The Power of a Poster

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The Power of a Poster

A painfully Slow Process

I am now at the age whereby I realise that not everything is done instantly. This has come as a bit of a shock to me because as an ex member of the forces I have found that, although life in the forces is somewhat different to ‘civvie street’ life out here is slower and a lot less urgent.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The Power of a Poster

During the end of my service in the RAF one of my NCO’s (non-commissioned officers) said of me that; if I needed something done, I didn’t care how it was done as long as it was on my desk when I needed it. As a result I have found life as a civilian frustrating and unjustifiably slow. If something needs to be done it does not require a committee or a series of phone-calls to end up back at the beginning to be told I have the wrong number (and so on).

In My Lifetime – Doubt it

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The Power of a Poster

Alas, it is with a heavy heart when I consider the fact that the changes we urgently need may never be achieved in my life time. However, it was recently brought to my attention that there has been a recent drive highlighting the fact that men are also victims of domestic abuse. Of course, I am delighted that such an issue is starting to be acknowledged but a poster strategically placed still does not address the whole issue. Let me give another example, there would be uproar if 1 in 4 people were diagnosed with cancer but there was no treatment in the modern world for it. To give another analogy, we would never contemplate the idea of a sinking ship having no life boats.

But here rests my point. I am delighted that some form of statement of recognition is now out there but where is the support? Where is the equality in law for equal protection. Or, for that matter where are the refuges for male victims? Where is the access to a safe home on a council waiting list? Where, once the ability to leave the home is the equal parenting rights to our children?

Is that it, just a poster?

You may call me cynical, but as far as I see it the whole poster drive is a tick box exercise. It appeases the police who claim to administer the law equally. It appeases social services who claim to be equal and inclusive and it appeases the health service who claim to offer support and sanctuary. But alas, none of this is the case.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The Power of a Poster

Many people think of domestic abuse as a physical assault by a man on a woman in their home. But the reality of domestic violence extends much further than that. The Inter-Ministerial Group on Domestic Violence has adopted the following Home Office definition: ‘Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.’ (Home Office)

Male Victims Do Not Exist

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The Power of a Poster

In a document entitled Responding to domestic abuse: a handbook for health professionals – by the Department of Health 2005, states that; Responsibility for domestic abuse always lies with the perpetrator – never with the person who has been abused. At no point does it identify a specific gender as being either the perpetrator or victim yet, within the said document it clearly states on page 4 that it will not acknowledge male victims as; Consequently, this handbook focuses on women’s needs. To date the said office have failed to produce a male equivalent document, thirteen years after the publication of the first booklet mentioned above.

We will probably never know its true extent, because many male cases of domestic abuse go unreported. It is difficult – and often dangerous – for a victim to tell somebody that they are being abused by somebody close to them. But we do know it’s common.

Domestic Abuse Is A Health Issue For Men Too

With the recognition of a social problem must come some form of responsibility. Men are dying at an alarming rate. Okay, it is fair to argue that less men die at the hands of an abusive partner but men are killing themselves because they have reached the end of a dead end road. When there is no other option left but to return to the abusive home and become the perpetual victim to a violent partner that is one thing. But to be rejected by the law makers or to be refused a home based on your gender is another.

It doesn’t take much to type in ‘domestic abuse’ in any search engine to find reams of information aimed at female victims. Pages and pages will offer support and guidance and even direct you to places whereby you can get specialist information about specific things. Yet, in my hour of need there was nothing. Not a dot of information or help. After all, it has always been unacceptable for a male to be a victim either of domestic abuse or depression. And yet the only contribution to date to support a male victim is a poster.

A World Wide Disgrace

Well I don’t wish to make a stir but that poster offers very little in the way of true support. There needs to be an equal drive for supplying refuges or/and protection. Like I have previously said there would be uproar if this lack of provision or funding was found in any other walk of life. This present system is far from adequate and is a world wide disgrace.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The Power of a Poster

I am aware that for generations men have been discouraged to talk about problems or concerns. Indeed, as a result the numbers of people reporting issues does not reflect the true facts about the issues concerning men. However, times have changed and not only are a younger generation of men stepping forward but we also have a younger generation of violent women making their mark. For generations men have also been discouraged to not discuss depression or moments of ‘weakness’ but the unacceptable rise of male suicides are not being recognised as a social concern.

When I was finally encouraged to come forward and share my story with the authorities it was a big step to take. However, I was under the influence that there would be some form of pay-off. If I openly talked about my experiences and present concerns I would be able to access support, help and advice. Yet, to date I have received next to nothing other than a number of counselling sessions provided by my work. I must therefore, acknowledge that I had been given some form of support but it does not match anything that was offered to my female equivalent. Yet, here I am saying how delighted I am to have witnessed a poster – yes just one poster.

Gender issues

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression The Power of a Poster

Similarly, although much of my writing refers to domestic abuse within heterosexual relationships, it’s important to acknowledge that lesbian and gay relationships are also affected by domestic abuse. Although abuse in same-sex relationships sometimes brings up different issues from those occurring in heterosexual relationships, it merits the same level of concern and the same professional, supportive response. Yet, I have had discussions with gay men who tell me that it is one thing to admit being in a gay relationship, but to admit being the victim of abuse by their partner is another.

Virtually every person in Britain uses the healthcare system at some point. If we create an environment in which men as well as women are likely to feel safe enough to reveal that they are being abused and can therefore access information, it can make a real difference for thousands of men and their families.

What do (all) survivors of domestic abuse want?

• To be safe. It is essential to know that a man has the same protection in law as a woman. A home must be a refuge from not only the outside world but also a haven from the threat of violence.
• To be believed, taken seriously and respected. From my own and many other men’s experiences this has not, and never was the case. The police fail to provide protection or advice to males. Furthermore, although more concealed now than ever before, no male victim of abuse is taken seriously and as a result lacks the respect the victim requires.
• Timely and proactive interventions such as routine enquiry and the provision of information. A safe haven on an equal standing as female victims is essential but lacking.
• Independent advocates (from the voluntary sector, for example) to oversee their case and liaise with the different agencies that provide them with support.
• A single person or agency to get help from so that they don’t have to keep repeating intimate details of their abuse.
• Options based on their circumstances explained to them clearly.
• Contact with other male survivors.
• To be kept informed of developments – such as when an abuser is released from a police station – although females don’t seem to either get arrested or have to explain their actions.
• Support to cope with the effects of abuse on them and their children.
• To have their views incorporated into services that are offered to them. Furthermore, respect and consideration for their plight.

But at least I can now conclude by saying – at least we now have a poster.

Obessions

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

History is littered with the ‘great and the good’ but the real people who make a difference are not those who have been born into privilege. It, in my view, those of whom have come from nothing to have made the world sit up and listen who are the greatest of which people should note.

You may argue that a great many developments and improvements have been either due to sheer luck or by a sense of obsession.

Luck

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

If we consider ‘luck’ for a moment a good example is that of Alexander Fleming. Alexander Fleming was a doctor and bacteriologist who discovered penicillin, eventually receiving the Nobel Prize in 1945.

Not washing the dishes

In September 1928, Fleming returned to his laboratory after a month away (having not washed up the dishes before he went) and noticed that a culture of Staphylococcus aureus he had left out had become contaminated with a mould (later identified as Penicillium notatum). He also discovered that the colonies of staphylococci surrounding this mould had been destroyed.

He later said of the incident, “When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I suppose that was exactly what I did.” He at first called the substance “mould juice,” and then named it “penicillin,” after the mould that produced it.

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

It is quite clear that one of the greatest finds that revolutionised medicine and, without doubt, saved so many lives was conceived by accident and included a large element of luck.

Any other form of luck?

But what about other historical developments that were not constructed or created from luck? It would be fair to consider that an element of obsession is crucial especially in the face of hostility or by a system that tries to enforce the individual to remain quiet.

Why on earth are you so obsessed?

I remember a conversation I had with a senior police officer following my acquittal. He asked me why I was so obsessed with trying to ‘rake up the past’? I thought this was quiet a strange thing to say especially from someone whose job it was to investigate past events.

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

It was from this point that I realised an interesting concept. From my perspective those that have been wrongfully accused of an offence are labelled ‘obsessive’ when attempting to prove their innocents. The word ‘obsessive’ therefore has multiple standpoints.

Two views

Firstly, the standard view of obsessive (or obsession) is one based on devotion or dogged determination. Yet, an alternative view is one whereby people consider that an obsession is about proving someone wrong or to expose an untruth. It is, therefore, understandable that so many people try and belittle someone’s obsessions by questioning its worth. In my case it has been the police questioning my obsession because I would eventually be able to expose the holes and limitations of their actions and abilities.

Yet without obsession many truths would have remained hidden or developments in the world of science, medicine, the arts, education and so on would have remained un-found. What would have been even more unthinkable would have been so many miscarriages of justice would have remained so also.

If we consider events such as Hillsborough, Stephen Lawrence etc the true facts would still be hidden today.

