A Logan woman said she was not diminishing the problem of domestic violence against women, but wanted people to know that men also suffered abuse

October 23, 2015

October 22, 2015 1:00am

Judith Maizey, Albert & Logan News

He was punched and scratched, screamed at and threatened. His children were also abused, physically and emotionally.

Of a night, he would put his children to bed and then push wardrobes against the door to stop anyone getting into the room.

The perpetrator was the man’s wife, the children’s mother.

“I recall a once confident, happy, healthy, loving and caring man who lost his life to domestic violence,” said the man’s sister, Megan, who lives in Beenleigh.

Megan said she was not diminishing the problem of domestic violence against women, but wanted people to know that men also suffered abuse.

Megan’s brother met his wife in 1999 and was married within months.

“I remember when he first got married he was very happy, but within two months it all changed,” she said.

“She was extremely demanding, calculating and manipulative. My brother’s confidence and health quickly deteriorated.”

Megan said her brother stayed in the marriage for eight years because he was afraid of “losing his children” and he “loved” his wife despite what she did.

But within days of being granted a temporary protection order (a type of domestic violence order or DVO) against his wife, Megan’s brother died of a heart attack. He was in his 40s.

Megan said her brother received 110 abusive text messages from his wife in breach of the DVO the day before he died, wishing him dead, threatening to burn the house down and hurt him and the children.

She said her brother died trying to save himself and his children from a harmful environment. “He sought help through the police and support services,” she said.

“My family also sought help (for him). No one cared.”

Megan said men faced many barriers when they tried to disclose domestic violence.

“No one believes them and hardly anyone will speak up for them,” she said.

“Because of these barriers, men are much less likely to report being a victim of domestic and family violence.”

Waterford MP and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said the State Government was committed to supporting victims of domestic violence, regardless of their gender.

“(Former Governor General) Quentin Bryce said, in the Not Now, Not Ever report, the majority of domestic violence offences are committed by men against women and that it is a gendered crime,” she said.

“The latest police figures show that 86 per cent of offenders who breach a DVO are male.

“That is not to detract from the fact that domestic violence does happen to men, and family violence can have a devastating effect on young boys as well.”

For male victims of domestic violence, phone Mensline 1300 789 978.

(the name ‘Megan’ is a pseudonym.)

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