised my two sons alone for many years. I know I was seen, at the time, as the exception and not the norm. As a result access to resources and support for lone fathers during that period (1990s) was both difficult and limited. The joy of watching my children grow up was immeasurable but it was difficult when trying to integrate in a woman only monopoly of parenthood. I recall being once asked to leave a ‘mother and toddler’ group, because, as it said, it was for mothers. Although I am now aware that times have changed there is still an artificial atmosphere of questioning a fathers ability to raise his children.

Economic reasons

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

By todays standards, either due to economic necessity or for personal fulfilment many mothers are now opting to work. And it isn’t just for part-time, low level income roles. Many mothers are successfully taking on professional full time positions. As a result, it has also become far more evident that many fathers are also taking on more and more responsibilities for early infant and child care duties. In fact I consider that for some people it is essential to have two wage earners to maintain a certain standard of lifestyle once children arrive.

Today, the idea of the nuclear family has lost its meaning. More and more people are moving away from their home towns and setting up new homes miles away from other family members. As a result, the historical duties of grandmothers, aunts and so on who very often took on the caring role, are becoming more diluted and gradually unrecognisable. The roles of these women have changed and there is no longer an assumption that they will be ‘there’ when you need them. People are working well into their retirement and so as a result more and more is expected from fathers and (even) grandfathers. It is not, in my opinion that fathers have been forced to do the parenting against their will, it is just that there is now more of an opportunity of which fathers are willing to grasp.

Other factors

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

Parenting is not performed in isolation. It is intimately linked with all other aspects of everyday life. The social, economic, cultural and religious backgrounds often prevail in relation to family structures. Issues such as housing, poverty, health and employment play in conditioning a parents’ ability to nurture. Clearly these factors are equally true for both mothers and fathers and so require an even and equal response regardless of gender. But a parents’ love is unconditional, yet many fathers have to live with the threat of not seeing their children on the whim of the mother. This is re-enforced and promoted by a set of outdated and wrong research findings that have infiltrated and tainted the role and importance of the father.

An active role (model)

The concept of fatherhood within my lifetime has seen a root and branch reform. During the 1970s any ideology associated with fatherhood was often connected to them either being a shadowy figure or a hapless no hoper who was ridiculed and seen as a comical figure amongst the ‘carry-on’ generation. But the new generation are (rightly) encouraged to be present at childbirth classes with his partner, attend the delivery and take responsibility for the care and feeding of the growing child on equal measure to the mother. Indeed, no longer is a father to be considered as a social accident but as a positive and active role model.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

However, and this really makes my blood boil, once the relationship is over between the parents the father is instantly labelled as useless, unhelpful, inept and incapable of doing what a ‘mother can do’. This is certainly the case when a new ‘father-figure’ steps into the family home to replace the natural father, who until that point more than likely, had a more active role – often dictated by the mother of whom the children automatically live with. Indeed, it is important to readdress and correct earlier myths about fatherhood and it must now be recognised that fathers really are having an active involvement with their children. Not through expectation but because we want to. It is impossible to conceivably argue that a father is good one moment and not the next based on a falling out with the mother.

Evolution not revolution

With modern developments and changing roles of mothers it may be worth considering the fact that the ‘new’ father is a product of evolution as apposed to revolution. The role of a father needs to be reassessed in the face of outdated and often incompatible social expectations. However, despite the slow rate of change and acceptance it is now clear that fathers can and do play an important role in the development of their children.

It appears that psychological research has often ignored the role of fathers. One argument for this was that the social theories of parenting roles at the time had deeply penetrated the theories attached to parenthood. Theories can just be seen as the way the world works. But theories constrain the idea of concepts and notions. As a consequence early researchers had not just forgotten about fathers, they were completely ignored because they were considered to be less important than mothers. And so, the dominant (and wrong) theories were left to develop and fester unchallenged or addressed for decades.  The two main protagonists within this field was Sigmund Freud (6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) and John Bowlby (26 February 1907 – 2 September 1990).

An utterley flawed theory

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

Both Freud and Bowlby may have differed in their approach and views on fatherhood but they both came to the same conclusion – mothers were the most important figures during infancy. In Bowlby’s paper entitled ‘The Nature of the Child’s Ties to his Mother’, he argued that maternal deprivation led to infants and children failing to adequately develop. Unfortunately, this view was also sanctioned by other theorists such as Rene Spitz and Margaret Ribble in ‘The Rights of Infants ‘- 1943. Bowlby’s later works pushed this concept further when he discussed attachment theories, which stated that infants come to prefer specific adults, namely the mother. His thoughts and considerations were based on the idea that a mother is biologically equipped to respond to an infant’s needs. As a result, Bowlby left the fathers out of the essential equation when it came to child rearing. Fathers, therefore, were seen as secondary and only required as a provider of the mothers needs.

In fact, Bawlby and his research in my opinion, were and are deeply flawed and as a result threw a spanner in the fatherhood works (so to speak). The paper was certainly used for political purposes to claim any separation from the mother was harmful. It was also intended to discourage women from working and leaving their children in day-care. The government at the time, were concerned about maximising employment for returned and returning servicemen after the Second World War. In 1962 The World Health Organisation (WHO) published ‘Deprivation of Maternal Care: A Reassessment of its Effects’ to which Mary Ainsworth, Bowlby’s close colleague, contributed with his approval, to present the recent research and developments and to address misapprehensions. This publication also attempted to address the previous lack of evidence on the effects of paternal deprivation.

This narrow (and in my opinion, wrong) view of parenting came to dominate Western cultures. However, a small group of cultures divide the role of child rearing equally. For example, the Trobrianders of Melanesia and the Aka Pygmies of Africa (to name just two examples) have adopted this equal sharing role.  As a result, it would be fair to argue that the biological argument of parenting does not stand up to scrutiny. Animal studies have also shown that parenting is not just a female privilege. Marmosets and Tamarin monkeys are well known for playing a very active role of parenting from an early age. This is also seen in other monkey specimens such as Barbary Macaques of Asia and Rhesus monkeys (mainly native to South, Central and Southeast Asia).

A reason to exclude

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

In the space of forty years or so the acceptance of fatherhood has moved from being inept and incapable to one whereby there is no reason to exclude. This is evident when today the father can be in the delivery suite whereas before, they only saw their new born behind a glass screen. This new approach, of course, flies in the still present (and convenient view for some) view that men are aggressors and violent and the mother is always soft and caring. Men, or to be specific, fathers, are not dangerous and incapable of rearing a child. In fact, the historical exclusion ensured that fathers were kept at an unjustifiable distance to feed a flawed research paper.

In 1982 J.H. Pleck in Husbands and Wives: Paid Work, Family Work and Adjustment, carried out research based on mothers attitudes to fathers. Interestingly it discovered that mothers did not want their husbands to be more involved with their children than they were. At the same time of this publication it was suggested that about 40% of fathers indicated that they would have liked to spend more time with their children than they were currently able to do so. Indeed, it has been suggested by social theorist such as M.E Lamb in ‘The changing role of fathers’ when he stated that it was the mothers who played a gatekeeping role by either supporting or inhibiting a fathers’ involvement with their children.

Break-ups

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

For me to draw up an accurate number with regards to relationship breakdowns, I can only consider divorce rates. Co-habiting couples, by their very nature are difficult to assess and so as a result the figures of actual relationship breakdowns may be much higher than actually recorded. However, it cannot be denied that divorce rates are increasing. According to C. Sorrentino, ‘The Changing Family in International Perspective’, 1990, the divorce rate in the USA doubled between 1960 and 1986 and half of all marriages today will end in divorce. In the UK the rates of marital break-ups have increased six fold (with 62% of second marriages also failing).  Unfortunately, 60% of US divorces and 75% in the UK involve children. However, the final act of divorce may be the end of a disruptive line of events that not only disrupts the family home but can also have an impact upon the children.

Due to erroneous studies carried out by Bowlby et al, the children tend to be left in the physical care of the mother by default. As a result, many of the researches carried out about the effects on children following a divorce will and have been influenced by the mother. Moreover, as a result, many fathers contact with their children decreases over time. A mother will always be a mother yet an absent father seems to hold the title of ‘father’ by a licence allowed by the mother -ie if he remains in the relationship or if the mother allows access. The pain of not seeing a child is like mourning a death without a body or grave and this pain is often unbearable. It is not simply indifference or lack of interest on the part of fathers that accounts for a diminishing visitation pattern. The custodial parent’s attitude is often a factor. Between 25 and 50% of mother may interfere with or make visitation more difficult. Just as we have seen in ‘stable’ relationships, the mothers are often seen as the gatekeepers in deciding the role of the father. As I have seen in so many cases the mother often decided to move on and sees the biological father as an inconvenience to their new plans. This results in a plan to keep the father at an uncompromised distance.

