Men Cry Alone - A book about domestic violence against men (Fiction)
Alfred, Tom and Gordon are strangers, yet they share a terrible secret ... they are being abused by their wives.
In 1977 I had the idea of writing a stage play about domestic abuse, where the man was the victim. I don’t know where the thought came from. This was an era when you didn’t read about such matters, when the plight of women was only just beginning to be understood and when the authorities generally turned a blind eye to ‘a domestic’. Someone suggesting that a man could be the victim would probably have been laughed out of sight.
I never did write the stage play, but I’ve still got the letter sent to me in 1984 by the BBC rejecting a script for a television drama I had submitted called Battered Women: Battered Men.
Early in 2011 I completed the writing project I had been working on (my memoir Nylon Kid of the North) and after 21 years with the same company was unexpectedly made redundant. I suddenly found myself with a lot of time on my hands. One day I keyed ‘battered men’ into a search engine. Wow! The amount of information out there on the subject is staggering.
I read and read ... men’s stories, women’s stories, research, interviews, websites, articles ... I searched without success for any novel that had used the theme of domestic violence where the man was the victim of abuse from a woman. The old idea began whirling once more inside my head.
I interviewed some of the leading UK charities set up to help abused men then began what turned into a long series of meetings with professionals in a wide range of related fields – law, social work, police, the church, the Rape and Abuse Line. Via the charities I was able to speak to men who had faced severe abuse at the hands of former wives.
I also wanted to raise the lid on an area that is rarely acknowledged - that of someone experiencing domestic violence because their partner has dementia. It’s rather a hidden area within a hidden area. My research led me down new paths, with yet more interviews, this time with experts in psychiatric medical care and nursing home care. I had many conversations about the condition and its effects with my wife, who is a GP. And all the time I was reading ... trying to understand the myriad of different threads of behaviour that make up abuse.
The result is Men Cry Alone. Although a work of fiction, the novel reflects the types of abuse and the situations that occur every day in real life. The 300-page paperback (£9.99) is available directly from the publisher http://www.feedaread.com/books/Men-Cry-Alone-9781781768389.aspx or via normal book retailers, including Amazon. An ebook version is also available.
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‘I wept many times reading Men Cry Alone. It is a profoundly moving novel ... a compulsive read, with a forensic examination of the lives of three men abused by their wives.’
Erin Pizzey. In 1971 Erin Pizzey opened the world’s first shelter for battered women.
‘The experiences of these fictitious characters echo the real life tragedies that I have dealt with for nearly thirty years. Reading these stories, written with such sensitive narrative, made the occasional tear fall. Raising awareness of the domestic abuse faced by many men and women may give them the hope that they need not cry alone.’
Susan Brown, Chaplain to the Queen in Scotland and Minister of Dornoch Cathedral.
‘Men Cry Alone brings to life with great clarity and vividness the ordeal suffered by many men behind closed doors.’
Mark Brooks, Chairman of the UK charity ManKind Initiative.
‘A sensitive and touching portrayal of the far-reaching effects that dementia can have within a marriage and one that many carers will recognise. No-one should have to cope with dementia on their own, as Men Cry Alone makes abundantly clear.’
Men Cry Alone - A book about domestic abuse against men