OPINION: Men's cries for help are going unheard

THE man at the centre of a dramatic incident at Barney Point on Thursday called The Observer yesterday to set the record straight.

His frustration during a phone call to the Child Support Agency caused him to slam his hand down on a table.

The staff member he was speaking to misinterpreted the sound as a gunshot and called the police.

Within a short period of time, two Barney Point streets were cordoned off by police and residents advised to stay indoors.

The situation lasted three hours before police discovered there was no one in the house.

He is right. It must have been terrifying for his neighbours.

Was it an over-reaction by the CSA or was it proper action taken under the circumstances?

When I spoke with the man yesterday, he expressed concern for his neighbours and for the young police officers dealing with the situation.

But even more so, for the men, the fathers, dealing with deep depression after family breakdown and with no support or any idea where to turn.

Speaking out like that doesn't come naturally to men and in his own words, it took courage to call The Observer.

But he wanted to be a voice for the many, many men in his situation.

The prevalence of domestic violence in today's world has been at crisis point for a long time now with men shouldering most of the blame.

If the problems lie with men, then so must the solutions.

This week, Roseberry Queensland general manger Colleen Tribe identified it as the biggest gap in social services in the Gladstone Region.

The violence is too often a cry for help and we need to hear that cry.

- Christine McKee, Editor

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