An exception, not the rule

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

On rare occasions fathers do gain residential custody of their children. This of course is the exception and not the rule and is only granted when the mother is proven to be unfit. The term of the ‘best interest’ of the child is nothing more than lip service and there is a generalisation that the child will always live better with the mother unless proven otherwise. However, I would like you to consider the legal opinion from a New York Judge in the Levine v Levine case (pg45 of the transcript) in the 1970s;

The simple fact of being a mother does not by itself indicate a capacity or willingness to render a quality of care different from that which a father can provide… the best interest of the child doctrine [is] out of touch with contemporary thought about child development and male and female stereotypes.

For those fathers who gained custody it is often found that they are both older and come from a more secure financial back ground than their other male counterparts. J. Haskey (One Parent Families and their Dependent Children in Great Britain – 1998) pointed out that lone fathers tend to be older than lone mothers. The peak age for lone mothers sits in the early 30s range whereas lone fathers are found to be in their early 40s. This may be due to a majority of fathers finding themselves to be widowers or divorcees.

Access beyond poverty

The loss of legal aid for family matters is certainly a contributory factor to fathers being excluded from the equal parenting role. In effect state sponsored poverty may in fact be an aspect for paternal alienation. By putting the financial issue aside, the increasing role of the single father flies in the face of the bubbling idiot who has no idea what to do. In fact, many lone fathers are seen as hero like unlike single mothers who are expected to be able to carry out such duties. And this is wrong. Interestingly, a study carried out by Alison Clarke-Stewart and Craig Hayward (Advantages of Father Custody and Contact for the Psychological well-being of School-Age Children – 1994) found that a substantial sample of 187 five to thirteen year old children, 72 in their fathers care and 115 in their mother’s care that the children in paternal care were doing better than those in a maternal home. These said children had higher self-esteem, less anxiety and depression  and fewer ‘difficult’ behaviours. Furthermore, and interestingly, Clarke-Stewart and Hayward found that children did best when they were in paternal care and unexpectedly, the custodial parent was happier.

Home rights and work rights

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Fatherhood

As a father and recent grandfather, I am glad to see that certain things have changed. My son does not experience the discrimination that I faced when taking his son out. However, we are still living in a period of uncertainty when it comes to how much a father is allowed to do. As stated, I raised my children alone for many years and they turned out to be okay even without the easy access of support groups and lack of both physical presence and financial support from their mother (she never paid a penny and the Child Support Agency openly admitted to not being able to chase absent mothers). With the rise of equal equality in the workplace the home cannot and should not be overlooked. It is wrong to claim that a mothers love is more important than a fathers equally as it is to say that a woman cannot do the same work as a man. Both are wrong but the discrimination of fathers still exists and does not seem to want to go away.

Small holes sink big ships

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Small holes sink big ships

I must have been about 14 when I first heard the phrase; small holes sink big ships. I recall it was my great grandmother who said it and instantly I knew that it was a phrase worth remembering.

Sharp in mind

My great grandparents were a funny couple. She was sharp in mind but weak in body, yet he was weak in mind but sharp in body. I would often visit to find that the living room had been repainted, mainly because he had forgotten he had done it two weeks before. And there she would sit covered in paint splashes because she did not have the ability or strength to move prior to his redecorating quest.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Small holes sink big ships

My great grandmother was a wealth of information. She would sometimes recall events such as bombing raids or the sending off of young men to the trenches in France during the first world war. Of course, she was full of hindsight of which was rich with facts and considerations. But she was never boring or one to ‘go on’ about things. She often told me about the corruption of the police during the blackouts and the black marketing they did during the war years. I recall how disappointed she looked when I told her that I had considered being a policeman once.

I can’t recall the actual content of the conversation whereby she said about the small holes and big ships. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. But the idea behind the conversation resonated. Even today it helps put things into perspective. Napoleon Bonaparte once remarked that trivial things often decide the outcome of a battle.

Big ships

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Small holes sink big ships

Let us look at this idiom a little more closely. A ship is generally a huge floating construction sometimes weighing tonnes and is made of good quality steel. It is designed in such a way that it can travel long distances carrying heavy loads. But in the sea sometimes when there is a small hole or some small damage to the ship, it sinks. The size of the hole in the ship is very small compared to the size of the ship. This is comparable to the characters of people where a small fault in the character causes their downfall.

Over several months I have been following a range of stories whereby an authority has been brought to its knees because of either it’s own arrogance or reaching beyond the limitations of which it is set. For example, I once ensured the sacking of a social worker because of his inability to do his job correctly and within the frame work set out by his governing body. I suppose I would have overlooked his indiscretions. However, my tolerance was stretched when he said “how dare I challenge him when he is a social worker”. Well, of course I discovered the holes in his ability to do his job and he sank to the bottom of his career.

Mockery

Again, we have seen the head of the Crown Prosecution Service sink beyond the recognition of decenthood when challenged about her views on disclosure failings and wrongful imprisonments. This one person has made a complete mockery of the justice system where everyone had a stake or a vested interest. Now people no longer have the confidence to know that they are protected under the system they took for granted to get things right.

This failure causes problems beyond the sentencing of innocent people. Are we now living in a time whereby any jury member will question the validity put forward by the prosecution and the police and so set a criminal free to reoffend? It’s possible. After all, my trust in the police and the CPS is beyond repairable and I will always question the motives behind a police or CPS investigation.

Rats and a sinking ship

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Small holes sink big ships

It is interesting to note, however, that these organisations seem to think that if a person resigns then the problem will disappear. It doesn’t. One person takes the rap for many. Alison Saunders (ex head of the CPS) only stood down because her policies had been exposed. Yet it is not just her who has been pulling the levers of the corrupted system. There are many others. Confidence in the criminal justice system was rocked last year after a flurry of cases collapsed when it emerged that vital evidence had not been passed to defence lawyers.

The new head of the CPS; Max Hill QC has pledged to “restore public trust in the Crown Prosecution Service” after being announced as the new Director of Public Prosecutions. Mr Hill will replace Alison Saunders in the senior legal role from November, after months in which the CPS has been heavily criticised for a catalogue of disclosure failings that led to cases collapsing and warnings about miscarriages of justice. Mr Hill has been quoted as saying he was “honoured” to be taking over from Ms Saunders, adding: “This is a challenging time for the CPS, with the rise in … negative publicity about its handling of disclosure in some cases.

The Justice Committee said “insufficient focus and leadership” led to problems going unresolved and that the Department for Public Prosecutions (DPP) “did not sufficiently recognise the extent and seriousness” of failures within the disclosure process. A report published on Friday also concluded the CPS may have underestimated the number of cases stopped because of disclosure errors by 90%.

Raising

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Small holes sink big ships

I have highlighted the list of police failures in previous writings. I have also shared the stories of my great grandmother who expressed her concerns about corrupted police officers over many generations. And yet nothing changes. The whole ship of corruption is re-packaged and allowed to set sail again under am ensign of ‘we have learnt our lessons’ or ‘we are sorry, we won’t do it again’.

Yet the police failed to comply with its disclosure obligations in more than four out of 10 cases. According to a new report by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate which looked at 1,290 files, the police ‘fully complied’ with their obligations in only 57% of cases and there was ‘partial compliance’ in a further 37%.

According to the watchdog, prosecutors’ compliance on initial disclosure was ‘not much better than the police’ with only 58% fully meeting requirements. ’We saw limited evidence of prosecutors identifying police lack of compliance in reviews or other notes on files, or of them feeding that back to the police,’ the inspectorate noted.

Own review?

Earlier this year CPS commissioned its own review of disclosure following concerns over the Liam Allan case and other collapsed rape trials. That review revealed that issues with disclosure had been identified in 47 of 3,637 cases from a six week period reviewed; but only five had been identified as such through the CPS’s own case management system.

