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NZ Men's Stories of Female Violence

All names and identifying details have been changed in these stories.

Police called 97 times before arrest. "I've been abused more than any man in New Zealand," reckons Jim Brown. He may well be right. His ex-partner Jill, a large, powerful and abusive half-Maori/Pacific Island woman is currently serving an 18 month sentence in prison. She was convicted recently of grievous bodily harm and wilful damage after smashing a heavy vase over Jim's head. It took 36 stitches to sew his face back together, and he is now deaf in one ear and has occasional blackouts as a result of his injuries.

"They are trying to buy my silence", claimed 55 year old Walter Holt, a battered husband charged with assaulting his ex-wife who has just refused to accept a police offer of diversion. "If I had hit her, I'd take the easy way out, pay the donation to charity and do a bit of community service. I wouldn't have a conviction and it would all be over. But if I did that," he said, "I wouldn't be able to live with myself. I never laid a finger on that lady."

From the time Peter arrived home on a sickness benefit "she took advantage of me." Nola's violent outbursts grew more frequent and more serious as his self-esteem plummeted. The further Peter sunk into depression the less able he was to function normally. The less Nola respected him, the more injuries he received.

Michael lived happily with Sandra and her daughter from a previous marriage for almost six years before their relationship turned sour. "Everything was going great" he told me. But then one day, while Michael was out at work, Sandra met Shane outside their house fixing the road, and after that things went rapidly downhill. Sandra showed no sign of violence throughout their six year relationship. It was only after she had transferred her affections to Shane that she became abusive. Her initial attack with the golf club may well have killed Michael if he had not been able to deflect the blow slightly. Michael was sent to Mount Eden Prison, where he was to spend almost a year on remand.

Throughout their relationship, Sally had always been abusive. Psychologically, she needed to maintain the upper hand, and Keith always felt dominated by her. Most of the time they got on all right, but every few weeks she would 'flip out' and explode into violence. Invariably, Sally would continue to hit Keith until he eventually retaliated. Being a man, it was always Keith who was arrested and always Keith who was charged. Each time they fought she threatened him: "I'll make sure you end up broke, lonely and loose your kids."

Although Stan was quite well paid, he and his partner had always had disputes over money, with Joyce constantly accusing him of spending too much on the house and garden, and not giving her enough for housekeeping. During counselling, she divulged that she had a secret bank account since the beginning of their relationship and had been paying money into a superannuation scheme. She would not tell him how much money she has. Stan realised that their relationship was doomed if Joyce continued her dishonesty.

Phillip Hodge was a very unhappy and worried man. Only a week before, his wife Julie had left him after 13 years of marriage, taking the 5 children aged 2 -10. Two days later, 6 police turned up at the family home with an Interim Protection Order to evict Phil because Julie was now "afraid for her and the children's safety". Because Julie's psychological condition left her unable to properly look after the children, Phil has been the primary caregiver, and he is now extremely concerned for their safety.

Next: Domestic Protection Order Statistics 1998 - 2003