Hillsborough

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

The Hillsborough disaster was a human crush at Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield, England on 15 April 1989, during the 1988–89 FA Cup semi-final game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The resulting 96 fatalities and 766 injuries make this the worst disaster in British sporting history. The crush occurred in the two standing-only central pens in the Leppings Lane stand, allocated to Liverpool supporters. Shortly before kick-off, in an attempt to ease overcrowding outside the entrance turnstiles, the police match commander, chief superintendent David Duckenfield, ordered exit gate C to be opened, leading to an influx of even more supporters to the already overcrowded central pens.

Feeding a false report

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

In the days and weeks following the disaster, police fed false stories to the press suggesting that hooliganism and drinking by Liverpool supporters were the root causes of the disaster. The blaming of Liverpool fans persisted even after the Taylor Report of 1990, which found that the main cause of the disaster was a failure of control by South Yorkshire Police (SYP). Following the Taylor report, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ruled there was no evidence to justify prosecution of any individuals or institutions. The disaster also led to a number of safety improvements in the largest English football grounds, notably the elimination of fenced standing terraces in favour of all-seater stadiums in the top two tiers of English football.

The first coroner’s inquests into the Hillsborough disaster, completed in 1991, ruled all deaths that occurred that day to be accidental. It eventually came down to the families who strongly rejected the original coroner’s findings, and their fight (or obsession) to have the matter re-opened persisted, despite Lord Justice Stuart-Smith concluding in 1997 there was no justification for a new inquiry.

Shifting the blame

In 2009, a Hillsborough Independent Panel was formed to review all evidence. Reporting in 2012, it confirmed Taylor’s 1990 criticisms, while also revealing new details about the extent of police efforts to shift blame onto fans, the role of other emergency services, and the error of the first coroner’s inquests. The panel’s report resulted in the previous findings of accidental death being quashed, and the creating of new coroner’s inquests. It also produced two criminal investigations led by police in 2012: Operation Resolve to look into the causes of the disaster, and by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to examine actions by police in the aftermath.

The second coroner’s inquests which was held from 1 April 2014 to 26 April 2016 ruled that the supporters were unlawfully killed due to grossly negligent failures by police and ambulance services to fulfil their duty of care to the supporters. The inquests also found that the design of the stadium contributed to the crush, and that supporters were not to blame for the dangerous conditions. Public anger over the actions of his force during the second inquests led the SYP chief constable David Crompton to be suspended following the verdict. In June 2017, six people were charged with various offences including manslaughter by gross negligence, misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice for their actions during and after the disaster.

Uncomfortable reading

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

The views and actions of the police make for uncomfortable reading when researching the events following the Hillsbourgh disaster. I am sure that the police would have preferred the whole matter to be brushed aside and never to be heard of again. What is disturbing is that much of the blame and finger pointing was to those of whom could not defend themselves – because they were dead. In effect, the insult was a double whammy of lies over avoidable deaths.

Stephen Lawrence

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

Stephen Lawrence (13 September 1974 – 22 April 1993) was a black British teenager from south east London, who was murdered in a racially motivated attack while waiting for a bus on the evening of 22 April 1993.

After the initial investigation, five suspects were arrested but not charged. It was suggested during the investigation that Lawrence was killed because he was black, and that the handling of the case by the police and Crown Prosecution Service was affected by issues of race. A 1998 public inquiry, headed by Sir William Macpherson, examined the original Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) investigation and concluded that the force was institutionally racist. It also recommended that the double jeopardy rule should be abrogated in murder cases to allow a retrial upon new and compelling evidence: this was effected in 2005 upon enactment of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Obsessive reporters?

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

However, a BBC investigation alleged that the murder inquiry’s Det. Sgt. John Davidson had taken money from known drug smuggler Clifford Norris, the father of David Norris, a chief suspect in the investigation. Neil Putnam, a former corrupt police detective turned whistleblower, told a BBC investigation that Clifford Norris was paying Davidson to obstruct the case and to protect the suspects. “Davidson told me that he was looking after Norris and that to me meant that he was protecting him, protecting his family against arrest and any conviction,” Putnam said.

The Metropolitan Police Service announced that it was to open up a special incident room to field calls from the public, following the BBC documentary The Boys Who Killed Stephen Lawrence. The Independent Police Complaints Commission later stated that the claims made in the programme were unfounded.

Corruption exposed

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

On 17 December 2009, Independent Police Complaints Commission investigators and officers from the Metropolitan Police’s directorate of professional standards arrested a former police constable and a serving member of Metropolitan Police staff on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice by allegedly withholding evidence from the original murder inquiry, the Kent investigation and the Macpherson inquiry. Dr Richard Stone, who sat on the Macpherson inquiry, commented that the panel had felt that there was “a large amount of information that the police were either not processing or were suppressing” and “a strong smell of corruption”. Baroness Ros Howells, patron of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, agreed: “Lots of people said they gave the police evidence which was never produced.”

The publication in 1999 of the resulting Macpherson Report has been called “one of the most important moments in the modern history of criminal justice in Britain”. Jack Straw, Home Secretary from 1997 to 2001, commented in 2012 that ordering the inquiry was “the single most important decision I made as Home Secretary”. In 2010 the case was said to be “one of the highest-profile unsolved racially motivated murders”.

On 18 May 2011, after a further review, it was announced that two of the original suspects, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were to stand trial for the murder in the light of new evidence. At the same time it was disclosed that Dobson’s original acquittal had been quashed by the Court of Appeal, allowing a retrial to take place. Such an appeal had only become possible following the 2005 change in the law, although Dobson was not the first person to be retried for murder as a result. On 3 January 2012, Dobson and Norris were found guilty of Lawrence’s murder; the pair were juveniles at the time of the crime and were sentenced to detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure, equivalent to a life sentence for an adult, with minimum terms of 15 years 2 months and 14 years 3 months respectively for what the judge described as a “terrible and evil crime”.

Obsessively pursuing the truth.

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

To keep it simple, how dare people criticise those of whom have been wronged as being obsessive. If a wrong has taken place it is the moral duty to find out the truth. It is equally wrong, therefore, for any authority to actively stop or hinder such obsessions. Indeed, some obsessive behaviour when pursuing the truth may be dismissed but to actively encourage people to accept an injustice is utterly wrong.

Like I have previously mentioned in my blog about ‘entrepreneurs’, we need these individuals to pursue a truth and to expose the corruption that has been allowed to exist unfettered and unchallenged.

Like Alexander Fleming, the pursuit of something to benefit a society should be celebrated and remembered. But equally, there are so many others out there with an equally important story to tell.

Third world treatment for second class citizens in a first world nation

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Third world treatment for second class citizens in a first world nation

I could start and leave this blog by just saying it is all ‘disgraceful’. But that would be an utter injustice to what I have read in the news recently to leave it at just that.

Murder by any means

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Third world treatment for second class citizens in a first world nation

I have been following the case of Mark Von Dongen’s death. For those who are not in the know about this case some of the details can be found at; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-44159192. To keep it brief Mark had acid thrown over him by his ex-girlfriend Berlinah Wallace.

Fifteen months after the incident that left him in permanent pain, paralysis, the loss of a leg, eye and ear, Mark took his own life via assisted suicide.

Legal view

From the legal point of view, I can understand why Wallace was acquitted of his murder but found guilty of throwing the acid. As has been said following her acquittal for murder she had no forethought about it leading to his death by assisted suicide, but her ignorance is no defence to realise that there would not have been a consequence to her actions.

Utter arrogance

From what I understand about Wallace and following the transcripts of the trial she will now be in a position to clearly state that she was found not guilty of murder. Her arrogance is beyond reprehensible and beyond arrogance.

Was it because he was a man?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Third world treatment for second class citizens in a first world nation

However, what has been conveniently overlooked was the fact that time and again Mark had reported her abusive behaviour to the police. Three weeks prior to the attack he had called 999 to report his concerns about her behaviour and his concerns for his own safety. In fact, as a point of note her previous husband, Ray Wallace was reported as saying he considered himself lucky just to have had and ashtray thrown at him. It goes without saying that so many people knew what was going on but each and everyone failed him. And yes, the police are also culpable in that statement too.

To quote Mark Brooks from Mankind Initiative UK; … “was it down to lack of competence and because he was a man?”

Lets make the rules up as we go along

But the Wallace case is just another example of the third world treatment being handed out to male victims. A judge’s decision in May 2018 to spare Oxford University student Lavinia Woodward from going straight to prison (Judge Ian Pringle QC imposed a 10-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months) for stabbing her boyfriend with a bread knife in his leg was reprehensible and indefensible.

Woodward, a student at the university’s Christ Church college, was to be sentenced earlier this year after admitting unlawful wounding, but the judge controversially gave her four months to prove herself and stay out of trouble.

When has gender been a defence?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Third world treatment for second class citizens in a first world nation

In fact, it has almost become the norm for female abusers to walk free and as a result risks putting male victims of domestic abuse off coming forward. Mark Brooks, again commented that Woodward’s sentence as “unfair” and said she would have been expected to go to prison had she been a man. Again and again this poor treatment of male victims will enforce that view, that male victims are not taken as seriously as female victims.

