A man walks into a police station at 9 am one sunny Saturday morning with an incredible story.
He says to the police officer behind the counter that he is here to report an violent brutal assault that occurred to him a couple of hours earlier.
The officer ushers the man into an interview room and LISTENS to the mans tale.
“My partner came home this morning and she wouldn’t answer about where she had been”. Said the man.
“This made me extremely angry”
“There was some swearing between us and she told me to fuck off”.
“This made me even angrier so I hit her in the head.”
“She retaliated and held me to the tiled floor in the bathroom where she continued to kick and punch me repeatedly while she held me down”.
” I don’t know how long this went on for”.
After that I got up and removed a wall mirror from the wall and hit her over the head with it”.
“I then started destroying some of her property” .
” I decided to hang around the apartment for another twenty minutes or so and pack some things then popped over to the neighbours before coming to the police station”.
Do you have any injuries or any pain “said the officer? ” No”said the man but as you can see there’s some red marks here on my chest”.
The officer photographs the mans chest and identifies the marks as abrasions consistent with the savage beating the man has described. Exhibit A is born.
The man signs the officers written statement swearing that all of the above is true.
The officer says he will punish the woman’s crime.
He tells the man that he will go to the woman’s apartment and immediately arrest her without questioning her version of events.
He promises the man he will hold the woman in a cell until Monday afternoon.
He tells the man that the apartment she has leased will now be his apartment.
She will never be allowed to return, the locks will be changed and extra security applied to the windows in case the woman – (now a known criminal even though no previous complaints had occurred) attempts to break in to retrieve her property or attack the man again.
The officer assures the man that all of the woman’s property is now at the mans disposal.
The police statement refers to the man 7 times as “the victim”.
And the woman, once identified, is referred to 13 times in the police statement as the offender.
Their names are irrelevant from this point on. She will only be reffered to as the “offender” and the man- “the victim”.
“Even though you have no injuries you still need to pop down to the hospital and be checked over by a doctor”. Said the officer.
“The doctors statement can be used in court to help us ensure the woman is convicted.”
“Also the hospital report will activate a range of victim support services who will give statments and testify as unnamed experts to your “victim” status and the ongoing need for your protection and – compensation.”
“In about nine months time the offender will have a chance to defend herself from your accusations in court – unless you decide you don’t want to bother turning up to court.
So then the woman can not be found not guilty and your victim status and the woman’s offender status will forever remain on record.”
“Regardless of the outcome -as I have first identified you as a ‘victim’ and your partner a ‘perpetrator’, the fact that you physically attacked her without provocation and the seriousness of your violence can never be brought to account.”
But the man knows this.
– He’s been down this road before.
The man appears at the hospital and is immediately attended by staff who are on special alert for victims of his genital type.
Now the Mans story changes. As no bruises are found and the redness has gone from his chest he admits to the doctors that he wasn’t hit at all.
Instead he claims that he was attacked and dragged around the apartment by his throat.
The doctor can find no evidence of this either so issues a statement pertaining to no injuries apart from one tiny skin abrasion to the back of the mans hand.
(Which he “suffered” while he was assaulting the woman.
Meanwhile..(lets use the police word) Contemporaneously, the police officer arrives at the womans apartment. He tells the woman he wishes to speak with her and pushes himself into the doorway of her home.
Once inside the officer tells the woman that she is under arrest and anything she says will be used in evidence against her.
She is allowed to put on some footwear and close up the apartment windows.
The apartment is immaculate apart from a large amount of pieces of broken mirror glass on the floor in the hallway.
The officer photographs this evidence but as it is only evidence of the assault against the woman, it will never appear in police disclosure to court or the woman’s defence.
No enquiry is made about the woman’s injuries or her version of events.
The woman is taken to the street and searched against the side of the police car while the neighbourhood gathering pretends to be out there discussing something else.
As the woman is driven away she has no idea that she will never see her apartment or her most valuable possessions again.
She is searched again once arriving at the police station and is directed to sit on a concrete seat in a concrete room alone for what she thinks might be two and a half hours.
Then the officer appears again and tells her its time for her video statement.
She asks to speak to a lawyer.
The officer implies that her request is most unusual and that she really should have a video interview first.
Eventually the officer takes her to a small room and gives her a list of solicitors phone numbers.
She tells a lawyer that she didn’t return home the previous night because she was concerned from his demeanor and threats during a phone call that her partner would be violent and she needed a break from the abusive behaviour.
When she did return home that morning she was punched, chased around the apartment, lashed with the plug of an electrical cord and then attacked with a large wall mirror.
She did not retaliate at all.
The lawyer tells her she will eventually find herself in court defending herself from a charge intent on punishing her with two years imprisonment. He tells her that other repercussions from such a charge will last a lifetime.
The lawyer tells her that as she has not committed any assault, police will still be looking for evidence of her wrongdoing to support their charge.
He warns her that police are trained in interviewing tecniques to find something in her statement that can be used in court against her.
She is told that her best course of action is to sit in a cell for the coming days and say nothing.
