A father in Malta has begun a hunger strike to draw attention to the situation his family are going through.
Ashley Galea, a father of two, said the custody battle he was going through with his former partner had “torn” his life apart and was “driving” him to his grave.
“I’ve lost my daughters, my home, my working life and my mental health on a false accusation of domestic violence,” Galea told Lovin Malta.
His case, which has been going on for years, involves his former partner accusing him of domestic violence. Galea maintains that no evidence of this violence was ever shown to the courts; however, he is still only able to see his two daughters twice a week, and has been kicked out of his family home.
He says he was treated like a guilty man before anything was proven, even when he tried to submit evidence to the courts, something he refers to as “Guilty Until Proven Innocent“.
“I have been continuously ignored by the family court of Malta, and for this there is no excuse and it must be answered!”
Galea believes he is the victim of malicious lies against him.
“What happened to me was like something out of Nazi Germany,” he said emotionally. “Police pulling me out of my house with my children pulling at my legs saying ‘don’t take daddy’ and then banned from returning to my own home.”
Galea says that he was told that if he wanted to return home, he needed to wear a camera on his chest for 24 hours “for protection”.
He decided not to return home with this demand, and was since taken to court after not paying his monthly child support after he alleged that his partner was not using the money on their children.
Parental alienation is a growing problem in Malta, with multiple groups being set up over the last two years to represent the mothers and fathers who feel they are being separated from their children, to the family’s detriment.
But Galea, who started his hunger strike Tuesday evening and plans on lasting as long as he can to raise awareness on his situation, has lost hope in the judicial system.
“I blame the authorities as a whole and all involved in my case who have sat back in the hope that I would simply go away. I have contemplated suicide many times feeling it will be the only way that the truth will be told and my story be heard. In my head, I have been dead for the past two years anyway,” he said.
“I love my daughters with all my heart,” he ended. They have suffered throughout, but this cover-up by all involved cannot continue.”