The whole outcomes of these cases are unfair. We would expect a man who committed this type of crime to go to prison and rightly so, so the question has to be asked why it wasn’t this the case here.

Punishments

Sonja B. Starr conducted a study that found that men serve, on average, 63% longer prison sentences than women. However, the study does not purport to explain why this is the case (Starr, Sonja (August 2012). “Estimating Gender Disparities In Federal Criminal Cases”. Law and Economics Research Paper Series. 12 (18): 17). Warren Farrell also identifies twelve criminal defences that are only available to women (Farrell, Warren (2001). “Women who kill too much and the courts that free them: the twelve “female-only” defences”. The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are The Disposable Sex. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 9780425181447). Men’s rights advocates have argued that men being over-represented in both those who commit murder and the victims of murder is evidence that men are being harmed by outmoded cultural attitudes (Woolf, Quentin. “Our attitude to violence against men is out of date”. The Telegraph 2017) The National Coalition for Men states that killing a female rather than a male brings a longer sentence, even more than the increase observed by killing a white person rather than a black person (NCFM (18 April 2014). “Criminal Sentencing”. ncfm.org. National Coalition for Men.).

In the USA, Warren Farrell cites evidence that men receive harsher prison sentences and are more likely sentenced to death in the United States. He critiques society’s belief in women as more innocent and credible, as well as battered woman and infanticide defences.

Pick and choose

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Third world treatment for second class citizens in a first world nation

If we look again at the two cases mentioned. If a female had called the police the outcomes would have been very different indeed. Furthermore, like in my case, the police not only failed to address any of my concerns but went completely overboard for a statement that was proven to be a lie from the outset. In fact, whilst I think about it I am still waiting for someone from a domestic abuse unit to contact me to offer support – and this all happened over twelve months ago. Is my abuse not worthy of the respect or consideration that the authorities seem to supply to my female equivalent? The facts seem to prove this. The reality is that the courts are not applying the same mindset as they would for victims of all genders.

Pointless exercise

And yet the Crown Prosecution Service announced plans in early 2018 to encourage male victims of sexual and domestic abuse to come forward. Like myself, so many other men I have contacted about this debacle have also confirmed it was probably the worst thing they could ever have done. Firstly, you are not believed or considered that you may have asked for it. Secondly the CPS will never take the case forward. Thirdly, the support they claim to offer is not there (like I have just said, I am still awaiting contact from the Domestic Abuse Support groups over a year after reporting my attacks). Finally, and this is the best, both the CPS and the police have perfected the ability to deflect any sort of blame or ownership of incompetence.

This whole mindset of the judiciary and the police flies in the face of established legislation when it comes to fairness of the law. The 1647 Agreement of the People Act stated that “laws will apply equally to everyone and that there must be no discrimination on the grounds of tenure, estate, charter, degree, birth or place”. The 1975/6 Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act was set out to make it an illegal act to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of their gender, or ethnicity. I just think that the general public and the judiciary seem to be singing from different hymn sheets.

Out of date statistic

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Third world treatment for second class citizens in a first world nation

Regardless of how they try to defend their third-class treatment the facts will not deflect from the fact that a man has died because of the actions of his violent partner, of whom, I hasten to add was already known to the police. Furthermore, this is just one example. And yet, the same old rhetoric about women being more likely to be victims of domestic abuse will keep getting rolled out to defend the indefensible. But why has no one stopped and considered that fact that that statistic is nearly 30 years old, and in my view, therefore, outdated.

Domestic violence committed by women against men is a problem that goes ignored and under-reported, in part because men are reluctant to describe themselves as victims. It appears that the judicial systems too easily accept false allegations of domestic violence by women against their male partners.  Men’s rights advocates (mainly in the US) have been critics of legal, policy and practical protections for abused women, campaigning for domestic violence shelters for battered men and for the legal system to be educated about women’s violence against men. Yet I find time after time domestic abuse leaflets are only ever aimed at female victims and I cannot name or identify one male refuge within eighty miles of my home address.

A circus… but who is the clown?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Third world treatment for second class citizens in a first world nation

It has been suggested to me time after time that feminism has overshot its objective and harmed men. Men’s rights groups generally reject the notion that feminism is interested in men’s problems. Would it not be fair to consider that the banner of feminism has hidden the discrimination now faced by men? I really hope not, as every person I have spoken to declares their intention of equality for all. Yet, I have failed to see equality in the family and criminal courts. Or for that matter within the distribution of health equality and so on. How on earth has an ideology of sexual equality created such a monster that is costing the lives of men?

Family law is an area of deep concern for me. Men’s rights groups have argued that the legal system and family courts discriminate against men, especially in regard to child custody after divorce. I find it difficult to believe that men have the same contact rights or equitable shared parenting rights as their ex-spouse. I like so many other fathers have gone into financial hardship to get what should be an automatic right.

I often rest on my bed at night and wonder about the plight of those fathers and who do not and have not the access to funds to pay the court to enforce what is a supposed right. The saying that fathers have equal rights is just rhetoric as the truth is in the lack of enforced access for any father wishing to raise his children equally to the mother. When I have heard men’s groups ask for “rights” and “equality” in their discourse, framing custody issues as a matter of basic civil rights it is dismissed unless it is a financial benefit to someone (be it the mother or the lawyers). I would therefore cite that parental alienation syndrome as a reason to grant custody to fathers.

Health

Health issues faced by men and shorter life expectancies compared to women may be seen as evidence of discrimination and a third world treatment for second class citizens. There is a complete disparity in funding of men’s health issues as compared to women’s, noting that, for example, prostate cancer research receives less funding than breast-cancer research. Warren Farrell states that men are more likely to die from all 15 leading causes of death than women at all ages (Farrell, Warren (February 10, 2014). The Myth of Male Power: Why Men are The Disposable Sex (21st anniversary ed.). Chapter 7). Perhaps we now live in a society considers that men more disposable than women.

Homelessness

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Third world treatment for second class citizens in a first world nation

Homelessness is a gendered issue. In Britain, most homeless people are male (Poole, Glenn. “Homelessness is a gendered issue, and it mostly impacts men”. The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 March 2017). In the United States, 85% of homeless people are male (Farrell, Warren (2001). “Is male power really a myth? A first glance”. The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are The Disposable Sex. New York: Berkley Books. ISBN 9780425181447).

It really is a disgrace

I started this post with the term “disgraceful”. And it is. Whatever stance or view you may take on this matter this is not just a male issue. It is our fathers, uncles, husbands, brothers, partners and sons who are ignored by the authorities in their hours of need. We have seen the death of one person due to the actions of a violent woman and the failure of the police to afford the same protection to that of a female. And we have also witnessed the lack of punishment for a man being stabbed by his female partner.

The poor standards of care given to men does indeed make them a second-class citizen when it comes to rights and protection. And this is not a third world country. This is my country. A country that is proud to declare that its laws are fair and equal. It’s just like Orwell once said, “everyone is equal, it’s just that some are more equal than others”.

Ignorantia juris non excusat

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Ignorantia juris non excusat

Back in 2012 I was driving through a village in Yorkshire. It was nothing remarkable, I was listening to my music and following the directions on my satellite navigation equipment as I headed home. It was during this journey, unbeknown to myself, that I had triggered a speeding camera.

By my own admission I was doing 40mph in a 30 zone. In the letter from the police it stated that although the speed for the specific area had previously been 40mph new and recent directives  stipulated that the area was now a designated 30mph zone.

Pay up and shut up

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Ignorantia juris non excusat

Okay, I did feel a little bit saddened that this had happened but I would have been screwed over either way. I accepted that at that moment I had committed a wrong and so paid the £90 fine and carried the three points on my licence. Lesson learned and moved on.

However, if in my defence I had stated that “I did not know the speed limit within that zone” I would have been prosecuted for driving without due care and attention. On the other hand, if I had claimed that “I did not know about the recent law change” the principle of ‘Ignorantia juris non excusat’ would have been applied.

So what is Ignorantia juris non excusat?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Ignorantia juris non excusat

It’s always an area of law I have had a problem with. Ignorantia juris non excusat translates as; “ignorance of the law excuses not” or, another alternative states that “ignorance of law excuses no one”. To be specific it is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because one was unaware of its content.

The rationale of the doctrine is that if ignorance were a legitimate excuse, a person charged with criminal offenses or a subject of a civil lawsuit would merely claim that one was unaware of the law in question to avoid liability. Thus, the law assigns that knowledge of all laws to all persons within the jurisdiction of the home they reside or the place of which the crime took place are fully enforceable.

Doctorine

Even though I consider it would be impossible, even for someone with substantial legal knowledge, to be aware of every law in operation, this is the price paid to ensure that wilful blindness cannot become the basis of defence or the discharge of non-responsibility.

For this doctrine to work it assumes that the law in question has been properly published and distributed. The ancient Greeks would have used the term; Leges instituuntur cum promulgantur (Laws are instituted when they are promulgated).By modern standards publication can be in the printed form or over the internet being accessed by modern smart phones.  As a result a law can bind only when it is reasonably possible for those to whom it applies to acquire knowledge of it in order to observe it. Even if actual knowledge of the law is absent for a particular individual. A secret law is no law at all.

