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I need a little help/advice.... First the domestic violence is not me but my sister. a little background.... She has been married to this guy for 5 years and they have one dd together. He is a classic abuser down to the point that I can predict what he is going to say and do in most situations. He alienated her from her family gradually, then he started pushing her around, now he has put her in the hospital once, and the last time we were moving her and he shows up at the house and breaks all of her furniture set fire to her clothes all in front of her kids. Then he chased her down the road in his truck and tried to break the window out in her car to get to her with her kids in there.

 

Well after all of that, she got a restraining order on him and moved in with me. Of course now he wants her back and will change his ways yada yada yada... the same old song and dance.

 

This is what I need help with. She had back surgery on Monday. I spent the entire day with her there and yesterday. I went back to check on her last night around 9 pm and he was THERE. In the room with her and the door closed. She had let him help her take a shower and when I asked what he was doing there she defended him and wanted to know what I was doing there. I was livid.

 

I feel lied to and angry with her. She tells me all this stuff about not wanting to be with him and all of that and then he is there like he is the best husband in the world! She has been living here for a month paying nothing. I feel like I have been used and that she will come here and stay a couple of months and then go right back. It makes me so angry that she can't/won't see what he is doing.

 

Has anyone been in this situation? How do I handle this? I have heard that all I can do is be supportive but that is crap! I love my sister and have put my life on hold for the last month helping her do everything. I can't stand to see her go back to that situation.

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:grouphug: I'm sorry. I have no advice but I know how you feel - slightly. Ex-BIL was emotionally and verbally abusive to my sis for 10 years. Just long enough for him to find his 'true love' and abandon my sis and her 3 kids.

 

Hope someone has some good answers for you.

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I think it's a Love Must Be Tough situation. IMO, you should ask your sister to leave your home if she refuses to help herself. If you allow yourself to continue to be in this situation, you are almost "being her" in her situation. Don't know if I said that correctly. Anyway.... she is in a dysfunctional codependent relationship with her spouse. You could end up in a dysfunctional, enabling, codependent relationship with HER. You can help her but only when she is willing to help herself. Same principles used in drug and alcohol abuse. You don't want to be an enabler. It won't help her.

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I need a little help/advice.... First the domestic violence is not me but my sister. a little background.... She has been married to this guy for 5 years and they have one dd together. He is a classic abuser down to the point that I can predict what he is going to say and do in most situations. He alienated her from her family gradually, then he started pushing her around, now he has put her in the hospital once, and the last time we were moving her and he shows up at the house and breaks all of her furniture set fire to her clothes all in front of her kids. Then he chased her down the road in his truck and tried to break the window out in her car to get to her with her kids in there.

 

Well after all of that, she got a restraining order on him and moved in with me. Of course now he wants her back and will change his ways yada yada yada... the same old song and dance.

 

This is what I need help with. She had back surgery on Monday. I spent the entire day with her there and yesterday. I went back to check on her last night around 9 pm and he was THERE. In the room with her and the door closed. She had let him help her take a shower and when I asked what he was doing there she defended him and wanted to know what I was doing there. I was livid.

 

I feel lied to and angry with her. She tells me all this stuff about not wanting to be with him and all of that and then he is there like he is the best husband in the world! She has been living here for a month paying nothing. I feel like I have been used and that she will come here and stay a couple of months and then go right back. It makes me so angry that she can't/won't see what he is doing.

 

Has anyone been in this situation? How do I handle this? I have heard that all I can do is be supportive but that is crap! I love my sister and have put my life on hold for the last month helping her do everything. I can't stand to see her go back to that situation.

 

You have no power to protect your sister, but you do have power to protect her child. Call CPS if your sister returns and takes her dd with her. Tell her you'll call. Even witnessing stuff like that is incredibly damaging to a child. Your sister will have to make her own choices. Many women in her situation have developed a dependency on the abuser and without treatment, keep going back and back. Women with dependency cannot protect their children. Your sister may need to hit bottom to see the light--or she may never do it. Protect your niece. (Does she have children that aren't his? You wrote kids plural in the window incident)

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Cindy, I want to encourage you to either contact a local DV shelter program or call the national DV hotline. Both of them will be excellent sources of support for you as you determine what your involvement in your sister's situation should or should not be. The "average" woman involved in an abusive relationship will leave and return to the abuser 14 times (of course statistics vary some but this is what I was always taught in my training as a DV Counselor/Advocate) before she makes the break for good. For that reason, I would not practice Tough Love in this kind of a situation. Of course, you need to be able to determine and set appropriate boundaries for yourself and a DV counselor can help you to do that without damaging your relationship with your sister to the point of a total break.

