Phil's Story

"She was drinking heavily and started to be violent frequently. She would punch me in the head. She tried to stab me. I’ve never been violent. She was an outpatient at a drug and alcohol centre. They wanted her to go in. She didn’t turn up. She left my youngest, under a year old, locked in her car. One of her friends informed child protection services. I quit my job to look after the kids. She went in for treatment. At this stage she was a full-blown addict and had major drug psychosis. She’d been pulling wiring out of the walls. She was diagnosed with BPD. One day police turned up. One of the friends she’d been lying to had shown police text messages. It was later shown I hadn’t sent them. A temporary order was taken out against me. She broke down in tears and said she didn’t know what was going on. I drove home to find police with dogs. I was charged with multiple counts of rape, assault, torture and strangulation. I was put in prison. I was there for a month, before being granted bail. I was on bail for two years with conditions, one being I couldn’t have contact with my kids. Three years later, I still haven’t seen my children. I’ve spent $300,000 fighting false allegations. I have no money left. It was extremely hard in the beginning, I cried a lot. I was acquitted after a week long trial. She made a further allegation. She said I’d cut and held her captive. Records proved I was in a different State. The case was dismissed. She faced no consequences. I’ve lost everything. I still haven’t seen my kids.

Phil is a dad in his 40's in VIC. This is his story in his words. Alterations have been made solely to preserve confidentiality.

“I met my ex and we became friends.

She was dating a woman at that time. She moved in with me, just as friends.

A couple of years later she was dating a different woman. She was violent towards that woman; she was taken away in a paddy wagon.

I started being intimate with her. She fell pregnant. One year later had a second, third and fourth. She was a pretty good mum but she was violent to me a few times.

I’d never been in a relationship with violence before. It was pretty shocking but I pushed it aside and dealt with it.

She had issues with drugs. She had used ice while dating the woman who she had the violent episode with.

Six months after we had our last child, I had a vasectomy.

She was drinking heavily and started to be violent towards me more frequently.

She would punch me in the head. Once she tried to stab me with car keys.

I never once put my hands on her. I’ve never been violent.

She was an outpatient at a drug and alcohol centre. We went in for a meeting. They wanted her to go in as a patient. I said I’d take time off work to look after the kids. She didn’t turn up.

She left my youngest daughter, under a year old, locked in her car. One of her friends informed child protection services who investigated.

I quit my job to look after the kids. I did some work self-employed.

She spiralled downhill. She was going out most nights, coming back in the early hours.

She was lying about everything; where she was, who she was with, drugs, money was going missing.

I later found out that she’d been telling her friends, who she kept at arm’s length from our life, all kinds of lies about how I treated her.

We were really struggling for money. She was spending everything she could get her hands on.

I took a FIFO job. We had two kids in school, two in nappies. We needed the money. It seemed like a good opportunity to get on top of things.

I was working 21 days, then home for seven.

She tried to commit suicide; she swallowed a bunch of batteries.

There had been lots of self-harm through our relationship, she’d had some stays in mental health hospitals, and was sometimes doing drugs.

She went in as an inpatient for long term treatment. At this stage she was a full-blown addict and had major drug psychosis.

There was lots of crazy behaviour. Nothing surprised me. She’d even been pulling wiring out of the walls at home; she was convinced someone was filming her.

She was formally diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder).

Rehab phoned me to ask me to go and collect her.

Hospital notes from that time showed she’d been aggressive and violent, threatened staff with a razor blade, been caught in bed with another patient, all sorts.

I felt guilty. I brought her home.

After a while I took another FIFO job.

When I got home she was drinking, trying to hide it and lying.

Then it was like flicking a switch. She got much better. Stopped drinking. She said she wanted to do a TAFE course to become a social worker.

I later found out that had all been lies.

One day police turned up saying there had been a report of domestic violence against her. I thought they had the wrong house.

One of the group of friends she’d been lying to had shown the police some text messages. It was later shown I hadn’t sent them.

A temporary order was taken out against me.

She came and collected me from the watch house. She broke down in tears and said she didn’t know what was going on.

She talked me into consenting without admission, said it would be cheaper.

The following year she assaulted me pretty badly. Her mum was living with us at the time.

Her mum made a statement saying it was her who had been violent but she still contested it.

Three years ago I got a phone call asking me to come back to the house. I left work, drove home to find a dozen police officers with dogs.

They said there had been allegations made against me.

They took me to the police station.

I was charged with multiple counts of rape, assault, torture and strangulation.

I was arrested, taken to the watch house, then put in prison.

I was in there for a month, before being granted bail.

The judge was scathing of the police for not investigating thoroughly.

I was on bail for two years with many conditions, one was I couldn’t have any contact with my kids.

Three years later, I still haven’t seen my children.

I’ve spent $300,000 fighting false allegations.

I have no money left for Family Court.

Lawyers are very good at telling you what a judge won’t want to here, not so good at telling you how to proceed with a case to see your children.

I’ve been lucky. I have strong support from my parents, family and friends.

It was extremely hard in the beginning, I cried a lot.

Now, I just keep going.

I’m worried about her self-harming if she thinks she’s going to lose custody of the kids.

DOCS will only work reactively, not proactively. I can see where this is heading. I read the news. It terrifies me that something’s going to happen to my kids.

The lies she told were out of control.

[Allegation - rejected by the court - has been removed due to possibility of identification]

It was ridiculous.

I was acquitted after a week long court trial.

She made a further allegation one month later. She said I’d cut her and held her captive.

Luckily, I’d learnt to keep hold of evidence. My phone records proved I was in a different State.

The case was dismissed. She faced no consequences.

I’ve lost everything.

I still haven’t seen my kids.

How is this fair?

Where am I supposed to find the money to go to Family Court now?”

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