Although I have now established that ignorance may not clear a defendant of guilt, it can be a consideration in sentencing. This is particularly pressing where the law is unclear or the defendant sought advice from law enforcement or from further legal authority. I would argue that a police officer represents a legal authority. Wouldn’t you?

So, does an apology exonerate you from the law?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Ignorantia juris non excusat

Well if you are a police officer, it does indeed seem to be the case.

Today (30th January 2018) The Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service apologised to Liam Allan after the rape case against him collapsed following the discovery of crucial text message evidence that had not been disclosed to his legal team.

The 22-year-old was cleared after lawyers were handed a mobile phone download containing previously undisclosed text messages which cast doubt on the claim the sex was non-consensual.

Although the CPS had submitted a short text conversation between Mr Allan and the complainant as evidence, they had not provided the whole download from the alleged victim’s phone until days before the trial collapsed.

As a result of the evidence eventually coming to light the judge threw out the charges against Mr Allan after his lawyer discovered messages showing the claimant wanted and enjoyed the sex which she later claimed was non-consensual.

A statement for all seasons

In a statement from the police and CPS they had the boldness to state;

There is no evidence that the phone download was withheld deliberately by the OIC (officer in the case) or CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) prosecutors.

Deliberately or not, a failure to disclose all relevant evidence was reckless in the least and catastrophically dangerous at the worst as an innocent man would have been wrongly convicted.

But in their defence, they further stated;

“The disclosure problems in this case were caused by a combination of error, lack of challenge, and lack of knowledge.”

Now let us look at this again.

 ‘A combination of…’

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Ignorantia juris non excusat

They clearly state that is was a ‘combination of…’. To my educated ear this implies that there are more than one error to consider. As if one wasn’t bad enough.

‘Lack of challenge’

The statement further states ‘lack of challenge’. It is not for the police or the CPS to establish guilt. By not challenging the validity of the evidence or facts as given then they opted to assume guilt. This of course flies in the principle of innocent until proven otherwise.

It is now evident that believing the victim now trumps ‘objective and thorough’ investigations. In effect it appears that there is no requirement for an investigation if they feel that the victim is being honest. Any intelligent person will know the dangers of presumption especially when questioning someones right to liberty.

Selective

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Ignorantia juris non excusat

Time and again I have highlighted and identified when the police and the CPS have cherry picked the evidence put before them. This has further been proven in Liam Allans case.

Liam Allan said in a range of interviews today following the apology that;

…[he had concerns that certain messages in his case] “were plucked specifically to go against me”…”It must mean at some point there was reading somewhere.”

‘A lack of knowledge’

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Ignorantia juris non excusat

So how is having a ‘lack of knowledge’ any different from claiming ignorance? Well in my eyes there is no difference. Being ignorant is having a lack of knowledge (and visa versa).

In fact the dictionary definition of ‘ignorance’ not only defines the understanding but it also offers a clear example. It states;

Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. The word ignorant is an adjective describing a person in the state of being unaware, and can be used to describe individuals who deliberately ignore or disregard important information or facts or individuals who are not aware of that important information or facts.

So how does this fit with “ignorance is no defence?”

Well based on my speeding fine I had three options.

  1. Accept it. Pay the £90 fine and move on.
  2. Claim ignorance of the law and have a conviction for driving without due car and attention.
  3. Not knowing of the recent speed change who have considered I was aiming to use ignorance as a defence.

By the police and CPS claiming to have ‘no knowledge’ indeed argues on the side of ignorance and as we now know under the principles of law that ignorance of law excuses no one. Or to put it another way – Ignorantia juris non excusat

The law applies but not to them…

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Ignorantia juris non excusat

I would like to think that I have proven that the legal system operates the principle of Ignorantia juris non excusat. However, I do not hear the police or the CPS rushing to prosecute one of their own. Far from it. Commander Richard Smith said he and Claire Lindley, chief crown prosecutor for London South, stated that it was a ‘mistake’. I failed to read or hear of any pending prosecution of an ignorant police officer.

Okay, based on their principle. My excessive speed one day in 2012 was a mistake and I am sorry. So, can I have my £90 back please?

We know the answer to this one, don’t we? Me and my kind are not above the law unlike ignorant police officers or CPS prosecutors. My ignorance of the law can now be defended by saying ‘sorry’.

 

 

 

 

 

An inconvenient truth.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression An inconvenient truth.

I love the phrase ‘an inconvenient truth’. It has so many connotations and meanings. Some truths are hidden and some are buried. But when a truth is an inconvenience it makes you wonder who for.

State or civilisations?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression An inconvenient truth.

I have learnt that we are part of a system. I suppose like a nest of ants. We just plod on with what we have to do without hesitation or doubt about our duties. We like to think and believe that we will be there for each other as and when the time requires. We support the state and follow it’s ideologies to a point of our own destruction.

Historically states have crushed or extinguished those of whom have tried to question the validity of the society they live in. Just because they may have lost the fight does not mean that they were wrong. Perhaps it’s not a very good example, but Herman Goering was quoted as saying during the Nuremberg Trials, that these kinds of trials are ‘vengeance of the victors.’ I think this does have some validity as the crimes of which they were tried for were equally as bad as Joseph Starlin. But he fought for the winning side. This still doesn’t make his crimes right.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression An inconvenient truth.

We can give other examples of women’s suffrage. I find it implausible to consider that a person does not have the right to vote because of their gender. Many women were arrested and criminalised for something that eventually became accepted and normal. The inconvenient truth lies with the fact that if it doesn’t fit with what a minority want (usually the elite) then it must be deemed illegal.

Gold, silver or bronze?

I have also noticed that following the criticisms Tony Blair received for taking the UK into an illegal war it has all gone conveniently quiet. The evidence is there but still he evades prosecution.

It does appear to be different levels of laws for different sections of society. By the accident of birth we are committed to a gold, silver or bronze level of citizenship. I gave an example of this when I talked about the history of the Welfare State in my blog entitled Legal (f)aid. Within that page I said;

“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.”

Pigs

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression An inconvenient truth.

It’s a little bit like when the pigs took over the farm in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The inconvenient truth was that;

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”,

The rhetoric that we are equal within the eyes of the law conveniently sits with the fact that;

“All people are equal in the eyes of the law, but some people are more equal than others”,

Getting shot

I don’t wish to talk about inequality of the law as I have covered this previously in the above-mentioned blog. However, by testing how far the truth goes it only takes a quick look over the parapet to get shot at. As a result of this people are blissfully happy keeping their heads down.

I recently raised my head above the parapet and challenged the CPS on a key point of their policy when it stated the following;

“……the Crown Prosecution Service is independent from the police and does not participate in the investigation of offences.”

I question this level of independence as they do not challenge the police with regards to the validity or credibility of evidence (on both sides). This behaviour is not independent but sits on the side of the police. In effect, the actions of the CPS are saying the’ police say therefore we do’. There is an assumption that the police are right as it is there job to investigate. But if the police are not doing their job correctly then how can the CPS. In effect the whole house of cards collapses because of one ‘bent’ (I suppose) policeman. Or is it endemic? Is the whole thing corrupted to a point of decay and rot? To date, the CPS have failed to argue an alternative view to this, especially in the face of growing public criticism.

Who does what and for whom?

Furthermore, another inconvenient truth found within the CPS documents states;

“The police are responsible for responding to allegations that a person has committed a crime. They will decide whether an investigation is required and how it should be conducted.”

Time and again I have made an allegation of being a victim of domestic abuse. I have supplied evidence that is sound, solid and testable. Yet the CPS and the police continually fail to address or consider my claims. They have actively and physically chosen to ignore that fact. It has also transpired today, via a letter from the CPS, that the police purposely chose to withhold my evidence without reason or justification.

How on earth can this be defensible?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression An inconvenient truth.

As an accident of birth, we agree to a form of ‘social contract’ whereby we agree to operate within the rule of the law. If we break this contract, then we suffer a consequence. I will state here and now that a sign of a civilised society requires a number of ingredients, but the protection of individuals is dependant upon the fairness of the law and the law makers. It protects us from others and others from us. But does it protect us from a corrupted state? It appears not to stretch that far as certain authorities are above the law.

Throughout my life I have had a hatred of injustice or unfairness. In fact, when I think about it, we all do. We ‘boo’ at the baddies in plays and pantos and we like a happy ending over victimisation in stories and soap operas.  It makes me sick to the pit of my stomach to see people sleeping on the street through no fault of their own. Or for that matter people living off the success of others in the form of exploitation or privilege of birth (yes you can probably guess I am no fan of the royal family either). I am angry that many TV presenters are paid inexcusable saleries yet poor families are hounded because they can’t pay their TV licences to pay for these overpaid – under talented individuals.

Puppets on a string

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression An inconvenient truth.

But the worst kind of injustice is the type that has successfully hidden behind lies and has played the state and people like puppets on a string.