 

Absolutely, she is going to have to make her own choices about this relationship. When women end up in a shelter, it's almost always because they have exhausted the resources and emotional energy of their family and friends. They end up having nothing but the abuser, which is just what he wants to happen. When conflict arises, they often turn to a shelter program because there is no where else to turn.

 

You may ask a counselor for information on what is called The Cycle of Violence. That is very useful info. for you because one who is observant can come to predict when another is in the most danger.

 

National DV Hotline:

http://www.thehotline.org/

 

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

http://www.ncadv.org/ - can help you to locate a shelter program in your area, they should have a community outreach counselor who can sit down and talk with you.

Edited by Donna T.
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Please do what others have suggested...get her therapy/group help soon....

 

Family friends of my parents suffered a tragedy 5 years ago, X and Y had been married over 25 years, he was not nearly as violent as your b-ilaw...but when she told him she was leaving, it was too much, he kidnapped her, she escaped from his truck running to a neighbor and before the neighbor could get to her Y shot and killed her against the neighbor's tree and then killed himself....no one ever thought Y was capable, he was a deacon at one time in his church, a kind affable person....but he became possessive...you can look hard and find those cases....maybe they'll bring some reality back to her life rather than the desperate feeling she has living alone....

 

Praying for you all..

Tara

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I wanted to add information about the CPS point of view of situations like this. If your sister returns with the children and you don't call CPS, they will consider you complicit because you knew about the past abuse (it is considered abuse for children to be present in a scenario like you described), knew they were going back into the situation, and didn't call. That would prevent you and every other member of your family who knew and didn't call from being considered as placement if someone else calls about the violence and CPS decides to take the children. In other words, the kids would be placed in foster care with strangers with the family having no ability to apply to take them in because CPS will say that you cannot be trusted to protect the child.

 

If you call CPS, they likely will intervene. They (or the court) may require that your sister go to therapy, for instance, and that she live apart from the abuser or her children will be taken. For some women, that is the external structure they need to leave. Others choose the abuser over their children, but at least that allows the children to be in a safe place.

 

If you, as a family member, call, CPS will consider your family members as preferred placement over foster-care with strangers. Again, if you don't call, there is very little probability that you or another family member would be given the opportunity to take in either child. If you want to avoid being the one who actually calls, I would call the police unit involved in the first scenario and ask them to call, as she is moving back.

Edited by Laurie4b
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No big advice, but I just wanted to offer you a hug :grouphug:. We are in the same horribly frustrating situation with my sister and her 3 kids. She will even SCREAM at the top of her lungs in public that if I want to help her, then I need to let her do things her way. . . um, sorry but no way sis - if you want my help, then I'll help. If you want to stay with him, then stay. I can't let my family go bankrupt by paying for 2 houses if she is planning to bounce back and forth. It sounds mean, but honestly, I just can't afford it. I wish I could.

 

The best thing for us has been to be blunt and honest. If she wants to accept his flowers, read his messages, etc. we just tell her flat out, "Okay; but you know he is manipulating you now, right?" She knows. The sad part is that she doesn't always care. It is so frustrating. I just wish I could somehow swoop in and fix it, but I can't. Believe me, I've tried.

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Make the call to CPS and GET THE KIDS! She can leave whenever she wants but the kids stay. My sis started down this road and wanted to take "her time" in working him out of her life. I told her that was fine (this was Friday) but she had the weekend to end it. Monday morning, I would be at the school with CPS to pick up her kid. I had all ready gotten pictures, recorded her kid telling the latest fight, and documented everything I could think of. And I had a lawyer friend ready to fight for them too. She's my sis so I gave her the weekend. (he was out of town until Sunday) But tough love is necessary. IF she is still in the hospital, tell them and raise a stink. They have social workers on staff. But make a stand over the kids. You can't control her. But you can save the kids. Find an attorney if you can. You can legally maybe get them temporarily with a few dirty tricks.

 

Back in my great granny's day, the women got together and tied the man to the bed in his sleep and beat the daylights out of him with broomsticks. That's if the men didn't get to him first. Sometimes I think we need to go back to beating the hound out of the man until hitting a woman is forever erased from his mind. DV drives me batty.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: to everyone who has to deal with this in your family. It just stinks. And the feelings it leaves you with is no fun either.... The guilt of taking her kids, the control not to hurt him, the desire to bop her over the head for going back, the frustration that you can't change it unless she wants to ......UGH :banghead:

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My mom was married to my bio-Dad for 16 years. I have watched those things.

 

Why didn't you call the police at the hospital. Where is her order? It should be at least shown and given to the nurses station, documented on her records etc. Call the police because he violated the order and should be sent to jail.

 

Get her real help. Send her to a Domestic Abuse shelter.