However, only this week (Tuesday, July 24, 2018) the UK police’s watchdog is investigating allegations of “serious corruption and malpractice” within Scotland Yard’s own ranks, the largest police inquiry in 40 years. The probe was launched by the UK’s Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) after whistleblowers raised concerns that senior officers in the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) were interfering with investigations and turning a blind-eye to wrongdoing. Let me clarify at this stage, the DPS was set up to investigate corruption within its own service and is now being investigated for corruption itself??

It now transpires that gross misconduct notices have been served on three officers, while “a number” of other officers are being assessed, according to the IOPC. IOPC director Jonathan Green said claims of racial discrimination within the Met were also being investigated. It is claimed there are officers in the DPS who are said to have interfered with or curtailed investigations, according to Green. “The investigation includes alleged interference in, and curtailment of, investigations by potentially conflicted senior officers, failure to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, systemic removal of the restrictions of officers under investigation and racial discrimination,” he added. “As part of this investigation, three officers have been served with gross misconduct notices and one of those officers is also under criminal investigation.” Green further stated “Assessments on the status of a number of other officers remains ongoing.” According to The Times, three whistleblowers from the Met approached the IOPC to allege members of the DPS were shielding officers from a range of allegations. “The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has referred allegations regarding the conduct of a number of MPS personnel to the IOPC which is conducting an independent investigation.”

Following simple investigation I also understand that one of the most senior police chiefs in the country is also under investigation for malpractice for improperly interfering in an investigation into bullying.

Worldwide problem

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Small holes sink big ships

Now, without scare mongering I am positive when I state that this investigation should not stop at the London Boarders. This appears to be a world wide problem. I have received comments from people all over the world expressing their concerns about the corruption on their own doorstep. Yet, time and again very little seems to be done to address these concerns.

Retreat

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Small holes sink big ships

The police and the CPS now appear to be retreating into a bunker of secrecy and paranoia where all news must be ‘managed’ and freedom of information is considered a threat. On nearly all police websites I have found outrageous quotes such as; ‘declaring total war on crime’ and to be committed to carrying out its duties with ‘humility’ and ‘transparency’. Yet could anything be further from the truth? With its constant leak inquiries, harassment of whistleblowers and journalists, and scandalous misuse of terror legislation the police are probably more authoritarian and opaque than at any time in modern history.
Kevin McGinty, chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Inspectorate, found that 97% of defence lawyers had encountered disclosure errors in the last 12 months. ‘It doesn’t surprise me,’ he replied. In the past 12 months the Commission has continued to see a steady stream of miscarriages. When asked if he detected a sense of urgency on the part of the CPS and senior police officers in the wake of their report, he replied: ‘I hope so, but history shows they haven’t in the past.’ He pointed out that since their last report in 2008 ‘we have had Attorney General’s guidelines, two reviews by Lord Justice Gross and Court of Appeal cases that have gone horribly wrong where prosecution and police have been severely criticised. And yet we still have this problem.’

Sunk

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Small holes sink big ships

In my opinion there seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding about the importance of equal and fair justice. Both the prosecutors and police officers should have due regard for information which points away from the defendant as well as information that points towards them. Yet it appears that in every case I have come across both parties seem to opt for the easy option. They fail to note the true facts and consider only one parties views. Is this due to financial restraint or just incompetence?

I am afraid that the ship used by the criminal law authorities has, in my opinion, sunk. It is riddled with corruption, inconsistencies, lack of ability and dishonesty. The police are not fit to investigate fairly and the CPS cannot share information correctly. Yet, time and again the sinking ship is raised from the bottom, given a new paint job that fails to hide the cracks (time and again like my great grandfather in his living room). I am afraid to announce that I have met people, including myself, that spots a police car in my rear view mirror and feel a shiver down my spine knowing that the incompetence behind the wheel is unchallenged and alas it now appears, dishonest.

Motherhood

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

The term motherhood, or mother, holds so many connotations, views, memories and experiences. Indeed, the whole concept of motherhood can be a personal one. So, I suppose I should stress now that the words that I will hereon write will be own and not meant to offend or cast sweeping statements.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

The role of the mother has varied across time, culture, and social class.  Historically, the role of women was confined to some extent to be a mother and wife. It was often expected that a woman would dedicate most of their energy to these roles, and to spend most of their time taking care of the home. In many cultures, women received significant help in performing these tasks from older female relatives, such as mothers in law or their own mothers.

Examples

It is easy to say that our knowledge and expectations come from our experiences and whilst I write this I can think of a series of example that are directly associated with myself.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

I remember my grandmother (Joan) on my mother’s side (my paternal grandmother had died before I was born) holding very simplistic ideas and explanations. I am not saying she was educationally disadvantaged but she was certainly a product of an early to mid-twentieth century working class girl.

Apron (and sometimes rollers)

I always knew that if she was not wearing her flowery apron it usually meant that we were heading to a ‘posh’ outing that included her drinking copious amounts of babysham or snowballs. A variant came when she discovered the coconut delights of Malibu with coke. Yet, my adopted father’s mother (who was middle class) would never have been seen wearing such a garment or attending such functions

Joan’s life had been measured by the deep and heavy lines on her face and the toll of having eight children. it must have had an impact upon her body. In fact, from my earliest memories of her she had always appeared old before her years. Compared to women today of a similar age.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

I had never really talked to her much about her younger life but I was later informed that there was some sort of ‘difficulty’ of which was never fully explained to my satisfaction.

Violent marriage

I am fully aware, however, that her working class, inner city upbringing during the early twentieth century had been hard, rough and unforgiving. As a result, it was of no surprise that she married a man of equal social background and, I must confess, a tendency to use violence as a form of household control.

With violence being the main currency of control, the burden of eight children, poverty and social expectations divorce was not an option. So I consider that many of the children were exposed to emotional and physical violence at a rate that would not be expected or tolerated today.

Like mother… like daughter

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

As I have previously stated my experiences with my mother were far from positive and I think the relationship with her was often tempered by the kindness of my adopted father. I am not making an excuse for her, but my experiences of motherhood did not reflect that of what was expected. I find it ironic that even during the 1970s and 1980s motherhood was seen as being loving, warm and protecting yet it was the complete opposite in my own home. Love, warmth and protection did not spout from her or her arms – it was found within my adopted father. Yet, she found it impossible, even many years later, that as a mother she had failed where others had succeeded. In her view she was a mother and that was her occupation as opposed to privilege or duty.

If I could have had the choice I would rather have been bought up by my father than my mother. All the expectations associated with how a mother should behave was found in my father and poignantly, not my mother. Yet social constructs and expectations forbade him to stay at home and for his wife to earn the family income.

Conflicts

History records many conflicts between mothers and their children. Some even resulted in murder, such as the conflict between Cleopatra III of Egypt and her son Ptolemy X.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

In modern cultures, matricide (the killing of one’s mother) and filicide (the killing of one’s son or daughter) have been studied but remain poorly understood. Psychosis and schizophrenia are common causes of both, but I have a strong objection to associating mental health with crimes of such a nature – it all seems too convenient.  Financially poor mothers with a history of domestic abuse are slightly more likely to commit filicide than those of whom didn’t. And mothers are more likely to commit filicide than fathers when the child is 8 years old or younger (Greenfeld, Lawrence A., Snell, Tracy L. (1999-02-12, updated 2000-03-10). “Women Offenders”. NCJ 175688. US Department of Justice).

Liberation

The role of motherhood in mainly western countries had developed with the successes of ‘the women’s liberation movements’. These developments reflected the collective pressure of frustration that had been imposed upon womanhood for centuries. It was only after the importance that women showed during the two world wars that a loud chorus of demand for equal rights gained a revolutionary status.

Generations

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

When I consider the eventual positions of my adopted father, his father and his father in law, they must have both been taken aback by the bitterness and animosity shown towards men and fatherhood. I consider that my grandfathers (more than my father) would not have previously realised that their inherited presumptions and dispositions had become so offensive.

They must have taken for granted the gender roles imposed upon them from the generation before them. But to have the entire blame for inequality and suppression laid at their feet must have been either bemusing or at worst offensive. I think it would have been fair to consider that many men and fathers would not have thought themselves to have been intentionally exploitative but to have carried out the responsibilities placed upon them by society as a whole.

Saying nothing

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

I think that because of the bewilderment of the accusations made against them, men had really said very little about what was going on. Certainly, even today, any media coverage given to this topic is far outweighed by the amount given to women having their say. As a point of note, there has been no sign of a collective male counter demand of equality on fatherhood yet fathers seek equality in the family courts – and don’t get it.

