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Jen

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Urgent advice needed
« on: November 08, 2017, 11:15:12 pm »
A man in my family is in an abusive marriage, and has been for decades. He doesn't talk about it... I pull things out of him sometimes, but he is loyal and noble and I believe afraid. Tonight he said some things to me that made me believe that this situation is escalating and needs to be over. I am scared for him. If he were a woman, I believe he would have been rescued by someone a long time ago. If he were my sister, we would have swept in and taken her and the children from the home a long time ago. But somehow the fact that he's a man and has a job where he lives that he needs to keep, one that necessitates a good reputation, complicates this. He can't just go somewhere and I don't think he could just kick her out. There are two children in the home, one grown. I have to talk to him at a time that she doesn't have control over him, which is tomorrow . I don't know what to say to him. I don't know what he should do. I don't know how to help.
 

palmetto_gal

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 12:20:20 am »
Jen, I wish I could offer some wisdom and/or advice.  All I can do is pray about the situation and provide this link: 

http://www.thehotline.org/2014/07/22/men-can-be-victims-of-abuse-too/

 
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pnr

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 12:41:21 am »
Call your local domestic violence shelter and see if he can meet with them (probably off site at the library or something as most of the clientele are women and leary of men) to discuss his options.

I would advise him to call the police if she throws something at him or threatens him physically, or hits, and if she is violent in front of the children.   When the behavior is unrelated to substance abuse or mental health issues, being arrested sometimes brings the person to their senses.  But at the least she won't be released for overnight, and when she is, she will be ordered to stay away from him.   He has to do this to protect the kiddo who has been forced to witness the abuse: if he doesn't stand up, the child protection team may remove the child from him too.

If he doesn't think this will happen soon, then help him go to the courthouse where there is probably a worker helping people to get restraining orders, first they are temporary and will be served by police (who will also stay while she packs and leaves to keep the peace if he asks them to, but in a few days she will also able to appear and have her side  heard, so if he has any medical bills or photos of injury, or damage, or witnesses that will all be helpful and he should take them with him to the courthouse.  And he should seek protection for the children too, though if the adult child doesn't want him to include him or her, then he'll have to let that go. 

He can also record, though he needs to make it clear he his doing it:  often recording reins in the bad behavior, which presumably is what he wants.   

If his wife is a danger to himself or others (as in immediate threats), he can also call police and as them to involuntarily commit her for evaluation (max three days unless a court order).   If there is any evidence that this is a psychological thing, that may be the best choice.

He can authorize his child to live with someone else for a time if that child needs the escape and there is a safe place for him or her that allows him/her to still attend the same school. 

During that time, he should take the time to find and scan all the important papers, account numbers, tax returns, titles for the vehicles/deeds for the house, medical, and insurance, pension records, short records, credit card statements ,anything he might need.  Uploading it to a cloud account is the quickest safest thing, if it is an account she doesnt know about and cannot access.  (If it is on the family computer he may want to secure that, making sure his wife has another device she can use.)

He should talk with his employer's HR department because they need to know not to put her through to him, or assume her good will.  His boss will have to know too  (I regret to inform you that I'm really concerned about my wife and think you should not allow her at my place of work.  I'm getting help, but I may also need some time off while all tis gets sorted out."   And presumably the employee assistance program.  If  you ge tthe restraining order, be sure to provide a copy to your employer (and make sure you have put that address as a place she cannot be in your application for restraining order and it gets into the document itself).   

He can do all this by himself, but it would be a good thing if he contacts a family attorney and gets an idea of how this all will work, and also get access to a criminal attorney in case wife makes allegations against him.   Which brings up another really important thing:  he should NOT talk with anyone but the attorney and he should not admit to doing anything to her, if he has.  He must also tell the entire truth in all sworn documents.  He'll be nervous, tell him that is why he needs to be in touch with counsel, so that person can speak for him.  (It is common for abuse victims to accept all the blame and responsibility for everything, in ways that make it easy for the system and the abuser to make it look like they are the bad guy.  He needs to understand that when people are nervous they tend to talk and what they should do is simply say they are too discombobulated and shut up!!!)

And he should let his child's school guidance and principal know about the home situation and that child should not be forced to leave with mother, and if they leave with her, the school should call him, maybe an alternate phone number to call if he is not available.   A copy of the restraining order protecting the children should be given to the schools the kids attend, their workplaces (all of which should be part of the restraining order). 

He should also protect his bank accounts by putting his money in accounts she cannot get to, if she now has access and do this before he serves the restraining order.

He should also plan on giving her funds for a hotel when she is released from jail or when she is served restraining order or however much he is likely to have to pay for alimony if they get divorced.  That he should leave in their joint account monthly.   Whatever he does with his money, he should keep all receipts and records, because that will all be part of any property eventual property settlement if the marriage doesn't work out, and he will want to be sure to be scrupulously fair.  ,

If she is a joint user on any credit card, he should remove her as such.  Hopefully she has credit in her name, but before he removes her he can ask if they would give her a card of her own as he removes her from his accounts.   (He needs to know that he is only doing this to assure that she doesnt do something stupid --- if this is a mental illness, manic behavior can result in financial ruin for both.)   Another option would be to cancel all the accounts she has access to except one, and ask the card issuer to drop the credit limit to $2K or something that will mean she cannot do very much financial damage without maxing it out.

