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Old 07-08-2011, 09:49 PM   #41
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Simple Girl,

Hope things work out for her. Been awhile (about 20 years) but I used to volunteer on a hotline to provide support for victims of domestic violence. Some things to keep in mind (if you haven't already realized), yes, the number one thing is safety. Sounds like she isn't ready to leave the house yet, but hopefully she would have an emergency duffle bag or something packed (clothes, important papers, phone numbers, any cash) and hidden away so when the time comes, she can just grab the duffle. Another thing is to remember that an order of protection is still just a paper. In otherwords, if someone is stalking, intent on hurting someone they still would try order or no order. Also, I do recall that in some states, the state can file charges. This was done because what happened in the past would the victim would be confused, call the police, then the abuser would talk her out of filing charges..the the cycle would repeat again.

Hopes things turn out okay.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:57 PM   #42
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I think it is very difficult for battered women to extricate themselves. There are emotional and economic forces at play here. You and I would run like he*l but their thoughts are all a jumble.

Personally I would first shelter the children, they are the most vulnerable and can't make decisions for themselves. If the adults implode it was the result of their decisions. Send the kids to summer camp for as long as possible.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #43
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Quick link about the cycle of violence...and steps the help break free

Domestic Violence Cycle
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:22 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by simple girl View Post
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.
Back when I used to volunteer, the leaders at the agency would say things like we can't picture that it's our job to save the victims but to empower them to take control of their own lives. So, even if this time, they aren't out of the domestic violence cycle, then hopefully a seed is planted in them, that perhaps next time or a time after that eventually the victims see a possibility diffferent from where they are currently at.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:28 PM   #45
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I have done the best I could.
Yes....you have. I'm proud of you.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:49 PM   #46
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I have read the thread and know how limited your control is. I was just trying to pull out of what had been said the key phrases that I thought described how much risk there really is here. I know (sadly) how seeing that from the outside does not necessarily translate into being able to do anything about it. It can be a long and difficult road for people trying to help too. Glad you are there trying.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:29 AM   #47
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Thanks so much everyone - your ongoing support is much appreciated!!!

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Back when I used to volunteer, the leaders at the agency would say things like we can't picture that it's our job to save the victims but to empower them to take control of their own lives. So, even if this time, they aren't out of the domestic violence cycle, then hopefully a seed is planted in them, that perhaps next time or a time after that eventually the victims see a possibility diffferent from where they are currently at.
That really helps to think of it that way. I can already see that what she learned the last time this happened is in her brain, and she is using it this time as she recovers. She said to us "I thought I had learned all I needed and was doing fine...guess I was wrong. I've still got a lot to learn." She definitely is trying and has potential and is so appreciative. We are keeping our fingers crossed. She's such a good girl and loves her kids dearly. Hope the fog in her head clears soon.

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I have read the thread and know how limited your control is. I was just trying to pull out of what had been said the key phrases that I thought described how much risk there really is here. I know (sadly) how seeing that from the outside does not necessarily translate into being able to do anything about it. It can be a long and difficult road for people trying to help too. Glad you are there trying.
Thanks growing_older - not being able to handle it the way that obviously is best/safest for all sure is frustrating...and scary. So glad you can see we are doing all that we can/know to do. I appreciate your support!
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:51 AM   #48
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Thanks for the update.

Your niece is thinking and acting (getting the food stamps, getting a job offer, deliberately living within her small means) and best of all, she's continuing to talk freely and openly with you all. It does sound like there is hope.

Think of what it would be like for her if she didn't have good people who care for her...You and your husband are very, very good people.

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Old 07-09-2011, 09:58 AM   #49
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simple girl:

Your niece is lucky to have you in her life. I hope she is able to find her way out of this.

I also believe your niece is in danger. I'm retired law enforcement, and the pattern is that (as others have posted) he comes back with the "I'm-so-sorry-what-was-I thinking" routine. If she buys that, it only gets worse. He's already tried to strangle her and burned her. How much worse can it get? At best next time she'll need hospital care. At worst he'll kill her.

And if she takes him back things will never be normal because then he knows how much he can get away with. I'm sure she knows that on an intellectual level but she needs to know deep down that her and her kid's survival depends on her getting out of that relationship.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:02 PM   #50
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Simplegirl,

I walked (somewhat) in your shoes about 20 years ago. My sister was married to an abusive man (always verbal, never physical). She "left him" many times, but always went back to him. She had 4 young children, 2 by him, when she left again. He found her at our grandmother's, broke in, and tried to kill her in front of the 4 children and my elderly grandmother. My sister was on the phone with a family friend at the time, who overheard the screaming when he started to break in - so she called the police immediately. Good thing, as when they arrived, he was on top of her, choking her, the kids screaming and crying. They dragged him off in handcuffs.

