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Old 07-07-2011, 05:34 PM   #21
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Please contact Children Protective Services if the children are being abused or neglected.
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He threatened to kill the entire family. He was arrested but his mother posted bond so he is out.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:08 PM   #22
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Prediction: Husband will be back, claiming he just "lost his temper and said things he shouldn't say and didn't mean" and loves her & kids & wants them all back. Poor girl, she'll be tempted, too. It's grim out there on your own.

In your place, if I could afford to [ER version of "afford" - even though you have money, you are protecting it for your ER goals], I'd help her and kids. Hoping, but not expecting, to get the money back.

As others said, a plan for the future must be part of any money discussion. It's reasonable to ask a grown-up, even a scared one, to come up with a plan for "what happens after 3 months." I would also say "You know this is the last time we can help with money, but we're always there for you in other ways."

Neither you nor anybody can control her response, when he shows up with the big I'm-sorry puppy-dog eyes. But if she has a plan, knows you support the plan and will help her carry it out, and knows the $$ has come to an end, she may just be able to break free. I hope "cosmetology" includes hair-cutting, since barbers can get jobs, but "cosmeticists" and "aestheticians" probably have a hard time when the economy's down.

Best of luck to everyone involved in this all too common situation.

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Please contact Children Protective Services if the children are being abused or neglected.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:24 AM   #23
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Update:

Well we spent an hour and a half on the phone last night with our niece discussing this issue and her plan for the future. I had made a list of questions/issues to discuss based upon comments here and other research I had done throughout the day.

First we tried to assess what degree of danger she may be in, based upon these top 5 risk factors: Domestic Violence Homicide Risk Assessment (USDOJ Scale). No, he's never used a weapon on her; yes, he threatened to kill the entire family; yes, he has tried to strangle her in the past; yes, he is constantly jealous and wants to know what she is doing all the time; and, well, we didn't ask her the last question since it is so personal, and we were pretty overwhelmed with additional details she told us about being spit on and him putting a cigarette out on her. She also told us about some terrible verbal abuse, including calling her things like a stupid b*tch in front of the kids. What a horrible, horrible ordeal she has been through. Oh, and yes, he does have access to a gun (a 22 rifle) at his mom's house, where he is staying. So yes, I would say the danger level is pretty high - we impressed that upon her again and again so that she would take safety measures seriously.

Next, we talked about her safety plan. First and foremost, we wanted her of course to go to a shelter, but as you know she is reluctant to do so (actually has gone in the past and had a negative experience), PLUS, the shelter is full and has a waiting list. They told her the only way they could actually take her in is if he breaks the protection order, and she has to call the police.

So, looks like for now at least she is staying at their home. She said he does not have any keys (police took him away with nothing), but we are concerned he may have stashed a copy somewhere at his mother's. We have arranged to have her other uncle who lives locally to change out the locks. She has pepper spray and keeps it with her at all times. We strongly advised her to tell her school about the protection order and give them a picture of him with instructions to call 911 if he shows up there. The same goes for anyone she leaves her children with.

Next we talked about her recovery plan. She has obtained legal assistance from the women's center for her hearing next week about custody and child support. She is on the waiting list to get started with counseling for herself and the kids and also for possible transitional housing assistance. She of course firmly states she will not take him back when he comes crawling back apologizing...she was pretty convincing, but we know the statistics on this - only time will tell, and all we can do is hope. We will be making sure she follows up on the counseling for all. The kids, as you would expect, are pretty shaken up.

We asked her about her plan after the 3 months of school is up. She said she already has a job offer (yes, she does cut hair). Her hourly rate will of course be low, but she says that they made it on the same salary from her "x" over the past two years so she feels she can do it. "It's tight, but I've always lived tight, and I know how to do it." They only have the basics, no cable or internet, etc. and her car is paid for. If she gets her child support, of course that will help significantly. For the next 3 months, she can get by if we take care of her rent, since she has a few hundred dollars of school loans coming in, plus she was able to get $600 in food stamps/month to feed the kids. It was a huge relief to hear this was taken care of.

So, we are taking care of the rent but of course will be following the situation closely to make sure she gets that counseling. We are very, very worried for her safety, but at this point it doesn't look like there any other feasible options.

Thanks all for the feedback and support. We are both exhausted dealing with this. I will post any major developments.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:35 AM   #24
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You two are good folks, SG. She is in a truly tough spot and it is so hard to get any clarity in a crisis like that. Your ability to cut through the chaos is incredibly valuable to her, even if she can't articulate it.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:41 AM   #25
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Great work SG, fingers crossed that the husband stays away as ordered.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:03 AM   #26
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She is lucky to have you in her life.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:12 AM   #27
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Good job!
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:38 AM   #28
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SG,
You really stepped up to the plate

I think it's crucial for you to take good care of yourself. It is very emotionally draining to be exposed to a crisis of this sort. I have gone through a similar family situation, and found that it was important for me to surround myself with healthy people who were able to support me, the "helper."