She is told that any injuries that she has suffered to her arms and legs will only be considered ‘attack wounds’ if they are disclosed to police.
After the call she asks the officer “Is it true that regardless of what my statement contains I will still be held for days in a cell?
He said “yes”.
She is fingerprinted and mug shot and put in a concrete cell alone. She has no means of contact with her family or anyone and is unable to explain her absence from her weekends commitments or cancel her work appiontments for Monday.
To all she has just- dissapeared.
She sits alone for the next 50 hours.
She is waggoned to court and told by a duty soliciter that she should not speak to the moody judge and that he will request she be released from police custody on bail.
After a while the duty solicitor returns and tells the woman that everyone has been very busy while she has been incarcerated.
The security has been upgraded at her apartment, locks have been changed, windows secured and neighbours warned to be vigilant- and all to keep her out.
She is told that her bail conditions require her to now be homeless.
She is allowed to two hours to return to her home and retrieve her vehicle and after that she will never be able to return else she will be locked up for the next nine months or so.
She is given documentation that she is has been attacked with punches and assaulted with a wall mirror but is charged with assault because of an allegation that she retaliated.
She is finally free from custody and walks to her home through the cold rain in the same clothes she has had on for three days.
She gets in her vehicle and discovers its full to the ceiling with some of her clothes, her bycicle, the contents of her garden shed and even the garden shed itself is dismantled and in her vehicle.
She needs her vehicle for shelter so takes the shed and bike and contents to the tip.
She takes the paperwork she was given to a free duty solicitor who gives her no advice other than to say she would be foolish to defend the accusation, that pleading not guilty indicates no remorse, and a harsher sentence results.
Although she is homeless and in a desperate situation she is told she doesn’t qualify for legal aid as she earned too much the year previous.
If she chose to represent herself pleading not guilty she would not be able to question her accusers statments and that its best to just plead guilty and hope that the judge considers her worthy of a reduced sentence as she is a “first” time offender. She is advised that its best to have a lawyer anyway as he- or she will ask the judge for a reduced sentence apon conviction.
She obtains a quote from a barrister to defend the charge. Nine thousand dollars minimum which might run into twelve or more if police evidence is to be scrutinised.
Hundreds of dollars an hour charged in six minute increments.
She is considered a foolish woman for not having that kind of money spare for such occasions.
Eventually an old family friend of her mums lets her stay in a derilect room in a derilect house with no electricity no door. Its infested with rats but its all she can find as she has no confidence trying to rent somewhere else as she has no reference from her last home.
She is very upset and unable to continue with her work comittments, she is angry at the way she is treated but is unable to speak of her feelings to anyone as she is accused of viscous violence and therefore her anger is considered typical of her.
Although she has spent her entire life in an age of equality there are no agencies available to give her shelter and support because of her genital type.
She manages to find another lawyer who is willing to defend the accusation for considerably less but understands that evidence is not scrutinised for that money.
She asks the lawyer why the fact that she was attacked unprovoked is not a crime and she is told that she is considered the primary offender so any assault or injury she suffered is incidental and not considered.
The lawyer dispells some popular myths about the NZ Justice “system”.
She is reminded that she has a hearing in a court of law, not a court of justice.
She learns that the police, courts and and all associates do NOT operate on the basis of ‘innocent until PROVEN guilty’.
Guilt and resulting convictions are established by the “balance” of probabilities.
She is about to go through a process where she will understand very well that the words “assumption of innocence”, are just words that belong to some bygone era before a new breed of ugly policy makers manipulated our judicial processes to make a lot of money for themselves.
She is also about to find many reasons to agree with the commonly repeated maxim- ‘ all lawyers are nothing but blood sucking maggots feasting on the carcases of of the injustices of humanity’.
Seven weeks later she is called by police and summoned to the police officer’s station where she is told that her former partner remains threatened by her.
A temporary protection order has been issued without notice and she is ordered to do a six month anger management programme turning up every week or risk being sent back to the cells.
She takes the paperwork to her Lawyer who tells her it will cost her another 9-12 thousand or more to defend herself from this order which will have significant impact on her ability to obtain future employment hold any community standing or travel to other countries.
Even though a protection order is only issued after there has been violence committed the hearing was set down before the criminal proceedings would occour, which meant that no proof of violence or consideration of evidence was required for a final protection order ruling against her.
She had no choice but to try to defend the nine pages of accusations the protection order hearing contained.
She had emails and photographs which plainly refuted most of the accusations, she submitted these to the courts but her evidence was responded to with 11 pages of further accusations of horrible misdeeds.
Clearly her accuser was getting coached to make the most trivial incidents of her relationship to appear as wicked controlling abuse.
Unnamed Victims advocates wrote statements in support claiming that the permanent protection order was necessary as her accusers life remained in danger without it.
They didn’t plainly state that she intended to murder the man but the assertion was the same.
She was low in confidence and struggling to maintain her composure but managed to get another job in order to pay her lawyers fees.
After three and a half months she was called to the station again. Two policeman took her into a small room and while one said nothing and stared at her the other told her that her unborn child no longer exists.
