Andrew James Whalan

Poet Blogger Writer

Tag: domestic violence

Suffering Is a Superpower

Bleed out drop by drop,
Breathe out gasp by gasp,
Lose time tick for tock,
And love beat by beat.

Each day darkens upon dark,
Each touch lessens its loss,
I watched my heart disappear,
Shrivelled and dried by fear.

Push me away, slap my face,
Shove me to the wall, that’s my place,
Punch my chest, kick my head,
I fend off the blow. And now I’m dead.

For you’ve found the impetus enough for you,
Though I’ve stopped you, you take your revenge,
I see it double inside you as i double up too,
For many are the offences I could avenge.

I could easily kindle that evil in me,
Take hold of your rage and reciprocate,
Your anger as mine, now pure and clear,
But surrendered to the void of fear.

I know and see that you’ve suffered,
I’ve been racked by your loss unsalved,
If I could, I would offer you comfort,
But I found the healer was killed by the cure.

And now with my heart spent,
I am poured out and empty,
All I have left are questions
To ask of you, one or two, if I may?

Will you let this dissolve you?
As you enjoy the hurt cast on others too,
Now, my question is better said:
Would total revenge be a comfort to you?

Or would it, a second one, if I may ask,
Be a false cure to a pain eternal,
An acid that melts a dying heart,
And bile that burns your mouth?

Perhaps I may suggest an answer,
Diffcult though it may yet be.
A hope perhaps still shrouded
But it may be happening to me.

Out beyond the passing pain,
Lies a desert now watered by rain,
And in it an oasis of comfort and healing,
Where you’ll rest and regain your healing.

And there you will rest and be restored,
There you’ll receive a power conferred,
There you’ll learn to love your suffering,
And that will be the superpower.

Why Doesn’t He Just Leave? Men and Domestic Violence

At the moment, according to Destroy the Joint there is at least one woman a week being murdered by her partner.

Domestic Violence is now more of a mainstream issue than ever.
And there is plenty of advice in the air.

Men Accusing a Young Woman (ID 52029258 © Everett Collection Inc. | Dreamstime.com)

Men Accusing a Young Woman (ID 52029258 © Everett Collection Inc. | Dreamstime.com)

Rosie Batty is campaigning against domestic violence as Australian of the Year. The Prime Minister has floated the use of ankle bracelets to monitor domestic violence offenders. But first they have to be brought to court. Most aren’t. Mark Latham suggested that poverty and unemployment are the cause. He didn’t really suggest a solutionSallee McLaren claimed that women contributed to domestic violence and needed to be more assertive. Phil Barker stated that it was men who needed retraining.

Perhaps this scenario may yield another point of view…A man who was brought up never to strike a woman finds himself in a situation of domestic violence. After the initial shock, he resorts to non-confrontational tactics and seeks safety in work, parenting and housework. Most of the time that provides solace. It never occurs to him to seek help because there isn’t any. But after years of avoidance and abuse, he retaliates.

The police become involved and he is served with a Domestic Violence Order. Despite the woman admitting she initiated the violence, she is not charged. The man reflects upon his actions. He ultimately determines that he shouldn’t have retaliated regardless of the provocation. He takes responsibility and does get help.

But it doesn’t change things. For, from that point onwards, more violence occurs. This time the man does not retaliate. He bides his time and in time leaves.

Perhaps the Men’s Rights Activists would see this as a defeat by rampant feminism. Perhaps their advice would be for the man to be more assertive. But much like Sallee McLaren’s advice, it would have made things worse.

At no stage does it change that fact that most domestic violence is male against female. Neither does it justify misogyny nor misandry.

But from this scenario emerges a man who has seen both sides of domestic violence.  And from this man comes an answer which many people may not agree with….

Man Leaving (© Alexeys | Dreamstime.com - Leaving Photo)

Man Leaving (© Alexeys | Dreamstime.com – Leaving Photo)

And it’s isn’t that rather over-used cliché, “Why doesn’t she just leave?
No it’s the opposite : “Why doesn’t HE just leave?”
In fact, whether victim or perpetrator, it is easier for the man to leave the relationship.

And for this man, domestic violence is now a relationship ending event.

And for this man, any domestic violence leaves him one course of action. Leave. And he should.

Why Mark Latham Can’t Get It Right On Domestic Violence

Perhaps it really was a quiet news week. Apart, that is, from the Budget, Johnny Depp’s dogs, double-dipping mothers and the Rohingya refugee crisis. But perhaps with domestic violence in some of the news, Mark Latham decided to single dip and write another opinion column.

And he’s done it again. Or to use the academic expression, more research is required before a conclusion can be drawn.

As I waded through this column, looking for insight, I found it. But I had to ignore all the flim-flam frippery about Tim Watts, Peter Walsh, the ALP,  Government intervention, Parliamentarians Against Family Violence, Attila the Hun (some interesting juxtapositions there), Paul Keating, government intervention (again), until Latham finally, finally, at last, made his point. “This is an issue where politicians have struggled with their own behaviour, let alone found solutions for the rest of the country.” True. And I thought to myself, does he have a solution?

And he does. He diagnoses the root cause of domestic violence easily, simply and elegantly. But perhaps he’s been watching too much Struggle Street. The cause is self-evident. Poverty and unemployment. Wife bashing (as he calls it) can be solved by making the poor rich and giving them a job.

If I was a heavy-duty latte-sipper I would’ve spilled froth everywhere. But being a mere flat white drinker, I just skimmed the rest.

And my conclusion. Mark Latham does not know what he is talking about. His focus is too narrow. Domestic violence is wife bashing. But domestic violence is intimate partner violence.Domestic violence won’t be solved through fighting poverty and unemployment important as those issues are. Domestic violence would then have been solved as the rich and employed wouldn’t commit it. But domestic violence isn’t confined to class, or race or creed or sexual preference. A glib answer. A slick solution.

Domestic violence is an attitude.

And my advice. Don’t read the column. Don’t get mad at Mark. Talk to him about it. Talk to him about poverty and unemployment. Talk to him about the victims of domestic violence. Let him do his research and then draw his conclusions.

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