I also had to let go of my expectations for the victim. I wanted to jump in and fix the people involved; for my own sanity I had to realize that people are going to do what they do whether I am involved or not. I needed to emotionally detach - then, I didn't feel like the remedy was "all on me."
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:47 AM   #29
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Putting a cigarette out on her? Whoa. I'm so impressed, SG, that you don't see this as being only about the money but are putting her safety and her future first. She needs (and I can tell is so appreciative of) your helpful emotional and strategic support and so wonderful of you to provide that too.

I hope someone as abusive as her husband is too stupid to realize that he can break a window to get into a house he doesn't have a key too. And I hope his mother sees that her grandchildren are at risk from him and doesn't support his "side" of the story.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:47 AM   #30
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Putting a cigarette out on her? Whoa. I'm so impressed, SG, that you don't see this as being only about the money but are putting her safety and her future first. She needs (and I can tell is so appreciative of) your helpful emotional and strategic support and so wonderful of you to provide that too.

I hope someone as abusive as her husband is too stupid to realize that he can break a window to get into a house he doesn't have a key to. And I hope his mother sees that her grandchildren are at risk from him and doesn't support his "side" of the story.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:22 PM   #31
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Thank you all for the support and kind words. We definitely feel better about this whole thing now. It's not over by any stretch of the imagination, but at least we feel like we are doing more than just throwing money at it and then putting our head in the sand.


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SG,
You really stepped up to the plate

I think it's crucial for you to take good care of yourself. It is very emotionally draining to be exposed to a crisis of this sort. I have gone through a similar family situation, and found that it was important for me to surround myself with healthy people who were able to support me, the "helper."

I also had to let go of my expectations for the victim. I wanted to jump in and fix the people involved; for my own sanity I had to realize that people are going to do what they do whether I am involved or not. I needed to emotionally detach - then, I didn't feel like the remedy was "all on me."
Thanks so much Antmary. This board has been very helpful to us. I'll be calling some close friends this weekend to vent a bit, too, as needed. And, I will work on those expectations...knowing myself...the control freak and "fixer", this type of situation pushes all my buttons. I'm not so good at detachment, LOL, but much better than I used to be!


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Putting a cigarette out on her? Whoa. I'm so impressed, SG, that you don't see this as being only about the money but are putting her safety and her future first. She needs (and I can tell is so appreciative of) your helpful emotional and strategic support and so wonderful of you to provide that too.

I hope someone as abusive as her husband is too stupid to realize that he can break a window to get into a house he doesn't have a key too. And I hope his mother sees that her grandchildren are at risk from him and doesn't support his "side" of the story.
Unfortunately, she told us that in the past he has broken in through a window. Her brother had been staying with her as protection (he's a TOUGH guy!), but she asked him to leave despite our advice to the contrary...still don't think she truly understands her x's potential for violence...but...we made our point as best we could...trying to detach!!! LOL.

Oh, and the x's mother is a real piece of work. Always takes her son's side. When they served him the protection order papers, my niece was required to ride along in the police car to his mother's house. His mother started screaming that since she was in the police car less than 50' feet away "Shouldn't SHE be arrested?" Good grief. So ridiculous all you can do is shake your head. I'm sure she's got him lawyered up for the custody hearing next week. Hoping my niece's public lawyer is good....
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:57 PM   #32
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You two are good folks, SG. She is in a truly tough spot and it is so hard to get any clarity in a crisis like that. Your ability to cut through the chaos is incredibly valuable to her, even if she can't articulate it.
+1

Good luck to you and your niece, SG.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:04 PM   #33
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The husband's lawyer will try to convey that wife is an air head. (My sister went through this.) Your niece needs to be prepared for this, maybe make a list of the assaults she has suffered so she doesn't freeze. A scar from a cigarette burn and copies of medical records for treatment of injuries can also be helpful. I doubt she thought to photo the broken window but any records she has from that incident (including police report, if in a rental then the property owner records) supports her claims of uncontrolled anger.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:38 PM   #34
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Unfortunately, she told us that in the past he has broken in through a window. Her brother had been staying with her as protection (he's a TOUGH guy!), but she asked him to leave despite our advice to the contrary...still don't think she truly understands her x's potential for violence...but...we made our point as best we could...trying to detach!!! LOL.

Oh, and the x's mother is a real piece of work. Always takes her son's side. When they served him the protection order papers, my niece was required to ride along in the police car to his mother's house. His mother started screaming that since she was in the police car less than 50' feet away "Shouldn't SHE be arrested?" Good grief. So ridiculous all you can do is shake your head. I'm sure she's got him lawyered up for the custody hearing next week. Hoping my niece's public lawyer is good....

