For three years I have been driven towards suicide by the misuse of police services against me from within Maribyrnong City Council and the Australian Labor Party in 2016. A horrific part of this trauma for me has been the complete failure of anyone within either organisation to adequately address the questions raised by what was done to me. Only you have tried, Mr Mayor. You havent done enough to answer the questions, but you have at least made an attempt.
On June 18 2016 I sent an email, to one of your ALP colleagues in Maribyrnong beginning with this sentence, “i believe there is an undeniable presence of gender bigotry and demonisation of men in our society including in Maribyrnong” Two days later police were at my home with a warrant ready to arrest me for communicating with this politician. Is sticking up for mens rights a crime in Maribyrnong?
On July 29th, 2016, I asked this question in an email of you and all other Maribyrnong councillors, “Does Maribyrnong City Council practice gender equity with respect to physical and psychological health issues or does Maribyrnong City Council discriminate too strongly in favor of women?” On July 5th i was arrested by the police for communicating with one of the councillors to whom this question had been addressed. The question is still unanswered. I now add this question: Is Maribyrnong City Councils expenditure addressing suicide, which claims 8 lives a day, 56 times greater than its expenditure addressing domestic violence against women which you have told me several times, as memory serves, claims one woman’s life every week?
On November 18 last year I asked you early in your term as mayor, “How many men have committed suicide in Maribyrnong in the past decade and in each of the past five years and what are the equivalent figures for women in Maribyrnong?” On January 8 you responded, “I don’t have Maribyrnong figures, but nationally I believe it’s roughly the opposite of domestic violence deaths – more than twice as many men as women dying from suicide.” I dont think this is a very good answer, but it is better than none at all.
I believe, using my instincts as a Registered Midwife of 31 years standing and based on what I have seen in quite a few artistic interactions with you, you have inherited many fine qualities from your mother Senator Olive Zakharov, a pioneer in opening up the issue of domestic violence. But now it is time for those qualities to be turned to addressing the needs of men. Too many men are choosing to die and too many Australians ignore the questions which we need to ask to address this difficult problem.
Can you make a start on this and show some leadership by becoming a Mayor who is on top of the suicide figures and trends in his own municipality and who does not duck the hard questions that need to be answered if the problem is to be addressed?
Geoff Fox, Maribyrnong, May 29, 2019
PS John F Kennedy, who was born 102 years ago today, said this five months and eleven days before his death in 1963, “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.” Do you, Martin Zakharov, care about the implications, for the rights of all men in Maribyrnong, of what was done to me from within your organisation in 2016?