I had an interesting conversation today with a reader of my blogs who lives in America (she knows who she is). She made a point that sat with me for the rest of the evening.

She stated that the problems are the same there (in America) as they are here (in the UK). So why on earth are people not asking for their true birth rights? Why are people not expressing their need to be protected under the rules of which they have agreed to associate with – after all, if we decide to live outside of the law then we can’t expect it’s protection but only its execution of a trial and incarceration. Why don’t we ask for injustices to  be corrected for the benefit of society as a whole?

Just think about it, it could be you.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression An inconvenient truth.

I’m certainly not requesting a revolution in the physical sense like Russia or France but an intellectual revolution whereby society can test the theories and see if they match with facts. You will find that they don’t and never have done.

Historically, people have been treated with contempt and disdain. When we consider the life of poor working people at the turn of the 20th century we will see that some had faced the misery and mistreatment in the workhouse. Only to be expected to die for their country and superiors who were nowhere to be seen on the battle fronts. And for those of whom survived there was nothing to come home to. No heroes welcome and no streets lined with gold. Just lies and expectations.

I consider myself a well educated middle aged man. I have paid my taxes and abided by the laws of my land. I don’t drink or smoke (I know these are not illegal) and I go about my daily business without hindrance to others or interference to those around me.  I regularly read the news and develop my own opinions on events as they unfold. I may express my views, but I don’t impose them upon others. As I feel everyone has the right to be heard. Yet as we know I have had to fight for the past eight months to get some form of explanation from an organisation that should be working for me and my protection.

Contradiction

To date I am still not satisfied with the explanations I have got because time and again the answers are contradictory or don’t stand up to simple tests of equality and fairness.

The inconvenient truth is that the laws of this land are inaccessible to most people but those of whom see fit to challenge it are faced with a closed-door policy. For me to explain this in an easier way I have found that the police blame the CPS and the CPS blame the police. It is just a continual cycle of blame and counter blame. It is almost childish that they insist on using their trump card to ‘twit’ on the other. The inconvenient truth is that if two children acted like this in the playground then they would expect to be sitting in the head masters office explaining their actions. It has only been allowed to continue because a minority are earning from it and being protected by it. We are being treated like idiots and expect to be happy that way.

Are we the same?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression An inconvenient truth.  I am proud of the fact that I treat people equally. I have brought my children up to equally respect other people of whom they come into contact with. As a result, I also wish to be treated equally and in general I am. I am treated equally in the shops and restaurants I attend. I walk the streets not being expected to walk on an unequal path. I pay equal taxes as my work colleagues and use the same services as everyone else when it comes to public libraries, rubbish collection or obtaining medical help.

Yet, the inconvenient truth is that we have all been lied to and we tell the same lies to our children. As long as a people are compelled to obey, the state  does well and profits from our ignorance of the failings that are around us. But social order and protection from a corrupt state and violent individuals is a sacred birth right which is the basis of every other right. However, this natural right is no longer natural and is founded and corrupted by manmade legislations. And as long as individual people have control of writing our laws it will be subject to failure and corruption.

Rights and responsibilities

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Rights and responsibilities

I don’t know whether it’s just me but sometimes I might hear something and it sits with me for a while until either something else replaces it within my thought bank or I investigate it further.

I was awake one night watching TV in bed when I observed a programme discussing the state of the present legal system in the UK. One particular guest stated; “if we have responsibilities, then we must have the right”. For me this was like a light bulb moment.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Rights and responsibilities

These two words ‘rights’ and ‘responsibilities’ should have an obvious connection. They should be united in their meanings. But they have not been allowed to be. They have a divorce forced upon them with both parties unwilling to separate.

Rights

The word ‘rights’ has, and is, often misused and often taken for granted.

A dictionary definition of rights states;

right/rʌɪt/

noun

plural noun: rights

that which is morally correct, just, or honourable.

“she doesn’t understand the difference between right and wrong”

synonyms: goodness, rightness, righteousness, virtue, virtuousness, integrity, rectitude, uprightness, principle, propriety, morality, truth, truthfulness, honesty, honour, honourableness, justice, justness, fairness, equity, equitableness, impartiality; More

lawfulness, legality

“the difference between right and wrong”

antonyms: wrong

a moral or legal entitlement to have or do something.

“she had every right to be angry”

synonyms: entitlement, prerogative, privilege, advantage, due, birthright, liberty, authority, authorization, power, licence, permission, dispensation, leave, consent, warrant, charter, franchise, sanction, exemption, immunity, indemnity;

There is significant disagreement about what is meant precisely by the term ‘rights’. It has been used by different groups and thinkers for different purposes, over different periods of time. Very often with different and sometimes opposing definitions. The precise definition of this principle, beyond having something to do with normative rules of some sort or another, is controversial.

Rights verses Rights

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Rights and responsibilities

Natural rights are rights which are deemed to be ‘natural’ in the sense of not being artificial or not man-made. In effect these are rights deriving from human nature or from the edicts of a god. For example, it has been argued that humans have a natural right to life. These are, in my view, moral rights or absolute rights that no state can dictate to or interfere with.

In contrast, legal rights, are based on a society’s customs, laws and statutes. An example of a legal right is the right to vote. Citizenship, itself, is often considered as the basis for having legal rights. Legal rights are sometimes called civil rights or statutory rights and are culturally and politically relative since they depend on a specific common framework to have meaning.

Throughout time thinkers have seen rights in only one sense while others accept that both senses have a measure of validity. There has been considerable debate about these senses throughout history. For example, Jeremy Bentham (15 February 1748 – 6 June 1832) believed that legal rights were at the heart of rights, and he denied the existence of natural rights. Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274), however, argued that rights claimed by positive law but not grounded in natural law were not properly rights at all, but only a facade or pretence of rights.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Rights and responsibilities

It is my right…. but it is wrong

As I see it, therefore, the general populace is still shrouded in confusion when they discuss ‘their rights’. Time and again I have heard people state it is there right to wear whatever they want or to do whatever they wish. But this may be contrary to the rights of others who may see this as offensive or just downright wrong. For example, I disagree with blood sports of any kind – it is my right to have this view – but it would be wrong for me to force my opinions on others who disagree. It is the role of law for this to change if it is to be considered as an absolute wrong. And I would like to think that a majority of the human population would take and accept this stance.

My argument is also supported by the concept of the ‘Human Rights Act 1998’. Indeed, the very title claims to the right of humans but it is only reinforced by manmade laws contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. Which in turn is not a natural right at all but man-made decisions. What also bothers me about this title is the presumption by the majority of people is that they consider that they are free to do what ever they want under the protection of this said act. I wonder how many people who scream about ‘their human rights’ have actually read the document? I consider not many have.

Responsibilities

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Rights and responsibilities

I like the word responsibility. It has a feeling of ‘duty’ or ‘liability’ about it. Put simply, it is my responsibility as a father to clothe, feed and educate my children. I also have a responsibility to drive my car without recklessness or dangerously. Of course, these responsibilities are enshrined in law (Tort) but that is protect those of whom come into contact with and not to protect myself.

In essence, and I hope you agree, having ‘responsibility’ is to hold a duty or obligation.

The dictionary definition holds that;

“…the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management.”

Romantic ideology

In an ideal world I would love each and every one of us to know with some certainty that our rights and responsibilities are equal and firmly married. But, alas, they are not.

For those of whom govern, having these two concepts together would fly in the face of state control. And so the myth has been able to perpetuate.  As a father I know about my responsibilities (as previously stated) but the law does not protect my right as a father to equal access to the children. I can give so many examples where this is so. Yet, I am expected to carry out my duty (responsibility) without the protection of the law. There is just an assumption and assumption is not a protection in law.

Injustice

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Rights and responsibilities

But let me look at this a little further. The average man is allowed to live freely within his home. But his partner abuses him. He has the right to leave but cannot expect the protection he requires as of his assumed right. And why is this? Well it now transpires that the police and the CPS will not protect your right to equality in the law because your rights are compromised by their inefficiency, corruption and selectiveness of evidence to prove the truth. Yes, the abused man has a responsibility to not hit back or counter assault; but he does not have the right to equal protection from wrongful arrest or to be protected equally. There is no equality in law, there is no equality in refuge and there is no equality to the rights to our children. Yet we must always maintain our responsibilities.

Reflect

I am happy to uphold my responsibilities. It offers a sense of duty and protection. This concept of responsibility also protects me in my daily existence. But alas, it doesn’t protect me from an abusive partner because I don’t hold the right to protection. It is just assumed it is there until I need it. And for so many it isn’t there. It just doesn’t exist.

Evolution

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Rights and responsibilities

For those of whom have followed my blogs you will have probably noticed a bit of a shift in my focus.

As I write this I am satisfied that from the outset I knew this blog would become organic and grow. At the beginning I talked about what happened to me and this flowed into anger directed at my abusive ex.