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:grouphug:

 

That is a horrible situation.

 

All I can say if it were my sister...I would fight til my death to get her safe. I can imagine you feel betrayed by her going back, but please keep in mind that he has control over her. She is not thinking in a right mind. A woman that would allow that abuse is sick and NEEDS help. Its not your sister acting here, its an abused woman. I would never ever try and stop helping her. Get professionals involved, do whatever it takes, but be there for her no matter what. She is probably not meaning to take advantage of you, or use you, or not stick to her promises. He has brainwashed her. Its his fault, she is a victim.

 

I would definitly call CPS and get the kids safe.

 

I will pray for you and her and the kids.

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My $.02:

The above replies have good information and advice. The average DV victim leaves and returns to her abuser 8 times before leaving permanently. Your sister's behavior is not unusual.

Has anyone been in this situation? How do I handle this? I have heard that all I can do is be supportive but that is crap! I love my sister and have put my life on hold for the last month helping her do everything. I can't stand to see her go back to that situation.

Addressing what you wrote above, you need to decide what you and your family can handle without violating your boundries. If you cannot be involved in your sister's life until she leaves him, tell her. If you will always offer her a safe haven from him, tell her. If you think she is a fool, keep that to yourself. She is simultaneously a grown woman, responsible for her own actions, and the victim of a serious disease influencing her mind and body.

You do have a responsibility to your niece. How best to protect her is something you need to decide. Contact a Domestic Violence police unit or a local women's shelter for help finding resources.

No matter what you do or how you do it, I recommend starting with an honest conversation with your sister. Regardless of what you will or won't do, be loving. She needs a lighthouse, someone who will offer love and direction away from her storm. She doesn't need another person trying to manipulate or belittle her. If you will protect her daughter, tell her you respect her right to make her own decisions, but that you cannot allow your niece to bear witness to abuse that will permanently scar and warp her. Don't make your conversation a challenge or a power-play. If she tries to draw you into a fight simply repeat that you love her and your niece.

Regardless of what you do, please give some serious thought to what you will do if her husband approaches you or your home. You sound educated on the topic, so I assume you know that the most dangerous time for your sister (and all those around her) is when she dedicates herself to leaving. If he believes his control over her is going to end he might be willing to hurt or kill anyone involved. How you protect your family is a personal choice, but please think ahead.

Whew, more like $.04 I guess. Feel free to PM me if you would like any other specific info you think I could provide.

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Thank you everyone for your replies. I will call the local DV to get some help with handling the situation.

 

As an update:

 

I went to pick her up from the hospital this afternoon because they were letting her go and she has suddenly got a terrible unbearable pain in her hip. So they refused to let her go until they have her pain under control. I spoke to the nurse about her husband being there and that he put her in the shower and the nurse went crazy. She was VERY upset that he had her up and in the shower last night instead of in bed. Anyway, the hospital now knows the situation and hopefully can help her pain.

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Why didn't you call the police at the hospital. Where is her order? It should be at least shown and given to the nurses station, documented on her records etc. Call the police because he violated the order and should be sent to jail.

If there is a restraining order against this guy, someone needs to call the police the minute he's spotted with her. He violated a court order, and it doesn't matter if your sister "doesn't mind" that he violated the order.

 

I grew up in an abusive household, and besides the damage it does to the woman, it robs the children of any sense of security or safety. They will grow up (assuming this guy doesn't kill them) with a deep-seated fear and need to never let their guard down. And it sets up your niece to possibly repeat the pattern of abuse, if she learns that this kind of behavior is "normal" when a man loves you.

 

Jackie

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:grouphug:

 

the problem is NOT that he got her up. the problem is that he broke a restraining order. the hospital needs a copy of it. they need to call security if he shows up again.

 

i'm glad you are going to call dv.... they will help you look at options and come up with a plan. it won't be easy. that this is her second long term unhealthy relationship is a clue that there is no easy fix.

 

if you haven't one already, and she is moving back in with you, get an alarm system with a panic button that you carry all the time when you are home. when you aren't home, maybe her dd can carry it. her reaction to her dh at the hospital is a clue that she might not use it if he came by.