The science of a hunch

The rise of science has also ignored the concept of fatherhood over motherhood. One of the main reasons for this neglect of fathers lies in early psychological theories of parenthood. Theories are ‘hunches’ and so are always under scrutiny but can also constrain us and lead us away from examining some problems in favour of others. The scientific problem was that fathers were not just forgotten but were ignored because it was assumed that they were less important than mothers in influencing the developing child. Hence the dominant theories at the time corresponded with the traditional conception of the family and the gender roles played.

One of Freud’s important notions was the concept of different gratifications associated with different body zones. For example, Freud thought that the mouth was associated with eating, sucking, biting and swallowing of which is a basic requirement of a new born. And as it was the role (and biological framework) of the mother to feed the infant, Freud gave the primary role of child rearing to the mother. Freud considered that a father’s role at this early stage was irrelevant and as a result divorced the role of fatherhood from this crucial period in a child’s life.

John Bowlby’s view of early childhood differed from Freud’s but the end result was the same – father’s were secondary and only played a supporting role to the mother. Yet it is well known that Bowlby’s views were flawed as it played a primary role of returning the mother to the home to make way for returning soldiers to gain employment after the war.

Caretaking

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

Yet, it would be a mistake to conclude that there is anything biologically necessary about maternal caretaking. In some cultures, males and females divide the care of their young equally. Among the Trobrianders of Melanesia, for example, the father participates actively in the care, feeding and transporting of their young. Similarly, the Taira of Okinawa, the Pygmies of Africa and the Ilocos of the Philippines equally share the child care between parents. Would it not be fair, therefore, to suggest that the roles played by mothers and fathers are not biologically fixed. Instead the definition of gender roles can vary depending upon the social, ideological and physical conditions imposed in different cultures?

Even within animal cultures the father plays an important role within the early stages of childhood. It has been found that Marmosets and Tamarins (monkeys from central and South America) are equally involved. They not only carry their infants during the day for the first few months of life, but often chew food for the very young and sometimes assist during the birth. This is also evident amongst the Barbary macaques of Asia and Africa and rhesus monkeys when given the opportunity.

Gender superiority

There is no definitive evidence to support any gender claim of superiority within any occupational role. For our forefathers they could claim exceptions in the military or where muscle power was a pre-requisite. However, these claims are now eroded with the developments of technology that have levelled the work force horizons. Yet fathers can not seek equality in the home with regards to child rearing.

In theory, therefore, if men can and have abandoned the centuries held beliefs of gender roles there is no good reason why women cannot welcome the progressive, even revolutionary concept of men playing the loving, caring and nurturing role associated with womanhood/motherhood.

Uninvolved?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

Traditionally fathers have been portrayed as uninvolved and leaving the child rearing to the mother. Whether this stereotype of the uninvolved father ever actually existed is debatable. But over the past fifty years (or longer) there has been a continuing rise for greater participation of fathers willingly stepping into the territory of mothers.

Today, and probably in earlier generations there has been no single type of father. Some fathers do indeed remain uninvolved, others are active participants and some fathers, like myself, even raised children by themselves. And yet we have an inbreed expectation that there is one kind of mother. I suppose this is why we, as a society are shocked when a mother carries out a crime against their off spring (for example the case of Shannon Matthews in 2008).

There is also in theory no clear reason why the reorganisation would have any detrimental effect upon the sexes. The preconceived ideas of differentiation of the sexes is rapidly disappearing. But there are no signs yet that relationships are improving especially after relationship breakdowns. On the contrary, such indicators as the rate of divorce suggests that the battle is far from over and that the casualties (the children) are not decreasing. Transformation of equal attitudes and expectations still has a considerable way to go.

So what am I saying?

Like most things in life there is good and bad. There are some good men and equally some bad ones. But this fact must also rest with women. Just because they hold the title of ‘Mother’ does not automatically associate them with a good standard of care of their infants. This theory must also rest with the fact that fathers do indeed want to play an equally important role with their children.

Forced

Society expects and demands equality, and this is enforced by the law. And yet, fathers are still forced to appear in court to fight to see their children. Fathers are still stopped access on the whim of a mother who is still assumed to be the better parent.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Motherhood

How are our children going to develop and become good parents themselves when these constraints are still evident? If the equality of parenthood does not change now then our children’s children will still be exposed to outdated philosophies that we have all tried to move away from. In essence, fathers can and are as equally important as mothers, to the same effect that women are equally good at the jobs that our fathers specialised in.

 

False Accusers #2 – historical and psychological aspect

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression False Accusers #2 – historical and psychological aspect

For anyone who has been accused of a crime that they did not commit is beyond any form of explanation. Once the material is out there, defending yourself, clearing your name, fighting suspicion and tolerating disdain is a horrible predicament.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression False Accusers #2 – historical and psychological aspect

Very often ignorant people with little information or small minds love the drama and form strong opinions. Historically these people may have taken unwarranted retaliatory action from expulsion from the clan to spreading the false word and aim to secure an unsafe conviction. It allows a sense of bullying to put the victim below their own standing. In Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte 1847), the cruel headmaster tells the girls to let ‘no one be her friend, take her hand or comfort her’. You get the sense that this is the worst for Jane, worse than the head blow and the lack of bread.

Vulnerability

As stated, if the accusations are not true, the person is in a situation that is similar to being bullied. No one is exempt from this should it ever happen to them, the psychological devastation can be debilitating. If you are not believed, or unable fight back with the truth, you become distrusted and under scrutiny, the sense of vulnerability is overwhelming.

I have previously written about how the bullying of children can have a devastating effect which often lasts a lifetime. I discussed how children who are bullied with words that cause unbearable humiliation sometimes commit suicide. Freud identified this when he stated that ‘the pain of the ego is the worse kind of pain’. It is fair to argue that children who are targeted with words are often more traumatized than those who have been physically abused.

Mental structures

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression False Accusers #2 – historical and psychological aspect

My research has unearthed the fact that people with certain kinds of mental structures are brilliant at looking like victims when they are actually perpetrators. They can ruin the life of an innocent person without a second thought. What is worse is that they will continue to do so and not be able to see the error of their ways.

Making a false accusation is an aggressive act. Sweet faces, soft voices and tears can hide sadistic impulses. Yet we never learn. We are sucked in and manipulated by these false accusers because we, as humans, try to see the best in everyone and are happy to accept the mask of which they have created. The sweetest person must be the victim whereas, the masculine, heavy built short haired tattooed man must be the perpetrator.

Twice before

From my perspective I consider that my false accuser was brought into this world to tear down others. She knew of no other alternative than to lash out in the only way she knew as she had done this before – twice before in fact.

Brian Gunter

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression False Accusers #2 – historical and psychological aspect

In 1938, an Oxford historian came across a case (quite by accident) of a case in 1604 of a false accuser.

In the summer of 1604, Anne Gunter, aged about 20 and living at North Moreton, then in Berkshire, now in Oxfordshire, fell ill. Anne Gunter vomited, sneezed pins and was racked by fits. It was initially considered that she was being bewitched by a neighbour. Doctors were called and they advised her father (Brian Gunter) that her sufferings were probably supernatural. By that time Anne was showing all the classic symptoms of demonic control; vomiting and sneezing pins, going into fits alternating with trances, suffering from bodily contortions. In her fits, she accused three women of bewitching her. One, Agnes Pepwell, had a reputation for being a witch and, probably sensing trouble, ran away. The other two, Agnes’s illegitimate daughter Mary and Elizabeth Gregory, by most accounts the most unpopular woman in the village, were tried for witchcraft at Abingdon in March 1605 and was eventually acquitted.

Wouldn’t let go

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression False Accusers #2 – historical and psychological aspect

There the matter should have ended, but Brian Gunter would not let it go. In August 1605 King James I (who incidentally had a keen interest in witchcraft), was paying an official visit to Oxford University.

Gunter took Anne to meet the king, undoubtedly in the hope of having the case reopened. But he miscalculated. King James I, was as willing to demonstrate his expertise in matters of witchcraft by exposing fraudulent cases as well as finding genuine cases. To make matters worse, the upper reaches of the Church of England were extremely sceptical about demonic possession, witchcraft and related issues.

