(Greater Manchester, North West England: September 2017) Neil Tweedy, who endured 12 horrific years of violence and threats at the hands of his wife, Helen, set up hidden cameras in the home to record the abuse over a two month period because he didn’t think police would believe him unless the incidents were recorded. The video footage was used to prosecute Mrs. Tweedy with assault.
Helen Tweedy is accused of smothering, slapping, swearing, punching and kicking Mr. Tweedy – with much of the violence occurring in front of their daughter, now age 4. Verbal abuse was also a problem. For much of the marriage Mr. Tweedy did not report abuse, due to fear of his wife, and that authorities would not believe him.
Mrs. Tweedy admitted three charges of common assault by beating at Manchester Magistrates Court. Mrs. Tweedy was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours’ unpaid work and a restraining order prohibiting contact with her husband for 12 months.
Clearly the child’s physical and emotional safety are at risk due to the mother’s abusive behavior. I hope the Court, or another professional agency with the authority to intervene, considers the domestic violence that has occurred in this family, and the effects on the child, seriously and works to protect the child; and offer professional help to this family.
Mr. Tweedy is supportive of his wife having visitation with the child, and has blamed Mrs. Tweedy’s behavior as just being caused by alcohol.
Let’s be clear – alcohol/drug use alone does not, and cannot, cause a person to become a perpetrator of domestic violence; and there is no scientific evidence to show alcohol/drug abuse causes someone to become an abuser. Domestic violence is complex, and involves numerous factors and influences. Domestic violence is defined by a pattern, or history, of using violence, threats and force to gain power and control over another. The need for control fuels domestic violence, not the loss of it.
Alcohol certainly can impair judgment, or contribute to the escalation of violence, but should not be used as an “abuse excuse”.
According to domestic violence expert, Lundy Bancroft, who has had over 20 years experience working in batterer intervention programs,”Alcohol does not change a person’s fundamental value system. People’s personalities when intoxicated, even though somewhat altered, still bear some relationship to who they are when sober.” (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Abusers will act violent and controlling towards a partner whether they are drinking or not. A good example of this is my abusive ex, Martin. Martin has a long history of addictive behavior, including abuse of alcohol, street drugs and prescription pain killers. While abusing drugs and alcohol, Martin got into physical fights, had difficulty with family and peers, and got into trouble with the law that lead to criminal charges, and the issuance of a commitment order. I met Martin many years after he stopped abusing drugs and alcohol – but his abuse of me, and the children, began. Martin then became addicted to gambling and pain pills, and the abuse continued. The drugs and alcohol did not cause Martin’s violence towards me and the children, his attitudes, and values did. Domestic violence has also been attributed to being a learned behavior. In Martin’s case this is likely true because there is a long history of physical and emotional abuse in both his mother’s and father’s side of the family, that has occurred alongside alcohol abuse.
Domestic violence can happen to any person, from any background. The impact of domestic violence leaves both a physical and psychological impact on victims, and causes lasting scars. For men, particularly, the experience can be isolating and a source of shame or feeling “less than a man”. It is really sad, to me, that Mr. Tweedy felt he needed to record the abuse – and allow himself to be beaten and humiliated – so that he would be believed, and someone would help him. I am including resources below for men who are victims of abuse to reach out for help, and assist with safety planning.
As a survivor, I know how difficult it is to escape abuse and rebuild your life. I can honestly say, that you deserve so much more than to be mistreated or to live in fear everyday. Your children deserve a real childhood where they feel safe and loved, and can grow into their full potential. My pastor often reminds us that we have “unsurpassable worth“, that each person is lovingly created by God. Each person is cherished for they are. Each person adds something that is beautiful or unique, and makes this world a better place by your existence in it. You deserve so much more than to live a life of abuse or fear, you deserve to be happy, to be safe, and to enjoy life for all the blessings it has to offer.
If anyone is involved in an abusive relationship, I urge you to reach out for yourself, and your children, to get professional help or support.
Abused men can reach out to the following organizations for help:
- U.S. and Canada: 1-800-799-7233 The National Domestic Violence Hotline
- UK: 01823 334244 – ManKind Initiative
- Ireland: 046 902 3710 – AMEN
- Australia: One in Three Campaign offers a number of crisis hotlines
- In the U.S.: Call Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project at 1-800-832-1901.
- In the UK: Call Broken Rainbow UK at 0300 999 5428.
For Men and Women: The National Domestic Violence Hotline or 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Read FULL Story:
Abused husband, 45, who suffered 12 years of beatings at hands of his hard-drinking teacher wife set up a spy camera to film her campaign of violence – but DEFENDS her after she is convicted (Daily Mail)