 

:grouphug:

ann

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Ok let me collect my thoughts..... Let me start by saying that I was married to a man for 3 1/2 years that was very abusive. Some of the things I suffered through would chill people to the bone if they heard. So please know that I speak from the truest form of experience. The first thing you need to know is that there is nothing you can do to make her leave him until she is ready. There were alot of times I left and went back out of fear but also because I thought I loved him. I was in my late 20's so not a child. Her mental state is not normal right now. When you are abused by someone you love and once trusted you begin to break down. I was always a very strong and independent woman before I met my ex. I would encourage you to let your sister know that you love her and will always be there for her. If you give her an ultimatum she will probably pick her husband and you will lose her. Hopefully at some point she will gather enough backbone and get fed up with what she is living with and walk out for good. Honestly God is what made the difference in my life. I stood in the bathroom with a handful of pills having decided that I just couldn't take it anymore. God is what saved me. At that moment I had had enough. It took me another 3-4 months to figure out a way to get away from him without further violence. She will have to do this herself. As for your niece... I agree this is a bad situation for her. Our dd was less than a year at the time and I hate that she lived through all of this. You have to be very careful. I agree you need to get the child out of there. But with alot of abusers if he gets mad at you it will be your sister who suffers for it. Maybe if you tell her you will not allow her to take the child with her that might be enough of a push to give her the strength to leave. I will pray for you and your sister and her child and even her husband. I would strongly recommend that you speak to a counselor that can give you some advice. Just remember you know her better than anyone.

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I haven't read all the posts but I agree with the helping the kids. BUt,

I see you have children of your own and getting involved in this is not SAFE for you and your family. This man would not be permitted on my property. Abusers often harm those harboring their victims (wife in this case). Your first duty is to protect your own family; hosting her at your home is not wise. He already knows you're helping your sis and wanting to keep her away from him. It's already a HIGH risk situation for yourself and your family.

 

She needs a domestic violence shelter. I'd absolutely would protect your niece. She DOES not need to see any MORE of this; the likelihood of her mimicing this behavior (and selecting a similar mate/partner) is already HIGH. Your sister is sick (mentally) and does not have the ABILITY to do what she NEEDS to do for herself or for her child. She needs professionals to TEACH her about "honeymooning" (I think this is the name of the typical behavior abusers use to get the abused back) --- honeymooning: "I promise I'll never do it again" "You make me a better person" "I can't live without you" "I'll kill myself if you leave" yadayada and, really, until AN OUTSIDER (non-familial) helps her to see this she won't be easily persuaded.

 

1. Protect yourself and your family by not harboring this situation (too dangerous)

2. Protect the niece (get authorities involved and do not allow your own sister to beg / plead with you not to as she will. You will have to be her enemy for a long season before you're her friend (tough love is required)

3. Get her to a domestic violence shelter

4. Was the hospital/other incidents documents in official police reports?

All incidents need to be reported with police officer/incident reports

5. She needs to get a restraining order and I would tell him if he ever came on my property again that the police would be called. He would not be permitted on my property.

6. Even YOU may very well need professional help in order to help you deal/cope with this and how to give tough love -- meaning that you will need to get some support from those who have had to use TOUGH love with a love one because it's the HARDEST thing you'll ever have to do. I can't imagine how hard it would be to help facilitate my dysfunctional sister's kids away from her! But, I KNOW this is what my DUTY would be. It's one thing to SAY that, but it's another thing to have your own sister crying/begging you not to and verbalizing hatred of you ONCE you did the right thing (regarding your neice). Thus you'll need a lot of emotional support FOR YOU.

7. Never underestimate what the BIL is capable of. It could be years down the road. He will blame you and you have to be wise in protecting yourself and your family.

 

This is life-or-death serious. These men are dangerous.

Edited by mhg
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Ok let me collect my thoughts..... Let me start by saying that I was married to a man for 3 1/2 years that was very abusive. Some of the things I suffered through would chill people to the bone if they heard. So please know that I speak from the truest form of experience. The first thing you need to know is that there is nothing you can do to make her leave him until she is ready. There were alot of times I left and went back out of fear but also because I thought I loved him. I was in my late 20's so not a child. Her mental state is not normal right now. When you are abused by someone you love and once trusted you begin to break down. I was always a very strong and independent woman before I met my ex. I would encourage you to let your sister know that you love her and will always be there for her. If you give her an ultimatum she will probably pick her husband and you will lose her. Hopefully at some point she will gather enough backbone and get fed up with what she is living with and walk out for good. Honestly God is what made the difference in my life. I stood in the bathroom with a handful of pills having decided that I just couldn't take it anymore. God is what saved me. At that moment I had had enough. It took me another 3-4 months to figure out a way to get away from him without further violence. She will have to do this herself. As for your niece... I agree this is a bad situation for her. Our dd was less than a year at the time and I hate that she lived through all of this. You have to be very careful. I agree you need to get the child out of there. But with alot of abusers if he gets mad at you it will be your sister who suffers for it. Maybe if you tell her you will not allow her to take the child with her that might be enough of a push to give her the strength to leave. I will pray for you and your sister and her child and even her husband. I would strongly recommend that you speak to a counselor that can give you some advice. Just remember you know her better than anyone.

 

:iagree:

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