From my perception I consider that I got over her a while ago, but my new focus is the corruption and failings of a system that not only failed me (and many others) but also protected the abuser. As I have stated numerous times before she had a history of abuse and was, time after time, able to get away with it. But, even with her history she is still protected by what she knows to be a failing in the system to protect victims. Thus, promote abuse within the home. The rhetoric of protecting victims does not stand up to simple scrutiny.

We have known from reading recent news articles that time and again both the police and CPS have failed to disclose evidence and facts. Therefore, how is the right to liberty and equality guaranteed in a so called civilised society, when this simple belief is chosen to be ignored?

In essence, rights and responsibilities translate as, it is our responsibility to do what is perceived as being decent and respectable, yet we cannot expect the right of protection regardless of how it is flowered up to desperate victim.

 

 

 

Dystopia

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

English literature is littered with fantastic novels. We have been fortunate to have access to books that have been written over many centuries and, I hope, we will be exposed to future books or stories of equal magnitude over time.

Genre

One particular genre has gripped generations of readers over many years. I would never consider dystopian works as science fiction, but they are very often set in the future.

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

Dystopian societies appear in many artistic works, particularly in stories set in the future. Some of the most famous examples are George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. From the outset of cinematic history directors were quick to cash in on this theme by creating films such as Metropolis and films based on Victorian works such as HG Wells, War of The Worlds.

Dehumanised

Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a dreadful decline in society. The art of considering a Dystopian story is when it is often used to draw attention to real-world issues regarding society, environment, politics, economics, religion, psychology, ethics, science, or technology.

Nightmare made flesh

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

In effect the idea of a dystopian state is not one built up on the dreams of those living in the present. It is the idea of the nightmare made flesh. It is the realisation that society is fragile and has been removed to a state that we no longer recognise. In our own ignorance and self-centred interpretations, we have missed the developments associated with the predictions of Orwell and HG Wells.

Killing machines

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

HG Wells wrote about killing machines that attacked from the sky decades before the first manned flight had ever taken place. He even discussed the use of poisoned gas attacks prior to trench warfare. George Orwell introduced the concept of a Big Brother state that was forever watching its subjects. And this was before the invention of the CCTV.

Words

But we often use words that are now taken for granted but are, I hasten to add, words of warning from the past. Big brother is now associated with cheap television entertainment. Even the word Kafkaesque is often misunderstood in it’s literal meaning. Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a Czech-born writer whose surreal fiction vividly expressed the anxiety, alienation, and powerlessness of the individual in the 20th century. Kafka’s work is characterized by nightmarish settings in which characters are crushed by nonsensical, blind authority. Thus, the word Kafkaesque is often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening.

Time and again, I have been given the advice that very often ‘ignorance is bliss’. But who for? I assume the masses As ignorance protects people from the shaping and manipulation of the world around us. Even Plato (427 – 348 BC) desired us to ‘open our eyes’ once we are set free from the darkness of ‘the Cave’.

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

The example of the Cave contains many forms of symbolism used to describe the state of the world. The cave is the world we live in and the prisoners are those who inhabit the world, in effect it is us.  The chains that prevent the prisoners from leaving the cave represent ignorance, meaning they interfere with the prisoners seeing the truth. The shadows cast on the walls of the cave represent what people see in the present world. Last, the freed prisoner represents those in society who see the physical world for the illusion that it is.

So how does this fit with society now?

Well, many nightmares don’t hit us straight away. If we look at German Society following the First World War, the German people were looking for a guide or leader to rescue them from the plight that the Treaty of Versailles had inflicted upon them. Little did they know then that their ‘saviour’ would finally smash Europe and result in millions of lives lost. Like a domestically abusive relationship the soft tender love slowly develops into assaults and violence. It doesn’t just happen. It is a slow, organic process that appears slowly over time.

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

The nightmare for many continues after the domestic escape. Our elected representatives sell us both and idea and a solution with conveniently placed sound-bites and marketing to buy our votes. The reality is a nightmare perpetuated by enforcing the status quo of the present situation. Let me give you an example, we all know about the Big Brother state whereby our movements are monitored both physically and electronically. Our emails are scanned, and texts monitored clandestinely. But we were warned about this many decades ago in George Orwell’s 1984. Kafka warned us about being arrested and tried by a state that holds no logic or explanations. Therefore, nothing improves it only intensifies under a wrong regime that continually fails to address the nightmares of society. We vote our leaders in who do not concern themselves with everyday problems once they have secured their seats in Parliament.

And here lies my point.

It transpires that the police and the CPS now pick and choose the evidence they require to arrest and charge individuals. This is nothing new, dictator states such as Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia arrested, sentenced and executed individuals based on what did not fit into their idea of society. There was no chance or option of appeal or defence. Your only crime was if you met certain criteria. Or a member of a particular group. This doesn’t make you a criminal it makes you a victim. And a target setting state system does not make sense, it makes victims.

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

In fact Stalin coined the phrase ‘one death is a tragedy, many deaths are a statistic’. And here lies the similarity with what I find today. Because men represent a large part of society each individual is a statistic. Our claims for equal treatment in courtrooms around the world are ignored. Our legal claims are rejected in the favour of either the state or the convenient lies of a false accuser who fit the states ‘targets’. It works well for them both (the state and the accuser).

Protection

This present dystopian state has a legal system  that protects the untruths because it works well for the state. Every state throughout history has needed a scapegoat on which to off load its failings onto and it has been convenient to blame men for societies evils.

Fighting with both hands tied

Men have been unable to defend themselves because we are either labelled as being sexist, racist, homophobic, violent, abuser and so on. But we are too scared to deny it (as being further labelled) or too under supported to fight it (lack of legal recognition, state protection or equality in the eyes of the law).

In effect, men are having to fight the fight with both hands tied. We are none of the above, and yet we are not allowed to question the state or have our cases heard without preconceived ideas or prejudice and silence equally valid voices of which need to be heard. It is wrong, it is a state supported dictatorship.

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

As a ‘modern man’ I support the ideas of feminism. I love the idea of an equal, fair and just society. But I cannot support a form of ideology that attempts to trample on a section of society to enhance their own. I see this as the equivalent of the Book Burning incident in Nazi Germany that attempted to eradicate the sharing of ideas.

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

Yes, women are victims and require protection from abuse. But men are victims too but are not afforded the same decency, honesty or protection. And this is now the dystopian state that we all find ourselves in. It is only recently that the abuse of power by the police and the CPS has come to the forefront of the news. But what will happen? People will be moved on to be replaced by new fresh faced ‘yes’ people. The embarrassment will be moved but the facts and actions cannot be erased. Peoples lives have been ruined and the stains on their lives are indelible. This state simply washes its own errors in tainted waters that continues to cover up without actually cleaning.

Nothing changes

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

If we look at corruption in the police force it has been a well known feature for generations. My great grandmother warned me about their actions and characteristics many years ago. The 1980’s exposed a corrupt unit in the West Midlands Constabulary yet nothing has changed. The state made promises that it would ‘change’ its ways, yet the same things have happened again and again. Nothing has changed and nothing will. People raise a concern and then forget it when a new story hits the headlines. Perhaps society is full of ignorant people – because it is better to live that way than see the nightmare we are in. That is, until it happens to them.

…And so it continues

From an age whereby, I knew right from wrong I was fed the state propaganda that we are protected equally and without prejudice. In fact we were all taught this because our predecessors also believed this, and so the fakery continued. But I am now free from the Cave and can see the light for what it is. This dystopian state has fed us as children to believe in a state and a system that just does not exist. The nightmare future that so many authors and philosophers predicted is, alas, here now. And living in Plato’s cave does not protect us from the facts as they are. It just hides them well. Unfortunately, our warnings may not protect our children from the future nightmares yet to come.

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.

Who on earth are policing the police?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Who on earth are policing the police?

Time after time I have written and rewritten the start of this blog and even now I can honestly say I’m not over happy with it. However, it is only recently that the media, the police and the courts are saying what victims have always said. The system is target based and therefore, not fit for purpose.

The present system of investigations and prosecutions by both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service is more than regrettable, it’s absolutely monstrous. It is only now the dam has burst that there is a flood of questions and accusations aimed at the fitness of our legal system.

No excuse is justifiable

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Who on earth are policing the police?

I very much doubt that the excuse of funding cuts would be a valid reason for these recent failings but I firmly believe that it is the mindset of both the police and the CPS that if they have a “victim”, that victim needs justice and the only way to obtain that is to secure a conviction. This train of thought is also found within social services approach to accusations and claims but also within the health service when a victim is seeking medical help after an alleged assault.

No point investigating

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Who on earth are policing the police?

It is evident that believing the victim now trumps ‘objective and thorough’ investigations. In effect it appears that there is no requirement for an investigation if they feel that the victim is being honest. Any educated person will know the dangers of judging people of stereotypes.

My complaints have been focused on this very point. Time and again I have highlighted and identified when the police and the CPS have cherry picked the evidence put before them. This has also been confirmed by my solicitor (he wishes to remain nameless) when he stated that the CPS and the police have been put under ‘unjustifiable pressure’ to obtain convictions that come under certain headings. These, namely being sexual assaults/rapes and domestic abuse. As a result, there has been no impetus to investigate every claim objectively as our legal system is now operating like a sales room aiming to hit targets by whatever means and at whatever cost.

