Q:

I want our kids safe

Kia Ora Vic, I recently split with my ex because of domestic violence. The latest episode was me being annoyed which triggered him off. I feel that I should always be in a good, happy mood but he can feel however he wants.

I tried to get my kids to safety by asking him to leave...he didn't. 
Then I told him to leave...he still didn't. 
The usual story, I repeatedly got punched in the head, tried to call the cops and he physically stopped me many times.

My kids got hurt by my head hitting them (as my head was being punched around). I begged him to leave me alone then gave up and fought for my life and kids. My mum came up home and found him pounding my head while I was in a headlock. She managed to stop him and we got a hold of the cops. They came and helped.

What I'm having trouble understanding is how he can only think about HIMSELF going through court etc on his own but didn't once ask about our kids? They're only 1 and 3 and my 3 year old was distraught after watching her mother get beaten. I feel he's being so selfish and I don't know how he can't see that. He wants us back and unfortunately, I miss our good times and want to be with him too.

The thing is though, I want our kids safe more than I want to be with him so I won't go there until he gets the help he needs. Even then, I'm not sure if I can go back. The majority of the men I know that used to abuse their partners came right in the end. My dad, koro, partner's dad, partner's granddad - even a friend of mine.

How does "he" get the help he needs (especially when money for him is an issue)? 
Are there free things that can help him? And what can I do to help without being 100% involved with him at this stage? I'm still recovering myself but want him to know there's help available if accepts it.

Thanks Vic


A:

Hallo, thank you for writing in with your questions and queries.

Firstly I need to let you know that you have done all the right things in this very violent and abusive relationship that you found yourself in. Ringing the cops is always the first and proper decision to make in family violent situations where someone's safety is a risk.

RING 111 as soon as possible. Then get yourself and the children to a SAFE place or if the perpetrator is out of the picture make sure that you get the help and support from agencies like Police, Courts, Victim Support, Women's Refuge and family.

You and the children are the utmost priority when violence and abuse is being perpetrated.

SORRY that you had to resort to violence to PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN.

NOW as for him...he probably does not know any better.

‘IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW and
YOU ALWAYS DID WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DONE
YOU'LL ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU ALWAYS GOT.

Men have been trained to believe that violence is the answer, you hear and see this message promoted in the public arena, in the home, amongst men, at work, at play everywhere, this has been passed down from generation to generation and becomes a man belief and they have never been told or shown any different, until this belief is challenged, then all hell breaks loose.

It breaks loose as the perpetrator has been given no tools and skills to address confrontation, arguments, difference of opinion and it's been hammered into them that they are the head of the house, what they say goes, be tough, make the decisions, don't cry etc etc etc called ‘male privilege' which has been part of the male consciousness for generations.

RESULT- FAMILY VIOLENCE

This, for me, is the reason why there were 80,000 (approx) call outs by the Police for family violence in 2008 and the mushrooming of stopping violence programmes around the country and there are 8000+ men locked up in prisons.

And your ex is one of those statistics.

There is realistically nothing you can do until he does it for himself. He needs to ring our information line on 0800 456 450, he has to find out the contact details of the local stopping violence programme, he has to contact them and sign into the next intake, he has to negotiate with the programme if there are costs involved, he has to attend the programme and pick up the tools, skills and communication techniques he needs and then he has to make good on this and be able to relay all this to you and his children.

This is not an easy ask for any person that is a perpetrator of violence and it can take years for that change to fully come to pass. It takes a long time to fully uncover, discover and recover from family violence.

There is little you can do to help him while he is going through all of this as, unfortunately, he has been the perpetrator of his own misfortune and you and the children have been the victims of his abuse and violence and only some of it will be physical, there is also the non physical violence that will have impacted on you - all that will only be uncovered with ongoing counselling.

Money and the costs should never be an issue to getting help for family violence.

Hope this has answered your question.

Vic

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