The policeman’s words were- “there isn’t a baby “.
She wasn’t allowed to know what had happened to the baby nor was she allowed to know the date of the child’s demise that she might grieve for.
The protection order and the bail conditions decreed that she couldn’t contact her former partner or anyone known to him so she couldn’t tell anyone that she wasn’t guilty of a savage assault.
Her silence insinuated guilt to many of these people and she never heard from many of these friends again.
Her accuser was not restricted from contacting her.
She received messages from him shaming her.
She also received a death threat from his friend but police wouldn’t even write down the phone number the threat came from.
They just told her that it was normal normal that those accused would say anything to “get off”.
She had to show up to court on many occasions over the next few months trying to submit evidence in her defence of the protection order (another nightmare) and for set down hearings for a criminal trial.
She was left waiting outside the court during the protection order hearing then told that as her accuser hadn’t turned up another hearing may be issued after the criminal conviction was established.
Court staff, her lawyer, police, all presumed her guilty and assumed her conviction to be a given and par for the course.
Before the court hearing she had a meeting with her lawyer who told her that she would have to say that the redness on her accusers chest was caused by her.
She was told the judge would never believe that the man had caused them by scratching toothpaste into his own skin which is what she had seen him doing.
So even though she had committed no violence she was told she was to lie to the judge claiming she reciprocated in the physical exchange.
Although the incident took place without any witnesses a variety of people will be turning up to testify to the mans victim status.
The man had spoken to her elderly neighbour before going to police so she would appear as a witness.
Also the cop that took the complaint and the arresting officer.
The doctor, and a variety of other nameless trough feeders from mens refuge and battered mans trust etc would also be there to impart their knowledge and feed their families.
She was told to answer only the questions asked by the prosecuter and say nothing else and hope the judge was lenient.
Her family came from all over the country to support her in court in 2015.
It was more than nine months that her life had been on hold since she was attacked and put in a cell.
The prosecuter stood up and gave a speech about how the victim felt he was in such danger that advocates felt the best course was that the victim was compensated and given transport and relocation money.
Therefore it wasn’t in the prosecutors interest or the interest of the court or the best interest of the victim that the victim appear in court.
She was told by the judge she was free to go.
Not free to go home,- not NOT GUILTY just free to go.
She was told by her lawyer afterwards that she can never claim that she was falsely accused. Or she can be sued.
He also said “Complaining to the ipca is a waste of time”. ( he was right)
After court she immediately went to her former neighbour who was supposed to appear as witness who told her that her accuser had left many months ago and was told long ago that she wouldn’t be needed at any hearing.
She said she already told the police that she knew nothing of what occured. She was trying to look after her dying husband and said she wished she had just told the police,- to go and get stuffed.
She (offender- she) realised that everyone knew months earlier there would be no hearing and she was the only one not told.
She went and asked her lawyer why she had to continue paying his fees when everyone knew there would be no hearing?
The lawyer said it was just in case the ” Victim” decided to change his mind again and turn up to have her convicted after all.
When she approached her former friends and showed them the police disclosure and the doctors statement which clearly enough explains that she could not have bludgeoned someone repeatedly with kicks and punches without causing a single bruise – she was called to the station again and ordered not to reveal any of the evidence to anyone known to the victim for the next twelve months or more charges would result.
She was reminded that the charge remains unproven and she has not been found not guilty.
Police and the victim can decide to reissue a charge at any time.
She kept complaining to police for months afterwards hoping that sooner of later she might find one good cop that was able to read evidence and apply common sence.
Again and again she was told that the only reason the file gets reopened is if the police decide to charge her again.
She went to politicians who have written to police asking for an explanation.
Police have replied many months later that all operational procedures were carried out without mistakes.
No errors were made and assurances made that male and female victims are treated exactly the same without any bias whatsoever.
Of course you have realised that the genders are reversed in this story to explain the hypocracy of that police statement.
Obviously this would never happen to a woman who has been attacked, but is typical of what a man experiences.
Thousands of New Zealand Men every year go through this shit.
Its only because her protection order failed and she didn’t turn up to court either that I am able or willing to speak about the matter at all.
When I speak about this story I’m often reminded by other men just how lucky I am to not have been convicted.
Once convicted of a crime not committed, no man will speak out about the injustices he has experienced, instead he withdraw and bottle it up, often becoming a ticking time bomb of resentment and serious anger which eventually manifest into violence against someone else eventually usually another man.
This assault occurred to me on the 3rd of may 2014.
Since then Amy Adams- justice minister has decided that not enough men are convicted of man assaults female.
There have been many changes to our laws to correct this problem.
If the assusation against me in 2014 had happened today. I might still be in prison in the year 2024.
So I don’t mind taking the time to warn about violent women, and warning others of the dangers false accusations.
Feel free to comment at this point then tune in right here at menz next weekend for more about these new laws and how Amy Adams is right on track to achieve her target of more New Zealand men in New Zealand prisons than ever before!
Billy Baldwin aka dunnuffinwrong/ voices back from the bush.