Caroline Green, the ex-wife of fundamentalist Christian Voice hate leader and BBC guest parenting expert Stephen Green, says her former partner was viciously abusive, regularly beating her. Not only does Stephen not believe in marital rape, Caroline says he went so far as to draw up a list of all her failures before beating her one last time.
“He told me he’d make a piece of wood into a sort of witch’s broom and hit me with it, which he did,” says Caroline about the last brutal attack she suffered, ending their 26-year marriage. “He hit me until I bled. I was terrified. I can still remember the pain. Stephen listed my misdemeanours: I was disrespectful and disobedient; I wasn’t loving or submissive enough and I was undermining him. He also said I wasn’t giving him his conjugal rights. He even framed our marriage vows — he always put particular emphasis on my promise to obey him — and hung them over our bed. He believed there was no such thing as marital rape and for years I’d been reluctant to have sex with him, but he said it was my duty and was angry if I refused him. But the beating was the last straw. It convinced me I had to divorce him.”
So why come forward now? “Whenever I watch him on TV spouting verses from the Bible, or see him quoted in a newspaper, it turns my stomach,” she says. ‘I’ve decided to tell the truth about him now because the people who support him financially and morally should know what he is really like.”
Things weren’t always so bad. When they met in the 70s, Stephen was “a very talented, outgoing man and with a great sense of fun. He had a good sense of humour.” His profitable roofing business meant they could afford life’s luxuries. She gave birth to three sons and a daughter. But then he removed them from Britain’s urban life and dumped them into a mobile home to escape society’s “evils.” The dark path began, she remembers, with his 1992 book The Sexual Dead End, an anti-gay tome that turned out to be only the beginning of his far-right views. Beatings began, on her and their kids. “My eldest son was hit with a broomstick and kicked on the back of his legs. He still has scars on his shins. On one occasion Stephen beat him so hard with a piece of wood that we thought he might have broken his arm. When we took him to hospital, my son pretended he’d fallen because he didn’t want to incur his father’s anger.”
In 2006, she escaped with financial help from her family. Stephen himself has remarried, with a Kenyan woman some 25 years younger than his 60 years.