Lied for her father

Within a month Anne was confessing that she had simulated possession at her father’s direction to further a feud against Elizabeth Gregory. Her convincing symptoms were partly thanks to her reading of a tract that described the sufferings of daughters of another family  near Huntingdon (three people had been executed for witchcraft in this affair). She also explained that bad feeling between her father and the Gregorys had begun in 1598.

Anne and her father appeared before the Star Chamber early in 1606. In the subsequent investigations roughly 60 witnesses were questioned, and their evidence rans to some 400 pages.

Difficult man

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression False Accusers #2 – historical and psychological aspect

Like so many parishes in the area, North Moreton had no resident lord of the manor but was, in effect, run by about five farming families, the Gregorys among them. Brian Gunter was an interloper, arriving in the village in about 1587, and was clearly a difficult man.

Gunter had managed to get involved in litigation with the lord of the manor. And, a few years before the witchcraft case, he had been the subject of another set of Star Chamber proceedings when the leading village families had united to complain of the violent and troublesome behaviour perpetrated by him, his sons and his servants. Twenty years later Gunter was taken to the Star Chamber again by North Moreton’s vicar, who claimed Gunter had led two riotous assaults.

A liar and an abuser – see the connection?

I can only imagine and therefore assume that being the daughter to such a man was not easy. Anne’s account of what happened stated how her father had forced her to simulate being bewitched and, I would suggest, the relationship at times looked abusive. She was drugged, subjected to physical tests to “prove” her insensibility, threatened, sworn to secrecy and, on one occasion, pulled by her father from a neighbour’s house where she had taken refuge and kicked and sworn at in the street. It is little wonder she lived in fear of this man.

So what happened to Gunter and his daughter?

Well, little is known other than Gunter was imprisoned on the order of the King. Later documentary evidence seems to suggest that Gunter went back to North Moreton, and eventually died at Oxford in 1628. Anne, however, seems to have disappeared from history.

False accusers will use any tactic available.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression False Accusers #2 – historical and psychological aspect

The Gunter case is interesting. It is clear that Gunter had some form of problem and would set out to destroy his opponents by any means. He used his daughter to try and ‘prove’ an untruth. He fully intended to accuse others of being witches of which held the death penalty should they have been convicted.

Like myself, I have witnessed abusers use their children to give credence to their deceits. This is morally reprehensible in any form. However, unlike Gunter who served a prison sentence for his false accusations it appears to be the opposite of what can be expected in today’s modern society. Although we can be heavily critical of the past, at least they seemed to have got this right.

 

 

Published (nearly)

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Published (nearly)

I very much doubt that you would remember but on the 23rd October 2017, I wrote a blog questioning whether I should publish my story or not (to publish or not to publish).

Initially, way back in June 2017 I started to write because there was nothing out there that fitted my needs or to offer advice I was seeking etc. I still stand by the fact that I fully believe that it was perhaps the best thing I had ever done. Furthermore, it has also given other people (both men and women) the impetus to write and share their experiences too. That must also be seen as a positive outcome.

Change in focus

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Published (nearly)

I am fully aware that my writing has changed and that my focus of anger and disappointment has somewhat changed. But I make no apology for this because, as I later found out, this is all a part of the recovery process.

I also stand by the argument I made several months ago that I have learnt that if you have a principle that you believe to be right, then it is worth fighting for.

Anyway, as usual I am waffling.

After researching the writers market, I have eventually found a publisher. It must be stressed that it is a bit of a minefield out there when it comes to getting a book published.

As expected there were firms who offered me the publishing world for a rather large fee. Of course, it is a bit of a gamble for everyone concerned but like I have said, if you feel it is something you believe in then it is worth sticking it out. This is a book of importance (okay I accept that this is my view) but so many other people have said it too. So why should I stump up massive costs first? Anyway, that’s a whole different story.

Are there anymore writers?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Published (nearly)

Following my choice to write and discuss events and outcomes I have discovered other people all over the world expressing the same things. But prior to this I could not find anything to help me with my struggles or choices. Indeed, it is fair to say that there are books out there, but they are either from a female perspective or they only covered one area that I was discussing. But my main problem was that there was absolutely nothing written for a British market.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with foreign books, but I needed a relevance to the state and society I live and work in. So, I wrote my own and now I have a publisher who is interested.

Still work to do

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Published (nearly)

I am under no illusion that much of what I have written will need to be re-written or even merged with other things but the content will remain the same. Yet, I want to tell the reader what it is like to be a male victim of domestic abuse and the consequential mental struggles. Also, I want the reader to know what it is like to be assumed guilty before being given the opportunity to clear your own name. But this is not happening in a backward country. It is happening in every street and every town in a so called ‘civilised’ society where people consider themselves to be equal in law and protected by the state.

Alas my story is not rare. It’s not even a hidden story but the struggles continue for so many other people. It’s just that I have had the opportunity and ability to tell mine.

I am aware that there will need to be work done to make the book more palatable for a reading audience. But I’m okay with that. My readers are my customers in effect, but my story can’t be diluted. It’s just my story and I am looking forward to getting it heard even more.

 

 

 

Guest Blog – Blithe Conway

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Guest Blog - Blithe Conway

Other writers

When I look back on the past few months whilst writing these blogs of mine I have come into contact with a number of people who wish to share their story with me.  Some are deeply interesting and insightful. Others are shocking in their detail and then there are some that make you grateful for the honesty and frankness of their experiences.  We really are lucky to have these kinds of writers around who are willing to discuss and share their experiences in the hope to benefit others. This is why, when asked, I was happy to share his story on my website.

Pen name

One particular (new) blogger is Blithe Conway. For obvious reasons he chose to use a pen name. Blithe came into contact with me a few weeks ago now expressing his interest in sharing stories about surviving abuse and mental health. Of course, it has been difficult to suggest specific paths because each have their own, but I have tried to guide and suggest ideas and thoughts or which he has been receptive.

However, Blithe has made some magnificent steps to release some his demons in the form of writing them down. It has helped him by not only sharing them but to trying and get some form of understanding to what had happened.

Failings

At no point has Blithe attempted to proportion blame of which is deeply admirable. But his writing is frank, open, honest and deeply thought provoking about the society he lived in. He has discussed the persistent failings of the authorities  who found any reason to dismiss him rather than doing the honourable thing and listen. But then this is not an unusual consequence of a fearful state.

I wish to share his story that he initially wrote in 2015 about his experiences of abuse at home and to see if I can establish more links for him.

Open up the discussion

Now, this is not just ‘another’ story. But Blithe has attempted to open up the discussion of abuse in the home and how it has affected him as a male. He has also taken the steps to suggest sensible changes in the law to not only protect victims but also to ensure that voices are never over looked or forgotten.

I am sure he won’t mind me suggesting that you contact him via Facebook (Blithe Conway).

Anyway, have a read of a link he sent me and send him your regards

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6s99omuh5l5c9ry/Child%20Labour%20in%20Eastern%20Australia%20by%20Blithe%20Conway.pdf?dl=0

Legal (F)Aid

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Legal (F)Aid

I would never claim to be a socialist, but I have read the works of Karl Marx (1818 – 1883). I would also not claim to be a revolutionist, but I have read the works of Jean-Jacque Rousseau (1712 – 1778). Although I may not fully agree with their works and ideologies, I do appreciate the problems they revealed and the results they suggested. Even now, much of what they said back then is still, if not more so, relevant today.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Legal (F)Aid
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

 

“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” (Karl Marx – The Communist Manifesto [1848])

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Legal (F)Aid
Karl Marx

Karl Marx discussed the shackles associated with class struggles and Rousseau stated that; “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”  The French Revolution in 1789 devised the concept of; “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” (Liberty, Equality and Fraternity).

In fact I am adamant that if you stripped away much of the aged descriptions and tone of these philosophers and event, they could happily sit amongst modern people talking and experiencing modern problems and difficulties.

War for no purpose

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Legal (F)Aid

Wars have been declared under the banners and mantra of ‘freedom’. The English Civil War was fought to combat Royal tyranny. The American civil war was fought for the freedom of slavery from the shackles of the land owner (I am aware there were also other reasons too). Both World Wars and the Cold War were fought to stop the spread of ideologies that halted freedoms of individuals and states. In fact, the lies associated with the Iraq War were eventually and conveniently twisted to eventually argue that it was to free the Iraqi people from the brutal regime of Sadam Hussain.

