Male Domestic Abuse – Safety Order Refused
A recent ruling in the family court has refused a safety order for a husband who locks himself into his bedroom nightly out of alleged fear of his wife.
The judge refused the order stating the man hadn’t met the standard required for the court to meet the order.
It transpired during proceedings that the man had recorded a conversation with his daughter over what she had witnessed of a domestic argument between her parents. The judge ruled that such an action was “contemptible’’ behaviour and potentially damaging to the child. The judge’s decision was determined by what would be in the best interests and safety of the child.
The man alleged that his wife exposed him to verbal abuse and ridicule, leaving him feeling worthless:
“My wife is demeaning towards me, belittles me and makes me feel worthless. I really feel intimidated and helpless.’’
The safety application was initiated by the man subsequent to an argument wherein his wife threw a knife into the kitchen sink while the couple were arguing. Under cross-examination, the man alleged that his wife was waving the knife at him. The wife’s legal representative denied all claims and accusations of verbal abuse and threatening behaviour.
Domestic violence legislation protects spouses and children and offers legal remedies to dependent persons and persons in other domestic relationships where their safety or welfare is at risk because of the conduct of the other person in the relationship. It also gives An Garda Síochána powers to arrest without warrant where there is a breach of a court order.
Under the 1996 Domestic Violence Act * you can apply for:
- Protection Order.
- Safety Order.
- Interim Barring Order.
- Barring Order.
A safety order can be granted for up to 5 years, and doesn’t require the person the order is made against to leave the family home.
The man told the court: “I wouldn’t have done this unless I felt I was in danger.”
Domestic abuse includes all kinds of physical, sexual, mental, financial and emotional abuse within an intimate relationship. Domestic Abuse can happen to anyone, male or female, It is often overlooked, excused, and denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Emotional abuse is often minimised, yet it can have a lasting effect.
Noticing and acknowledging the warning signs and symptoms of domestic abuse is the first step to ending it. No person should live in fear of another person. There is help available.
There are websites available specifically for males who are victims or domestic abuse including www.cosc.ie and www.amen.ie which is a voluntary group which provides a confidential helpline, information and a support service for male victims of domestic abuse.
If you have been the victim of male domestic violence, male domestic abuse, sexual assault or sexual abuse, please contact Kathrin Coleman either by email or FREEphone us on 1800 844 104 to explore your options, in confidence.