No crime

With regards to my recent blog about Liam Allen’s case it appears that the investigating officer had not read all of the 40,000 messages proving his innocents. But after greater scrutiny by someone who is not a police officer it was proved that there was no crime. Liam Allen should never have been charged in the first place.

From the very beginning of his arrest 3 years previously Liam Allen had told the police that there was evidence held on a mobile phone to prove his innocents. It was finally investigated by the barristers dealing with the case that it was proven that Liam Allen was an innocent man, when, if the police had reviewed them properly, no charges would ever have been brought.

Therefore, If the lawyers had accepted what the police had told them, Liam Allen would have served 12 years wrongfully behind bars and life on a sex offenders register. But to an untrained eye, I can only draw one sickening conclusion, and that is that there will be individuals who’ve had trials where material wasn’t wilfully or knowingly, disclosed.

“The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power.”

The Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders who has pushed hard the concept of ‘victim centred’ prosecutions seems to be (so far) untouchable.  Time and again she has been accused of inflating rape conviction figures. It also transpires that this individual is also responsible for the catastrophe befallen crimes related to domestic abuse. The only comment she has made with  – regards to this shambles is to make an apology to Liam Allan –but  what about the potentially 100s of other victims of her indiscretions and erroneous policies?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Who on earth are policing the police?
Alison Saunders

One cannot help but notice that these crimes are female focused and therefore would not seek to help male victims of such crimes. As a result, Ms Saunders should do the honourable thing and resign from her position as all credibility for her and what she represents is now questionable.  Is it not enough that innocent men have had their lives destroyed on the basis of spurious claims later rejected in court. Or worse, innocent men have been found guilty because there has been little interest to pursue the truth. As I have previously stated “The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power.”

‘Victim-centred justice’

This ‘victim-centred justice’ now entrenched in the British legal justice system — has resulted in either unfair convictions or the life-long shame of being publicly accused of rape, despite an acquittal. This fact is further compounded by the re-opening of questionable convictions and/or the acquittal of so many so called ‘criminals’.

From my perspective I have supplied a vast array of evidence to the police. Yet, it has been clear to me and others involved in my case that these documents, texts and statements had been dismissed by the police without real considerations from the outset  (and this consideration just gets better as you will need to read on to hear what the CPS had to say about this). Of course, this fact of recklessness has been handed to the IPCC to review. It has also compounded the fact that a female focus has been adopted because they based their whole prosecution attempts on one statement from her daughter that was not even in the room when the supposed assault happened.

If you take the time to research what it is a police officer supposedly does you can find a range of explanations. To put it simply, police officers should maintain law and order: protect members of the public and their property; and prevent, detect and investigate crime.

Police Code of Practice

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Who on earth are policing the police?

Whilst investigating the Police Code of Practice, I found a very good example held within the West Midlands and Cleveland Constabulary Codes of Practice (of which are in bold below) (http://www.clevelandpf.org.uk/regulations/discipline.pdf) (http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/media/185119/code-of-conduct-for-pcc-dpcc-board-members.pdf)

Within the said documents I found some key points;

Honesty and integrity

It is of paramount importance that the public has faith in the honesty and integrity of

police officers. Officers should therefore be open and truthful in their dealings; avoid being

improperly beholden to any person or institution; and discharge their duties with integrity.

Fairness and impartiality

I have discovered that the police had not handed my evidence to the CPS as they claimed to have had no knowledge of my counter claim or evidence against my ex. Therefore, my initial complaint to the CPS of lack of consideration for counter evidence made no sense to them. This is counter to the CPS code of practice called the ‘Full Code Test’ when it states in sections 4.2 and 4.5

4.2 In most cases, prosecutors should only decide whether to prosecute after the investigation has been completed and after all the available evidence has been reviewed…

4.5 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.

  1. Police officers have a particular responsibility to act with fairness and impartiality in all their dealings with the public and their colleagues.

There has been no fairness or impartiality when the attempted prosecution is ‘victim focused’. As stated, when all the evidence had been supplied it was cherry picked to fit their presumptions. Hense the CPS did not have the full facts to hand.

West Midlands Code of Practice, also states

OBJECTIVITY

Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.

As stated it has now transpired that the CPS had not seen my evidence supplied to the police by myself. This does not meet the police standard of impartiality, fairness and merit. Furthermore, there is no evidence from the police actions that the best evidence was used without discrimination or bias

Professional?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Who on earth are policing the police?

Most professionals (I would like to include myself in this category) work to the expected standard. In fact, many professional I have met often exceed the minimum but get no extra thanks for this. Many of these people know what is expected but do that little bit extra to secure a greater level of satisfaction for the people of whom they are serving.

I am a member of two professional bodies. Firstly, I am a member of the General Teaching Council (GTC) and the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).

If we take a look at the GTC Standards of Practice for example. Within its constitution it clearly states;

The GTC could make the decision to remove from their register or restrict any teacher who had ‘compromised the public confidence of the profession’ or who had put ‘the safety and welfare of children at risk’

In fact, this is a common feature with the HCPC, The Nursing & Midwives Council (NMC), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), even The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA). In fact, the list is endless for any occupation claiming to be both legitimate and professional. But, as stated, they all profess to hold the principle of ‘public confidence’ with high esteem.

Disciplinary process

If I look at the discipline policies of both teachers and health professions (it is easier for me as I have a good working knowledge of these professions) there is a process.

At the first stage one would be interviewed by a superior (usually within the same profession) and then it can be referred to the governing body who are not necessary within the professions frame work. This gives an air of comfort as it implies a sense of independence or at least a relative distance from senior managers of whom the individual maybe in conflict with.

Yet, if I analyse my complaints to the police of which there have been two. I have ultimately been referred to the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission). Yet, even at this higher level I have found it is the police policing the police (it has only gone higher because I have raised my issue with a senior police officer following a revelation from the CPS).  In my eyes this would be like seeking a reference for a child minders job from Josef Fritzl. How on earth is this independent, fair or truly objective? In effect, it is the police policing the police of which I now consider to be of questionable quality.

Serious Crime Squad

If I recall, the question of honesty with regards to the police (specifically West Midland Police) was raised in 1989.

The West Midlands Serious Crime Squad was a police unit which operated from 1974 to 1989. It was disbanded after an investigation into allegations against some of its officers of incompetence and abuses of power unearthed serious questions about the credibility of such a unit. Several resulting miscarriages of justice were later overturned on appeal, including the cases of George Glen Lewis, Keith Twitchell the Birmingham Six and on 17 October 2014, Martin Foran who had been wrongly convicted in 1978 for four counts of robbery. As of January 2017, a total of 64 appellants had their convictions involving the squad overturned.

I can also recall my great grandmother telling me a story about police corruption during the first world war. She would recount how they profited from black market deals and would expect to be able to sit in the back of her shop on rainy days (whilst they hung their coats up outside). And that is without discussing pimping and theft. Okay, fair enough, one may argue that principles and codes of practice were not in operation during this period but I’m afraid to announce that the apple never falls far from the tree. And as previously stated; “The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power.”

Consequences of the status quo

This is a five-fold concern. With the publicly known failings of the present system it will affect the whole of society

  1. Criminals – I still stand by the fact that it is better to let off a true criminal rather than send one innocent person to prison. This is view is held that, the truth will eventually come out and the criminal will face justice at some point. However, with the new-found doubt of the integrity of our present legal system, an element of doubt will cloud the principle of ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’. Hence prosecutions may indeed drop thus allowing criminals to walk our streets unhindered by the chance of a real prosecution pending.
  2. Jury – The role of the jury is described as that of a finder of fact, while the judge is seen as having the sole responsibility of interpreting the appropriate law and instructing the jury accordingly. The jury determines the truth or falsity of factual allegations and concentrates on a verdict on whether a criminal defendant is guilty or not. But how can a jury be able to decipher the facts of a case when the conduct of the police and CPS be questioned from the outset? It had been assumed that the legal system was incorruptible, honourable and moral. But to allow the principle of cherry picking evidence over shadows that assumption.
  3. Public perception – the principle of law is the back bone of a decent and civil society. Alas, public perception of the police and the CPS will be shattered by the recent revelations. Both the public and the law are dependant upon each other for their own survival. Yet, if one side is seen as not playing by the rules then the rules can be broken on both sides of the fence. And this is a worrying concept to comprehend.
  4. Victims – from a male point of view there seems little benefit of reporting a crime. The evidence I supplied did not fit into the category of which the police and CPS seem to operate in. Being a white, male heterosexual they perceived that I could therefore be perceived as a victim, thus, my points and facts were given no more consideration than being filed away. From a female point of view, a victim may now fear not being believed.
  5. Trump card – having said all of this I am now pleased to consider that the ‘Trump-card’ that has been used against men for so long now be nearing the end. As you may recall, when I told my ex I was leaving she used the female victim card and got what she wanted. If the police and CPS really do start to investigate themselves more forensically then this victim centred approach my now have the life blood squeezed out of it. Thank god for that. These liars can no longer depend upon the law to sew their seeds of unwarranted destruction.