But there is a tyranny alive and well within every democratic and civil society. It is the tyranny of money (or the lack of it in many cases). The power and rule of those who have it and those of whom don’t and never will.

The Welfare State

In England the development of the Welfare State was, and has been, hailed as a great success. But who for exactly? The English aristocracy had always been scared and wary of the rising and revolutionary poor following the French Revolution. Trained and armed men returned from the trenches after World War 1, and found the golden promises made to them to sacrifice their lives had not born fruit. So, the welfare state was created to keep the poor in check (and ultimately in their place). From the 18th  and 19th century, the authorities had been aware that the people would rise if hunger was evident and felt across the population. As a result, the state gave ‘just enough’ to feed the poor and stave off hunger to secure their place at the top of the social scale and the poor to remain in blissful ignorance of the trick that had been played.

George Orwell

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Legal (F)Aid
George Orwell

It has often been said that money is the root of all evil. Even George Orwell (1903 – 1950) implied that the ‘tramp on the street is dictated by money – he has none, thus, he is forced to live the way he does, when he said; “Poverty frees them from ordinary standards of behaviour, just as money frees people from work.” (Down and Out in Paris and London [1933]).

Even from Orwell’s perspective in his book ‘1984’ (1949) he could recognise that the poor or working classes would allow empathy because it is the easier option when the alternative is not recognised.

“It was not desirable that the proles should have strong political feelings. All that was required  was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice.”

Yet the state finds a reason to keep access to legal services a privilege exclusively for the rich.

An unequal access to the rights of law.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Legal (F)Aid

Access to a lawyer is accomplished via two means. Either paying for a service (of which I will discuss further) or via Legal Aid (in the UK).

However, access to this benefit has been shrunk beyond any form of grasp. If your income was considered to be low and you met certain criteria you could make a claim for legal aid to assist you find and employ a solicitor to tackle, discuss or direct you on legal matters. To be fair, I too was able to take advantage of this many years ago whilst obtaining custody of my children. Yet, due to government cut backs access to this ‘Aid’ has become almost impossible to the point of almost none existent.

The reality and dawning of this emerged a few years ago when the highly paid lawyers decided to strike because it effected their pay packets and not for the legal protection of the poor (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9731800/Barristers-rake-in-fortunes-from-legal-aid.html).

The second way of accessing a lawyer is by directly paying for them. But let’s look at this a little bit closer. I recently employed a lawyer (and will need to again) at £200 per hour. That’s right 5 hours work equates to £1000. Many of my friends and colleagues have not had a pay rise in many years and the cost of living is constantly putting a squeeze on any available cash that one requires at the end of the month. And any disposable income, alas, is rapidly shrinking at an alarming rate. Homes are being re-possessed and the use of food banks are beyond stretched. Yet, lawyers are reaping the profits of the miserable state of affairs we are in. And they still demand their high fees regardless of the rights of people to seek legal protection and rights. God forbid morality have a higher precedence than commerce.

Ugly institutions

I have recently fought social services, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service but I have only been able to gather information myself by trawling the internet or books. But what if I was not able to do this? What if I did not the ability or knowledge to pursue this myself. Well, put simply, I would need a lawyer. But not coming from an affluent background or have an over inflated income, I would not be able to afford one. Thus, the people and authorities I have challenged would get away with their unprofessionalism, arrogance and failings managing to hide behind the unreasonable price of the law.

In effect to get justice you need to be wealthy. Thus, law is not fair, equal and blind. It is expensive, discriminatory and (as a result) biased. How can this be allowed? Well, put simply, in my view it has been allowed to prosper because it keeps the working people in check. How dare the little person challenge the authorities whether right or wrong. How dare people question the great and good. Or, as it was once put to me by a social worker; “how dare I challenge him when he is a social worker”.

It is common sense to state that money does not buy you intellect or common sense. It buys you privilege and opportunities that others do not have. By not being able to pay the astronomical fees associated with lawyers or having access to Legal Aid we all fail to have access to the real protection of the law and what it claims to uphold. And as a result, we are constantly at the mercy of the heavy handed, unchallengeable and (I hasten to add) public funded (hence endless pit of money) authorities.

The battle has been lost

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Legal (F)Aid

So, the battle against tyranny and police states (historically the police are not the only force to have worn black in the execution of their duties) has never really been won contrary to what we have all been told. It has conveniently been re-wrapped in a fancy wrapping called ‘human rights’ or ‘constitution’ with a constricting bow and ribbon only allowing the people with means the access to its contents.

The fact is this, normal working people cannot afford lawyers. The disabled, sick or the needy cannot obtain the Legal Aid they need. But the rule makers and imposers, the policy makers and implementers, the rich and ill informed, all have access to push their wishes with the full force of the law both wrongly and now, it appears, unchallenged.

They were right then and they are right now

Karl Marx was right when he highlighted the class struggles 170 years ago. The French revolutionaries were right when they extinguished the excesses of the elite. But what has really changed? Okay, people are now better fed and housed. But who is really benefiting if it stops the majority from speaking out or seeking the protection that our ancestors believed in and fought for?

Rousseau suggests that the original Social Contract, which led to the modern state, was made at the suggestion of the rich and powerful, who tricked the general population into surrendering their liberties to them and instituted inequality as a fundamental feature of human society. Rousseau’s own conception of the Social Contract can be understood as an alternative to this fraudulent form of association.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Legal (F)Aid

You may say that the beauty of living in a democratic society ensures a level of liberty. If we don’t like a certain politician we can vote them out. But what do we get in return? Another narrow minded, ill informed individual who is corruptible in the den of snakes. Perhaps Oliver Cromwell (1599 – 1658) was right when he dismissed the Rump Parliament in 1653. Oliver Cromwell was recorded as saying;

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government. Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!”

I know that without doubt he would (if he had one) be spinning in his grave if he could see the mess that this country has become. At the loss of virtue and decency that had never been afforded to those of whom needed the protection from the state and its corrupt operatives.

In the Kingdom of the blind the one eyed is king

The law is not for you and I. It is a tool for the authorities to keep the lies and corruption going. You may think we have rights but you try and get access to them when your money won’t stretch that far.

Code of Practice

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Code of Practice

Following my last blog about the continued failure of the police, I received a letter from the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) of whom I had also raised concerns to.

A fair response

The contents of their letter was, to be fair, very educational and informative.

Within the said letter it stated that the police and CPS operate on a policy (or frame work) called ”The Full Code Test’.

Obviously, I then ‘googled’ the said phrase and followed what they said and measured how it matched up with my experiences. It was to be fair, enlightening, and showed that they had not operated fairly in my case.

Checked and cross referenced

The specific page I used was;

https://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/code_for_crown_prosecutors/codetest.html

Below is the response I then sent to their complaints officer of whom offered me the insight to how the CPS and police work when considering a prosecution.

As stated, this was pretty enlightening. So as a result I decided to publish my response so that anyone else in the same or similar position can also cross reference their own story with the police and CPS response.

For obvious reasons I have hidden the names of specific people.

My response

Dear Mrs XXXXX

Thank you for your letter dated 12th December 2017.

I have of course, noted the contents. I am without doubt deeply disappointed with your response and as such I would like you to reconsider based on what I wish to highlight.

As with your letter I too would like to break down my response into two parts, namely ‘that I was arrested and charged although there was no evidence’ and ‘the CPS did not want to pursue a prosecution against my ex’.

As a result of your letter I too researched your policy of the ‘Full Code Test’ and as a result it appears to give me greater strength and emphasis to push my complaint to you further.

As you know there appears to be 2 sections that you have to consider (I don’t intend to teach you to suck eggs – but I feel it is a relevant point to raise).

Firstly, if we consider The Evidential Stage it states;

  • Prosecutors must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against each suspect on each charge. They must consider what the defence case may be, and how it is likely to affect the prospects of conviction….

The only evidence that my ex supplied was a statement by her daughter (hardly impartial) who clearly stated in her statement that she was not in the room when the supposed assault took place. Furthermore, there was no photographic evidence or any other forms of evidence to support my ex’s claim.  Furthermore, the supposed incident happened several weeks previously to her malicious 999 call to the police.

Hence, I will highlight the fact that there was sufficient evidence to satisfy any prospect of a conviction.