When I saw her the next day she was covered (and I mean covered) in bruises where he had beat her before trying to choke her. We sent her away to a crisis shelter, which was over an hour away from home. She was hysterical, as she said she would "never be able to come home again". I told her she had to go there for a short period of time, because she needed help (education) we couldnt give her. Then we would let her and the 4 children stay with us for a while, until she got on her feet. (I also told DH he could drink as much as he wanted during that time ). We had 2 young children of our own - but we found the room. The only rule we had was she was not to see him under any condition. The courts were very good about denying visitation with the children.....

He served a short period of time in jail and then started trying to get back with her as soon as he was released. He knew better than to come by our house....DH owns numerous hunting rifles and neither of us would have hestitated to use him for target practice - and he knew it.

She lived with us for 3.5 months and then we helped her find her own place. It didn't get any easier for her (although he never tried to break into her place) and there were times when I thought she might go back with him. But I went to each and every court hearing with her and was standing by her side each time he arrived. She eventually held strong. I'd like to think the support we gave her helped. She eventually remarried....a much nicer guy.

Anyway - the point of the long story is, as you probably already know, you cant stop her from going back - but hopefully this was the last straw for her. If you can help out a little, it may be all she needs. I am not much for lending anyone money - but in this case - yeah, I would do it. If she took him back again, though, she would know it would the last time I would provide money. It is so hard for many of these women to walk away from these situations without support from some family member or close friend. And by the time many of them are in a life-death situation - they have no family members or friends. The boyfriend or husband has already seen to that....

Good Luck and kudos to you and your husband for being there for her and the children. You might just be saving their lives.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:32 PM   #51
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You all are such a great support to us. I've been reading these emails to DH. We want to thank you all for listening and sharing your stories and excellent advice. It has been a great help! I knew I could count on this board.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:01 PM   #52
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I am sorry to hear about this situation. I will pray that things will turn out alright in the long run.

Have you considered installing a security video system inside the home? This could potentially record future incidents of violence, and perhaps the knowledge of the existence of such a system would cause the guy to stay away.

Such systems can be obtained for a few hundred dollars, and you can wire it so that the main rooms of the house, plus selected entryways, are monitored and recorded constantly.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:31 PM   #53
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Simple Girl,

A few more things that might be of help...

Here is a link to Stalking laws by State -
Stalking - Stalking Laws by State

Still on the subject of safety (and jogging my memory again back to my volunteer days), it would be a good idea for your niece to vary her schedule (when she gets home, goes out, the route she takes, etc.) in case he does try to stalk her.

Also, try and have her document any incidents that happen for a record.

From your descriptions of the violence he has done to her in the past, yes it does sound VERY scary. It is a delicate situation -- you just don't know how desperate he will get, and at the same time can't continue with the way things are.


I'm happy to read about the support that you and your DH have for her. What the abusers try to do is isolate their victims away from friends and family. I know it can be frustrating, but her knowing there is the support system for her (even if just to listen) is so important so she knows she is not alone.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:17 PM   #54
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The Dixie Chicks had it right:

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Old 07-09-2011, 09:47 PM   #55
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Good job, SG. Keep up the good work.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:16 PM   #56
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Her story brings back so many bad childhood memories. Both of my parents had alcohol issues. The best thing that my parents did was to give up us 5 kids and to get a divorce. I truly think one of them would have killed the other. Luckily, other relatives took us in and I had a stable life from age 11 to 18.

My heart goes out to her and especially to her children. She is lucky to have you and your DH to help her and the children. I hope that she remains strong.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:38 AM   #57
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Her story brings back so many bad childhood memories. Both of my parents had alcohol issues. The best thing that my parents did was to give up us 5 kids and to get a divorce. I truly think one of them would have killed the other. Luckily, other relatives took us in and I had a stable life from age 11 to 18.

My heart goes out to her and especially to her children. She is lucky to have you and your DH to help her and the children. I hope that she remains strong.

Thank goodness things worked out the way they did for your family. I sure do hope our influence is enough to help her stay strong so that her kids can have some stability for part of their lives, at least!
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:05 AM   #58
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Does she have her own bank account or is everything joint?
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:17 AM   #59
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Does she have her own bank account or is everything joint?
Hmmmm...don't know...looks like a good question to ask her - thanks! We do know that both of their names are on utilities, and it the past, he has turned them off on her when they split, just to make her life miserable. He hasn't done that (yet) this time. What a sweetheart he is. Will talk to her about these issues today some more!
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:13 PM   #60
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Have you looked into getting her self defense training?
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