Suggestions

I would argue that it is now time that anonymity for defendants accused of sex crimes unless proven guilty should be re-introduced. Perhaps it is also fair to suggest that that two police officers should be assigned to every case — one to investigate the complainant’s account and another to investigate the defendant to ensure objectivity, and a senior officer or a member of the CPS to then review all the evidence.

All of this…

I suppose all of these revelations have come at a good time for me. I have stated my claims of dismissal by the authorities and these recent news stories have proved my case.

From this I have been told that an inspector will be questioned about his justifications with regards to my case – both my wrongful arrest and the dismissal of my counter evidence. Furthermore, the CPS will now get the chance to actually see what I supplied to the police in the first place.

More than a coincidence?

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression More than a coincidence?

I recently said to somebody that I believe I have learnt more after leaving school than whilst I was there. I can now equally say that I have learnt more about the ‘system’ after having the shit kicked out of me by it.

For all of you who have been following my blogs you will now know that I am highly critical of the police and the legal system when it comes to the status and protection of male domestic abuse victims. I suppose I can also suggest that it also fails our sister victims too.

To recap

I have had to deal with the police, social services and recently the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and to date the following has resulted;

  • Social services – I have been successful in obtaining the sacking of one social worker and have also gained two separate letters of apology from two county councils.
  • The police – As expected they failed to address their own failings and saw fit to blame the CPS. As a result I have raised my complaint higher now naming a specific inspector citing professional misconduct and failure to follow the principles of their own code of practice (of which I obtained from the CPS).
  • The Crown Prosecution Service – Following my complaint to them about the unequal processing of the law I received a very informative letter highlighting how the make a decision based on the same code of practice that the police adopt. However, they also wished to pass the buck and took it upon themselves to blame the police. This of course is now an ongoing complaint. I have taken the liberty to use their own principles to identify their own failings.

So how does this fit with the title of this blog?

Well, for all you regular news followers you may be aware of the recent case of Liam Allen (22). For my American and other nation followers of whom may not be aware of this case, I wish to furnish you with the details.

Liam Allen

Liam Allan, 22, was on bail for almost two years and spent three days at Croydon Crown Court in the dock before his trial was.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression More than a coincidence?
Liam Allen

It is fair to admit that my case pales in comparison to Liam Allan’s case on the level of potential outcome and seriousness of the case. However, it took a judge to identify the institutional failure of a system that was created to protect the public

Mr Allen was wrongly charged with rape and ‘dragged through hell’ for two years due to a police blunder.

Liam Allan’s trial was eventually thrown out of court after lawyers discovered his alleged victim texted him suggesting she wanted to have more sex after the alleged attack.

How does the police action make any form of sense?

It transpires that the texts related to this case had been held by police and should have been made available to both the defence and the prosecution teams almost two years ago but were not due to (and I quote here directly from the judge) ‘sheer incompetence.’

Mr Allan’s lawyer further stated that ‘[Mr Allen] should never have been charged and was needlessly put through two years of turmoil.’

Food for thought – Not fit for purpose

Mr Allen, after his acquittal publicly stated a number of key factors but a key quote was certainly food for thought;

‘It’s made me realise that something needs to change. There are things that go on behind closed doors that you can’t even imagine and that a lot of people are probably going through the same sort of thing.’

In essence, I am sure we can all agree on the fact that the present system is not fit for purpose when it can fail at so many levels.

Police incompetence

The prosecutor (yes that’s right, the lawyer who was employed to attempt to prove Mr Allen’s guilt) stated that; ‘Sheer incompetence’ by police meant that texts about his alleged victim’s fantasies of violent and casual sex were kept secret.

The prosecutor also highlighted the fact that ‘the defence quickly saw the information (held on a police file) [that] blew the prosecution out of the water. If they had not been seen this boy faced 12 years in prison and on the sex offenders’ register for life with little chance of appeal. This was a massive massive miscarriage of justice, which thank heavens was avoided’.

The police attempted to defend this approach by claiming that the ‘sexual messages sent by the woman to Liam Allan and her friends were ‘too personal’ to share’ (!!!!???)

So what is this telling us? It is telling people like you and I that the police cherry pick their evidence to support a positive outcome for themselves (not in the true spirit of public interest is it?)

CPS – Can’t Process Shit

The CPS is also being asked to explain why it did not demand full disclosure of evidence including phone records before the trial started.

The texts revealed the woman asked Mr Allan for casual sex and fantasised about rough and violent intercourse and even being raped despite telling police she didn’t like being intimate with men.

It eventually took Judge Peter Gower to stop the trial. Judge Gower was also quick to note that   [having this] hanging over his head for years… could have had his life totally trashed. That was awfully wrong’.

S0…

It is, therefore, clear to state that Liam Allen had been betrayed by the system. And it still stands in this country (contrary to false belief) that people are treated as ‘guilty until they can prove they are innocent’.

Chief prosecutor Alison Saunders had made a high profile push to bring more sex attack cases to court and asked her lawyers to trawl through a man’s relationship history to boost conviction. As a result, the number of rapes reported to police has gone from around 13,000 in 2002 to 45,000 last year but in 2014 it emerged a quarter of sex offences – including rape – were never recorded as crimes.

Britain’s top prosecutor Alison Saunders was recently accused of inflating rape conviction figures and having little idea of how rape trials work.

Ms Saunders has repeatedly come under fire over the CPS handling of sex allegations because innocent men have had their lives destroyed on the basis of spurious claims later rejected in court.

In August this year (2017) she said that men accused of rape will have more of their relationship history put under the microscope during trials in a bid to increase convictions rates.

As a result Ms Saunders was warned that the hugely inflated figures in a report on violence against women were ‘misleading’.

Death throws – a public concern

This is a criminal justice system which is not just creaking, it’s about to croak’.

I am sure that every person reading this blog would agree that any form of sex crime is abhorrent. Yet if we are now aware that the police and CPS are getting it so wrong a jury will automatically have ‘reasonable doubt’ before the trial begins. This is a concern that as a result of this the real criminals will assume acquittal based on the fact that the evidence out before them may not be honest enough to secure any form of truth.

(Mis)Handling of vital evidence

So, let us analyse this event more closely. Police officers failed to hand over evidence proving Liam Allan’s innocence.

This evidence included a computer disk containing copies of 40,000 messages – including ones sent to Mr Allan by the woman pestering him for sex both before and after the accusation of rape

The woman had told police she didn’t enjoy sex and the lead detective has been accused of failing to review her texts.

Mr Allan’s lawyers were denied access to the woman’s telephone records after police insisted there was nothing of interest for the defence or prosecution.

Meanwhile, when Jerry Hayes took over the case on the day before the trial started – he demanded police hand over the phone records.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression More than a coincidence?
Jerry Hayes

A computer disk containing copies of 40,000 messages were taken from the handset, revealing that the woman had continuously pestered the undergraduate for ‘casual sex’.

She also told her friends that she enjoyed sex with him and even spoke about her fantasies of having violent sex and being raped by him.

As a result of the collapse of the trial the judge called for an inquiry at the ‘very highest level’ of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and a review of disclosure of evidence by the Metropolitan Police.

As we are now aware, Judge Peter Gower found him not guilty and set him free. But within the judge’s summing up he further stated that;

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression More than a coincidence?
Judge Peter Gower

‘There is something that has gone wrong and it is a matter that the CPS, in my judgment, should be considering at the very highest level.

‘Otherwise there is a risk not only of this happening again but that the trial process will not detect what has gone wrong and there will be a very serious miscarriage of justice. He [Mr Allan] leaves the courtroom an innocent man without a stain on his character’.

Cost v Value of truth

The judge further heard that documents were not always sent to defence lawyers in order to keep costs at a minimum. What!!! So, money comes before the damage to innocent people’s lives? It is now clear that this is the case – and now undoubtedly seems to have been the case for perhaps generations.

Code of Practice

A spokesman for the CPS said: ‘A charge can only be brought if a prosecutor is satisfied that both stages of the Full Code test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors are met, that is, that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is required in the public interest.

‘All prosecutions are kept under continuous review and prosecutors are required to take account of any change in circumstances as the case develops.

As my regular blog followers will have already noted I have raised the fact that they don’t follow their own Code of Practice at any level. http://www.keithsstory.co.uk/code/

My view

Rightly or wrongly, I would like to think that it is better for a real criminal being found not guilty and set free, rather than an innocent person being punished for a crime that never actually happened.

As stated any potential jury members in the future will not hold an automatic response of ‘reasonable doubt’ both before, during and after the court case has been heard.

Furthermore, this has galvanised any public mistrust of both the police and the CPS.

I am sure that at some point the police will be told to say;

“Anything you say or do will be written down in pencil and rubbed out at a later date to suit our own purpose”

Is not the rule of law the principle behind a civilised society? Yet the law and all of those set to operate and work within it, is now seen as uncivilised.