  • The finding that there is a realistic prospect of conviction is based on the prosecutor’s objective assessment of the evidence, including the impact of any defence, and any other information that the suspect has put forward or on which he or she might rely. It means that an objective, impartial and reasonable jury or bench of magistrates or judge hearing a case alone, properly directed and acting in accordance with the law, is more likely than not to convict the defendant of the charge alleged. This is a different test from the one that the criminal courts themselves must apply. A court may only convict if it is sure that the defendant is guilty.

 It appeared following my questioning that at no point was my defence ever taken into consideration (I will of course go into greater detail of within the second section of this email).

As stated the whole case rested on a weak statement from a biased witnessed who actually didn’t witness anything. I am sure that you are aware this is far from satisfactory to consider any form of a successful prosecution.

With this being the only form of evidence, it was clear that an objective and impartial and reasonable magistrate would not convict – there is clearly a lack of evidence. As a point of note, this was also stated by the magistrates summing up at the end of the hearing.

In effect there was nothing to contribute or support a view of beyond reasonable doubt.

  • When deciding whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, prosecutors should ask themselves the following:

Can the evidence be used in court?

Prosecutors should consider whether there is any question over the admissibility of certain evidence. In doing so, prosecutors should assess:

  1. the likelihood of that evidence being held as inadmissible by the court; and

I appreciate that as this was the only evidence she had thus the magistrates had nothing else to consider

the importance of that evidence in relation to the evidence as a whole.

As stated this was the only piece of evidence of which the magistrates had available to consider

  • Is the evidence reliable?

Prosecutors should consider whether there are any reasons to question the reliability of the evidence, including its accuracy or integrity.

The evidence has questionable quality. It was written by her 17-year-old daughter who obviously wished to support her mother, thus was biased and lacked integrity. Furthermore, she also stated that she was not in the room when the supposed incident happened.

This was the only piece of evidence available so could not be supported by any other form of evidence.

Furthermore, the incident supposedly happened several weeks before the 999 call to the police. I could not recall what I was doing on that suggested date let alone claim to have assaulted her. It all seems very convenient on her behalf to suggest such a date. Hence, based on The Full Code of which you operate, her claim and evidence does not stand up to reliability, accuracy and integrity.

  • Is the evidence credible?

Prosecutors should consider whether there are any reasons to doubt the credibility of the evidence.

I think I have proven this beyond reasonable doubt.

Next, I would like to consider The Public Interest Stage.

As you are aware this is a large section to cover so I will be as brief as I can highlighting failures at this stage.

In every case where there is sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution, prosecutors must go on to consider whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.

I struggle to identify any area of protecting the public interest in this case.

I have a good standing within the community and have a history of good character. To support this fact the occupations that I have held and still hold would require me to be of good character. I served as an Officer in the RAF, I am a fully qualified teacher and a paramedic.

4.12 Prosecutors should consider each of the following questions:

  1. How serious is the offence committed?

The more serious the offence, the more likely it is that a prosecution is required.

According to her statement I had supposedly spat at my ex. Well if this had happened I am sure she would have photographed it to support her claim (but there were no photographs as the event had never actually happened). I assume the idea of claiming to have spat at her would mean that there were no long-lasting bruises to call upon – it’s all very convenient.  Furthermore, I would like to suggest that the act of spitting is not really putting the public to any form of risk of further harm or damage.

  1. What is the level of culpability of the suspect?

Culpability is likely to be determined by the suspect’s level of involvement; the extent to which the offending was premeditated and/or planned; whether they have previous criminal convictions and/or out-of-court disposals and any offending whilst on bail; or whilst subject to a court order; whether the offending was or is likely to be continued, repeated or escalated; and the suspect’s age or maturity (see paragraph d) below for suspects under 18).

As stated I have no criminal record, I am of good character and my careers endorse this fact. Furthermore, I can argue that every human being is also capable of spitting, hense it’s an irrelevant argument.

  • The cost to the CPS prosecution service and the wider criminal justice system, especially where it could be regarded as excessive when weighed against any likely penalty (Prosecutors should not decide the public interest on the basis of this factor alone. It is essential that regard is also given to the public interest factors identified when considering the other questions in paragraphs 12 a) to g), but cost is a relevant factor when making an overall assessment of the public interest).

I dread to think of the costs of this case. When no true and scrutable evidence was really supplied and was not really held in the interests of the public.

This now brings me to the second part of this email.

I currently have a complaint on-going against  Inspector XXXXXX. The complaint is to question why he has not pursued an arrest of my ex based on your principles of prosecution.

Following my acquittal, I raised a complaint to West Mercia Police stating that my complaint of domestic abuse had not been considered or investigated. The reply I had from Inspector XXXXXX was far from satisfactory and did not stand up to scrutiny. Unfortunately, the complaint is still within the processing stages.

However, based on your principles I would like to highlight why I consider to have a justifiable case for prosecution as opposed to the case you had upon myself.

Firstly, if we consider The Evidential Stage;

  • Prosecutors must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against each suspect on each charge. They must consider what the defence case may be, and how it is likely to affect the prospects of conviction. A case which does not pass the evidential stage must not proceed, no matter how serious or sensitive it may be.

At the time of my arrest I informed the police officer that I held diaries, emails and texts, witness statements and evidence from my work (XXXXX XXXXX Ambulance Service) highlighting the history of abuse I had endured at the hands of my ex-partner. At no point has this ever been called upon or requested. In effect I am able to supply evidence from a range of individual and professional witnesses.

I am sure that with my evidence it would be more likely to secure a prosecution that the case you had against me.

  • The finding that there is a realistic prospect of conviction is based on the prosecutor’s objective assessment of the evidence, including the impact of any defence, and any other information that the suspect has put forward or on which he or she might rely. It means that an objective, impartial and reasonable jury or bench of magistrates or judge hearing a case alone, properly directed and acting in accordance with the law, is more likely than not to convict the defendant of the charge alleged. This is a different test from the one that the criminal courts themselves must apply. A court may only convict if it is sure that the defendant is guilty.

I would consider that based on the same principles you applied to my case you would find enough evidence to pursue a prosecution against my ex. As stated I have a range of statements from independent people to prove I was a victim of her abuse and other evidence of which could be supplied.

  •  When deciding whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, prosecutors should ask themselves the following:

Can the evidence be used in court?

Prosecutors should consider whether there is any question over the admissibility of certain evidence. In doing so, prosecutors should assess:

  1. the likelihood of that evidence being held as inadmissible by the court; and

It would be due to its range and depth

  1. the importance of that evidence in relation to the evidence as a whole.

I have far greater evidence than that used against me.

  • Is the evidence reliable?

Prosecutors should consider whether there are any reasons to question the reliability of the evidence, including its accuracy or integrity.

I have medical evidence as could be supplied by my GP. I also hold evidence from my employer (XXXXXX XXXX  Ambulance Service) of whom I would argue would be independent and high with integrity. I also hold statements from a range of people from all manner of backgrounds that were aware of the abuse my ex subjected me to.

  • Is the evidence credible?

Prosecutors should consider whether there are any reasons to doubt the credibility of the evidence.

It is credible (see my answer above). It has been supplied from independent people with a range of views and history of my case.

I would now like to consider The Public Interest Stage

  • In every case where there is sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution, prosecutors must go on to consider whether a prosecution is required in the public interest.

This for me is an area of concern. I learnt that she has a history of abusing her partners. She had previously sought prosecutions against two of her exs for a range of various reasons. Furthermore, and this is my major concern, she works with young children at a local primary school. To put this into perspective, if I knew the past history and temperament of this member of staff I would not allow my children to attend such a school. I don’t think this is an unreasonable approach as the evidence I have is beyond reasonable doubt.

  •  It is quite possible that one public interest factor alone may outweigh a number of other factors which tend in the opposite direction. Although there may be public interest factors tending against prosecution in a particular case, prosecutors should consider whether nonetheless a prosecution should go ahead and those factors put to the court for consideration when sentence is passed.

 Prosecutors should consider each of the following questions:

  1. How serious is the offence committed?

The more serious the offence, the more likely it is that a prosecution is required.

When deciding the level of seriousness of the offence committed, prosecutors should include amongst the factors for consideration the suspect’s culpability and the harm to the victim by asking themselves the questions at b) and c).

This clause raises a number of options.

Firstly, are you able to prosecute based on wasting everyone’s time on a none winnable case based on false evidence?

Secondly, my ex has a track record of abuse against me and other men. Surely this must be within the realms of public interest?