Has the husband shown anger and signs of aggression to others

Please make her aware of the potential for violence.... many years ago there was a co-worker who was gunned down outside of work... I did not know her, but still...
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:49 PM   #35
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Sorry to hear about your problem but you seem to be handling it well . I would definetely give her money to stay safe but not if she was going right back into the situation.
Agree. Best of luck with a tough situation.

Edit:I now see the update. Very good job!
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:35 PM   #36
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The husband's lawyer will try to convey that wife is an air head. (My sister went through this.) Your niece needs to be prepared for this, maybe make a list of the assaults she has suffered so she doesn't freeze. A scar from a cigarette burn and copies of medical records for treatment of injuries can also be helpful. I doubt she thought to photo the broken window but any records she has from that incident (including police report, if in a rental then the property owner records) supports her claims of uncontrolled anger.
Thanks Brat. I will definitely give her a heads up on this!


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Has the husband shown anger and signs of aggression to others

Please make her aware of the potential for violence.... many years ago there was a co-worker who was gunned down outside of work... I did not know her, but still...
He was aggressive when the cops took him out. I think it took 6 cops to get him down; they hog-tied him and carried him out to the police car. He was crazy drunk. I don't know if he has been aggressive towards others.

We have indeed emphasized to her his potential for violence and told her how her answers to the risk assessment placed her at much extra risk for homicide than other victims of domestic violence. We also educated her that studies have shown that domestic violence women are good at predicting future assault potential, but not homicide potential - basically, they underestimate the real danger they are in. We told her that he has access to a gun, knows where she and the kids live, knows where she goes to school, and could easily walk up and shoot any of them. She acknowledged all of this, but I still don't think she accepts that he has the potential to murder. (She did, however, have a panic attack last night and barely slept. Guess maybe our info got through partially on some level. Poor thing, she is so traumatized.) I don't think there is anything else we can say. All we can do is hope and pray nothing happens.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:56 PM   #37
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Below is a post I made on another site earlier this year:
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Back when my first wife was making the transition from Skip Tracer/Collector to Social Worker she manned an Assault Hotline for women, (the calls were redirected to our place)......one woman called and said her husband was late, he'd been out drinking, and was bound to follow an established pattern of hurling whatever she'd cooked for dinner at the wall before punching her out.

My wife told her to leave the house immediately and that she'd arrange for the woman to be put up at a local Toronto shelter, (Nelly's/Nellie's at the time, I believe).

The woman kept saying "But, but...we have a nice house and a POOL and I've made lasagna".

And that's how a half-hour, or longer, call ended.....the woman refused to help herself because it was, apparently, a small price to pay in order to live in a house with a pool.

How do you help people such as this?
I appreciate that your niece's situation may not be identical but there does, unfortunately, appear to be commonalities among women in this position.......they think that somehow things will magically 'work out', when in actuality they usually get worse.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:07 PM   #38
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Below is a post I made on another site earlier this year:

I appreciate that your niece's situation may not be identical but there does, unfortunately, appear to be commonalities among women in this position.......they think that somehow things will magically 'work out', when in actuality they usually get worse.

Yep. It's surely frustrating, and worriesome! Gee, I sure got that detachment thing down, don't I?

DH tried to convince her that things were not important vs. safety/living - but it didn't sink in.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:54 PM   #39
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Wants to keep life as "normal" as possible for the kids.
There is no such thing. Normal appears to be threats, violence and danger. She isn't thinking straight if she wants to preserve "normal" for her kids. There is no normal left in the situation.

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Putting a cigarette out on her? he threatened to kill the entire family; he has tried to strangle her in the past; She also told us about some terrible verbal abuse; yes, he does have access to a gun. she told us that in the past he has broken in through a window. He was aggressive when the cops took him out. I think it took 6 cops to get him down;
Get out. Get out now. This is a very unsafe and unstable situation and the risk is unthinkably bad. If you care for this woman and her kids, this is not about the money. This is not about advising her to talk to cops or shelters. She needs to get to a safe place. If he knows where she is, or where the kids are, it is not a safe place. That includes their old school. Maybe he's rational and lucid sometimes, but we also know that sometimes he gets crazy drunk and acts out in unpredictable and violent ways. This is not safe. They are not safe. Nothing "normal" is safe for them.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:46 PM   #40
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There is no such thing. Normal appears to be threats, violence and danger. She isn't thinking straight if she wants to preserve "normal" for her kids. There is no normal left in the situation.

Get out. Get out now. This is a very unsafe and unstable situation and the risk is unthinkably bad. If you care for this woman and her kids, this is not about the money. This is not about advising her to talk to cops or shelters. She needs to get to a safe place. If he knows where she is, or where the kids are, it is not a safe place. That includes their old school. Maybe he's rational and lucid sometimes, but we also know that sometimes he gets crazy drunk and acts out in unpredictable and violent ways. This is not safe. They are not safe. Nothing "normal" is safe for them.
Growing_older, I hear you and understand your concern. Please read the entire thread, and you will see I have the same thoughts, but no control over her reaction to the situation. I have done the best I could.
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