Men’s Stories – Even Gardaí Can Be Abused

I already owned my home when I married in the mid-seventies. We lived there for nine years and we had two beautiful children. During that period my wife took a bread knife to me on a few occasions. She bullied me constantly and threatened to ring my place of work. I’m a member of the Gardaí. She took complete control of our lives and our money. She ran up huge debts and forged my name on cheques etc. I also owned a site on which I built a bungalow using direct labour. We moved the following summer and had another beautiful baby while living there.

I was verbally and physically beaten by my wife. After two years of physical beatings I went to my doctor and my local priest. I was physically assaulted by my wife with her fists, with her feet, the handle of the brush, the carving knife and anything else she could lay her hands on. The mental torture was something else. My wife told my children that I has sexually and physically assaulted her. This was untrue.

One day I came home from work and my wife started a row again. She opened every window and door and threw out my clothes, including my uniform onto the lawn.  I got a very serious beating from my wife and had to run out of the house. When my wife went into town I tried to get all my clothes into the house, as the children were due home, on the school bus. My wife stopped cooking and washing for me. She would put dinner on the table for the children and herself and then I would then have to cook my  own dinner and do my own washing. I was the sole breadwinner. My wife refused to work saying that it was my job to provide for her. I worked all the overtime I could get to provide a better life for my family. I rang `battered wives’ in Dublin one night looking for help. On that occasion I was Black and blue from a beating. They laughed at me. Next, my wife got a protection order claiming that I neglected the family and that I physically and mentally abused her.

This is where the law is wrong. No protection order should be given unless both parties are present in court in order to hear what each party has to say about the other. Proof should be provided. I asked the court for a protection order, I had evidence of the assaults. At least she was in court when I was looking for the order. My wife and barrister did not deny what I said. When my wife brought the Guards to the family home my eldest daughter challenged her mother saying “ Why did you ring the Guards, Daddy has done nothing wrong?” When she was asked to make a written complaint against me she would not do so.

I always told my children that I loved them very much and that they were the most important things in my life. This came naturally to me as I came from a home where I saw love between my mother and my beloved late father. There was love, peace and harmony in my home. We were raised to respect our parents and each other. My plea, as a man that went through hell for years, is please help male victims of domestic abuse. I know that there are women being beaten as well. There are good and bad men and women.

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If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please contact our confidential helpline on 01-5543811 or [email protected]