Thirdly, I hold evidence of abuse against myself.

Fourthly, I always assumed it was illegal to request a witness to lie on their behalf and under oath. As in this case where she got her daughter to make a false allegation to support her mother’s statement.

  1. What is the level of culpability of the suspect?

Culpability is likely to be determined by the suspect’s level of involvement; the extent to which the offending was premeditated and/or planned; whether they have previous criminal convictions and/or out-of-court disposals and any offending whilst on bail; or whilst subject to a court order; whether the offending was or is likely to be continued, repeated or escalated; and the suspect’s age or maturity (see paragraph d) below for suspects under 18).

Prosecutors should also have regard when considering culpability as to whether the suspect is, or was at the time of the offence, suffering from any significant mental or physical ill health as in some circumstances this may mean that it is less likely that a prosecution is required. However, prosecutors will also need to consider how serious the offence was, whether it is likely to be repeated and the need to safeguard the public or those providing care to such persons.

I would consider that she had planned the 999 call for some time. Especially when she claimed to have been a victim several weeks before the call. Also some thought and consideration would have gone into the thought of what she wanted to claim.

As stated she has a track record of making these allegations (of which have always been dismissed). Hence I consider her actions to be premeditated and planned against myself. With this operation alone I would argue that she is still considered to be a risk to all males who come into contact with her.

  1. What are the circumstances of and the harm caused to the victim?

The circumstances of the victim are highly relevant. The greater the vulnerability of the victim, the more likely it is that a prosecution is required. This includes where a position of trust or authority exists between the suspect and victim.

Due to what I had experienced I now suffer with PTSD, anxiety and depression which has been directly linked to the stresses I have recently endured by my ex, the arrest and the subsequent pursuit of some form of equal justice. To-date, I have still not returned to work.

This has also re-enforced the view that male victims of domestic abuse are ignored by the authorities and as a result don’t bother to report such crimes. I would, therefore, assume that this is a case that is essential to the protection of the public.

Prosecutors must also have regard to whether the offence was motivated by any form of discrimination against the victim’s ethnic or national origin, gender, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender identity; or the suspect demonstrated hostility towards the victim based on any of those characteristics. The presence of any such motivation or hostility will mean that it is more likely that prosecution is required.

Based on my ex’s history and they way she has brought her daughters up, it would appear that she is a man hater. She has openly talked about how all men are ‘bastards’. Thus she is specifically motivated against males. This is further enforced by her track record of trying to prosecute other men.

In deciding whether a prosecution is required in the public interest, prosecutors should take into account the views expressed by the victim about the impact that the offence has had. In appropriate cases, this may also include the views of the victim’s family.

As previously stated, I now suffer with PTSD, anxiety and depression of which my GP directly contribute to the stresses I have recently endured by my ex, the arrest and the subsequent pursuit of some form of equal justice. To-date, I have still not returned to work.

This has also re-enforced the view that male victims of domestic abuse are ignored by the authorities and as a result don’t bother to report such crimes. I would, therefore, assume that this is a case that is essential to the protection of the public.

My confidence with the police and the legal system has now developed into a view of total distrust and failure. The one and only time I had ever requested help from the police they failed me on a number of occasions. Furthermore, there are no viable male refuges of which I could have moved to.

  1. What is the impact on the community?

The greater the impact of the offending on the community, the more likely it is that a prosecution is required. In considering this question, prosecutors should have regard to how community is an inclusive term and is not restricted to communities defined by location.

As stated she has targeted males to make false accusations and has manipulated her own daughters to hold men in low esteem.

I hope that these points raised will help you to reconsider my original complaint. Although I am aware that you have no powers over the police I am sure you can see (by your own measurements) that I was treated unfairly and heavy-handedly. I also include the CPS within that specific claim.

I trust that you will look again at my complaint.

I look forward to hearing from you again in due course.

 

Kind regards

 

My ex has been arrested

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression My ex has been arrested

I usually pride myself on my use of words, but I have sat hovering over this keyboard for a while now.

It’s not that I have nothing to say, the complete opposite in fact, it’s just that I can’t quite get the words to fit with what it is I’m going to say.

My ex-partner has been arrested today. There you go, I’ve said it. Seven simple words but they are words that are massive and potentially life changing.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression My ex has been arrested

Invite to the police station

Following my complaint to the police with regards to my treatment I was offered an appointment at Worcester Police station. Obviously, this gave me time to ponder and consider my potential actions. I know what it is like to be arrested and questioned. Furthermore, I can appreciate what it is like to sit in a cell counting the scratches on the door and wonder what will happen next. But with this I am also aware of what it is like to do all of this when you are innocent of the crime you have been charged for.

Dilemma

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression My ex has been arrested

And this was my dilemma. I know how awful it is and I would never want anyone I know to go through this. But on consideration my ex-partner never once gave this a thought although she had a record of abuse and false allegations.

I hadn’t set out the rules, I just played by them.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression My ex has been arrested

Ideally, I wanted this to stop but where had the line in the sand been drawn? I hadn’t set out the rules I just abided by them and she dictated that I should get arrested because I had had enough of living under her regime. I had experienced abuse in various forms, theft and psychological distress. I had also had to defend my good character in the face of false allegations. This is enough for anyone to endure. So why can’t a guilty person also face up to their actions and reap the seeds that they had sown?

Two options

At the police station I was given two options.

Firstly, I could drop it all and consider it done and dusted. However, this would therefore, allow her to act in the way she had become accustomed too and not be answerable for her actions. She clearly had a history of hating men dating back to her first husband. But she was wrong to consider every man is the same. Perhaps having to explain her actions may entitle her to therapy of which she dearly needs.

Secondly, I was offered a full investigation with potential prosecution. As stated above I gave my reasonings and opted for the latter. Should I have not taken this option then everything to date would have been in vein. Furthermore, her next potential victim may not be as lucky or mentally sufficient to deal with the consequences of dating such an evil woman.

Process

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression My ex has been arrested

The process to far longer than I had envisaged. Initially I thought it may have taken a couple of hours but the whole process took just over four hours.

During this time I was asked about historical events leading upto the arrest in May. They then questioned things such as the relationship itself and what had happened behind closed doors. It was difficult to discuss certain factors but the conversation was open, frank and at times explicit.

Where are the men?

During the conversation an area of concern was raised. The female police officer stated that in her 13 years on the job I was the second male to come forward stating that they had been abused by their female partner. I consider this to be a shocking statistic especially the amount of times I, as a paramedic, have seen male victims within my line of duty. This statistic also reinforced my fact that men are reluctant to come forward. In essence, the fact isn’t recognised because men dismiss it. For things to change it must be down to men to point the finger when the case arises.

Support

Initially, there were two police officers. As stated I was being interviewed by a female officer but in the corner sat another (male) officer. It transpires that this said officer was connected to the domestic abuse unit. He introduced himself and stated that I certainly had a case for support and would be happy to offer this to me.

The support offered was related to counselling and group discussions. Obviously I raised my concerns that I had some issue with being potentially the only male in a room full of abused females. He categorically stated that these groups were tailored to male victims. I was disappointed that this had not been offered from the outset. In effect, the door had been slammed after the horse had bolted. But equally I was not going to look a gift horse in the mouth and was pleased to state that I would be delighted to receive any support they had to offer.

The importance of keeping a record

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression My ex has been arrested
Reporting everything

As stated, the whole process took just over four hours with a majority of this spent writing my statement. And here is where I need to make myself explicitly clear. My record of events were essential. Much of what I had said was copy and pasted and letters that were endorsed by my employers were invaluable. Within those letters were dates and a comprehensive explanation of what had happened. I also provided photographic evidence with texts etc. let me hereby state, if I had none of this I would have been found possibly guilty at my trial and this present set of circumstances would have been he said/she said. But here I was with firm and irrefutable recorded evidence.

Feel nothing (again)

I can’t honestly say I feel anything. I don’t feel vindicated or liberated. Furthermore, it is certainly not a victory of my ex-partner. We all have ex’s and some break-ups have been easier than others. But I would have been happy to have walked away several months ago without any consequence or ill feeling. But she had set these wheels in motion and to prove my innocents I had to highlight her failings. It wasn’t and isn’t nice but had become a necessity

I suppose I can now confirm that the events are far from over but I feel a certain sense of warmth that I have at last been listened to. It’s just a deep shame that it had to be done this way.