PETITION FOR AN INQUIRY INTO MALE SUICIDE FOLLOWING A RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN.
Over three hundred each year commit suicide following the ending of a marriage or relationship.
This shocking statistic which approaches the annual road toll. Why should this be so?
• More women choose to end an unsatisfactory relationship and are more likely tp plan ahead for this event and are therefore more prepared for it than men are when it occurs.
• Women are more likely than men to share their pain with female friends and, once separated, have more community supports such as Women’s Refugee counseling services and a range of welfare services and benefits than men do. Many men do not like to discuss their matrimonial problems with others.
• Women are likely to capitalize on the image of the violent man placing her safety and safety of the children at risk. Domestic Protection Orders are now easier to obtain and a partner alleged to be violent can be removed from the home immediately. Unless he challenges the order it can be made permanent, that order also protecting the children as well. There is no requirement in law that the female partner has to prove that her allegations are true.
• Following separation fathers may find that the mother blocks or frustrates access to the children and, if he is given supervised access, this means that he is not allowed to see his children on his own. This is humiliating as his good-name as a father is irreparably damaged. In some worse case scenarios his wife /partner may insinuate that he has molested or is likely to molest his children particularly if he contests custody in the Family Court. Sadly this further alienates the children from him and he usually feels highly vulnerable and heartbroken. This should be rightly regarded as a form of psychological violence perpetuated by women on men and research on family violence suggests that women are more likely to respond vindictively when the male partner chooses to end the relationship.
• More men than women are likely to face financial hardship and child support payments set as such a high level that he cannot afford to start a new relationship or a second family.Finicial difficulty can be a major factor in his decision to take his own life.
• It is a sad reality that once a man makes this decision it is more likely to be lethal whether that is by shooting or hanging himself or gassing himself in the family car. By contrast, more women make unsuccessful attempts that do not end their lives.
• Male suicide should be regarded as form of family violence even though the violence is self inflicted. It has taken twelve years for the number of women killed by their male partners to reach a total of lives lost. That total is exceeded in one year by men ending their own lives.