Hi there. I a five months into the most horrendous period of my life. I came home one day to find my ex-partner had cleared many of my sons belongings, along with her own and left our home. I approached the Gardaí who handed me a brown envelope which contained a Protection Order (PO) against me. Attached to the PO was a four page document penned by my ex-partner, which included the most vile, disgusting and completely untrue allegations against me. Two months (felt like two years) later we were in court where I rubber stamped my guardianship rights and I gained limited access to my son. I was also issued with an 18 month Safety Order (SO) under the ‘Domestic Violence’ legislation (which she frequently likes to remind me of). I have never been violent or even threatened violence to another human being in my life. This SO hovers over my head every single day. One of the many inequities of my (and perhaps others) case is that I never got to put my side of the story to the judge. My barrister and solicitor both told me that the court will firmly side with the mother in almost all cases, regardless of the facts or lack of contextualisation. My barrister told me “don’t come to the courts if you’re looking for justice”. They also both informed me that SO’s are handed out like confetti nowadays, without due consideration to the other person’s opinions, as judges don’t want to be held accountable if a SO is not handed out and something happens.
During the latter part of our relationship, my ex called me autistic and that I suffered from Aspergers syndrome. She sent me links to neurodiverse therapy treatments and sent me a video link of a man asking other ‘autistic’ men to support their partners and be there for them. She also secretly recorded audio conversations we had engaged in and threatened to use them in the court. These recordings contained nothing in the way of violence.
More than anything, I a looking for other fathers who might be going through similar experiences. I am attending counselling and I have incredible family and friends supporting me, but sometimes I still feel very alone in this scenario.
I am genuinely scared of what actions she will try to take next in her attempts to destroy me as a person. I think I will click the ‘invisible evidence’ button for now if that’s ok.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to tell a ‘snippet’ of my story