A quiet manager rebels against his wife’s violence

by Ivano Abbadessa - 2015.03.17
A quiet manager rebels against his wife’s violence
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"Men shouldn’t be ashamed of the world knowing that they have been assaulted by a woman," says Ken Gregory, 65, who suffered 1st and 2nd degree burns on 14% of his body in March 2014 after his second wife, Teresa Gilbertson, had deliberately poured a kettle of boiling water on his neck. This was after Maxime Gaget, another male victim of female domestic violence who broke the taboo of silence surrounding the problem of men abused by their partners.

"I never imagined that such a thing could happen to me," said Mr Gregory in a recent interview with the BBC. This retired English manager had met Ms. Gilbertson after the death of his first wife with whom he had lived for 30 years. His ordeal was the culmination of weeks of aggression and verbal abuse, which was triggered by his decision to pay tribute to his late wife on the anniversary of her death. One day, at the end of yet another quarrel, instead of coming back with the tea, which he had told her to make, Ms. Gilbertson came back with a kettle full of boiling water and poured the entire contents on his neck. "It was an unbearable and excruciating pain. I had never experienced anything like it," admitted Mr Gregory.

"It may seem strange to many that a strong, mature man can be the victim of female violence. But it's all true." For this reason, Ken Gregory decided to talk about his personal tragedy, even revealing his scars, to send a clear message to men who endure physical and psychological abuse by wives, lovers and companions: follow the same advice that organisations give to female victims of violence: don't be afraid to report it!

He believes that a radical change of attitude in society is necessary so that people understand that domestic abuse can affect anyone. Statistics bear this out as, according to the Mankind initiative, a British organisation that supports battered men, 38% of victims of domestic violence are male. Men are also almost twice as likely as women to tell no one of the attacks. Only 10% of them seek help from a doctor or the police.

Published in Domestic violence.
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