And he needs to find a counselor and start attending weekly, and go to a dr for a full physical.  In both places, he should tell the entire story and identify wounds and concerns and effects of what has happened.   He needs to  process everything.   He also needs to be sure his kiddos also get such therapy and medical exam. 

And he should also help both children do their FAFSA forms for college, and make sure not to forget to enroll in medical insurance by December 15, if if he is not covered.

He should not badmouth his wife to anyone, but he should talk fully and candidly to the counselor, and his doctor, (and the kids professionals)  and his bishop who each have the duty to preserve confidentiality.  And he should record his interaction with her so long as he tells her on the recording that she is doing so.

 It might be wise for him to tell his Inlaws as soon as he does the restraining order or when he he has her involuntarily committed, or arrested.  "IL, I am sorry to tell you that wife has been served with a restraining order/arrested/involuntarily committed because of threats and violence.  I thought you should know that I hope this can all be resolved without any more harm to anyone.  She's at ______________ and I have given them permission to speak with you, but she can override that if she wants to so I don't know if she will call.   When she is released, she will need to have somewhere else to stay while everything is worked out.  I intend to do my part to help this family get through this and to a better place."

He should not leave the family home.   If he is at risk there, though he can put a lock on a room in the home where he can safely sleep.   And if the house contains his weapons or hers, he can store them somewhere she doesn't know about.

I hope it goes well.

Oh, he'll also probably have to program his phone so he can keep all of her communications, and not have to deal with her while he is at work. 

And it would also be a good idea to tell your HTers something so they don't inadvertently hurt her or your children by taking whatever his wife says as gospel, without saying anything that makes them think less of his wife.


Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
 
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pnr

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2017, 07:47:15 am »
I should also have said he needs to be sure he does not touch her in any way that could be construed by anyone as aggressive or violent.

And whatever he does, if YOU have knowledge of violence happening in the children's presence, you need to make the child abuse hotline complaint about it so that the kids can get the help they need.

And he should not MAKE his children leave the family home unless they are really in danger.   If they are teenagers,  making them do stuff doesn't help (except making sure they see a counselor (that the kiddo clicks with) as long as the counselor thinks it important).

ETA:  And he should not be intimate with her --- very easy these days to claim sexual misconduct.   And a huge and unacceptable risk when he is where he is.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 10:42:52 am by pnr »
Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
 
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Jen

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 02:02:18 pm »
Goodness. So many things to think about. :(
 

palmetto_gal

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2017, 11:35:18 pm »
Jen, you've been on my mind and this situation has been in my prayers all day. 
 
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Curelom

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2017, 07:43:26 pm »
This is a sad situation, & I hope you can gather enough resources to help this relative & those poor kids be safer.

Agreed - if this were a woman in an abusive marriage, she'd get lots of sympathy & relatives & friends trying to extricate her, & if the abuser was a guy, he would be a pariah in their family & social circle by now & it wouldn't take decades. We know that domestic abuse tends to be male-on-female, but women do it too, teen kids do it, same-sex partners do it, & lots of other people do it.

I certainly can't add anything to pnr's detailed advice, but your family will be in my prayers.
 
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Jason

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2017, 06:52:33 pm »
Admitting that there is a problem is a huge step. If you are seeing him in a safe setting, giving him the opportunity to think about it and come to a realization about the situation may be enough. Many men will go inactive after a set-back with marriage because of the high pressure to have a successful marriage and the lack of a support network.

Some people try and stick it out until their children are out of the house and then leave.
 
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Jen

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2017, 08:42:50 pm »
It's going to be a long process, but he is thinking. Thanks for the support... it is much appreciated. I hope he will be on a path to the happy life he deserves sooner than later.
 

dyany

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2017, 09:36:51 pm »
Jen, I hate to ask, but it can affect the approach: you never mentioned what kind of abuse he is experiencing.  Physical in many ways is more dangerous to life and limb, but also more verifiable and charges can be pressed if need be, not to mention it is easier to prove in child custody battles.  Psychological abuse in many ways is worse, because it often involves being tricked into believing you are not really being abused, but at the same time, leaves no physical evidence so is hard to prove.
Another note: abuse, of course, is about control.  So if he tries to leave, it will be the ultimate loss of control for her, which can result in her words and actions becoming dramatically more extreme very quickly.  Just a warning.
 

Jen

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 11:50:06 pm »
Both.  :'(
 

dyany

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Re: Urgent advice needed
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 03:37:29 pm »
Dangit.  Though I have to admit, I have never really seen physical abuse without some psychological abuse with it.
 

 

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