Skip to comments.Abuse and Getting out of Dodge
Posted on 02/05/2012 7:47:35 AM PST by EnglishCon
"My husband WAS very abusive to me. The physical abuse stopped, after going to a men's support group. Should i stay or leave? We have a child. I am a student. No work experience because I cared for the baby...WHat to do?"
One question and one question only should be guiding you right now.
Will the abuse stay stopped?
I'm not saying it won't, but I'd also not bet on it. Breaking the cycle of abuse is very hard, and most abusers will eventually re-offend. Maybe your husband is different, I don't know, but there is nothing wrong with keeping your eyes open here. Most people will say get out now, and while I agree, the presence of your daughter, combined with no job or experience, is a major hurdle to overcome.
It is time for you to work towards leaving. Do the basic preparations now, as under the radar as possible, and you will be able to leave instantly if he ever gets abusive again.
First, find your local womens shelter. Memorise the address and how to get there. Don't rely on writing it down, memorise it. Ditto for your local police station. If you have to leave at night, go there first. Different shelters have different policies, but they all dislike unannounced visitors in the night, while cops are pretty much used to it. Consider your family and friends. Is there anyone who can take you in for the short or medium term? Shelters and the police are your first port of call in an emergency, but they can't keep people forever.
Do you have your own bank account? I am guessing that is either a no, or it is in a pretty sad state if it exists. Get some cash together and keep it hidden. Cash is king when you have to leave suddenly, and it makes you very hard to track. You'll not be able to put aside much, but every little bit helps. A dollar here, a fin there, it adds up surprisingly quickly. Do not be tempted to use that stash for anything else. That is your get out of jail card, don't waste it. There is a huge difference in walking out with nothing in your wallet and walking out with 50 or 100 bucks guaranteeing the pair of you a couple meals and some transportation.
Get your documents together. Drivers licence, qualifications, passport, birth certificate for both you and the child, immunisation records: start keeping them all in one place where you can grab them quickly. An ID-less person is a problem for the various organisations that are out there to help you. Sure, ID can be replaced, but its not quick and is an extra bit of stress precisely when you don't need it. So think ahead.
Prepare yourself a bugout bag, and keep it where you can easily grab it but where it is not obvious. Yes, I know it is a survivalist concept, but guess what? You are in a survival situation here. You may not have the luxury of time to pack, so this is a rather important step.
Don't overload it with non-essentials. You might have to carry it and your child at the same time. You'll need a change of clothes for both yourself and the child, with spare underwear and socks, at least. If your daughter is still on formula, throw a tin of that and a spare bottle with teat in the bag. A couple of disposable diapers, if needed. Some candies too - you'll need the sugar boost once the adrenaline wears off. A small bottle of aspirin is a good thing to carry, as is a bar of soap and some wet wipes.
Getting Up Your Courage
The hardest step of all, which is why I left it until last. No one ever has the right to abuse you, physically or mentally. Yet it happens, and people put up with it. Men as well as women. Sometimes for decades. It is just stupid.
Do you really want your child growing up thinking that Mommy getting hit is normal family life? What is that going to teach them, when it is time for them to settle down? I called it "the cycle of abuse" for a reason. Most abusers come from abusive families themselves.
The guy can't hurt you if you ain't there.
Words to live by. And words to live for.
Good luck, and I hope things work out for you.
A reminder that prepping is not just for the end of the world. Bad things happen every day, and we had best be ready.
My mothers’ third husband tried slapping her around once. Once.
That was the day she broke my baseball bat. I won’t say how, but he never tried that crap again.
I don’t like this advice. Of course I don’t know all the details.
But, he stopped. I don’t think I’d leave, unless I had a good reason to believe he was going to start up again. If I felt my life or my kid’s life or health were in danger.
What does “stopped” mean? Did he grab her by the arm once, and has never done it again and promises not to? Or did he routinely choke her out and just “stop” six weeks ago? It makes a difference.
My Mom is, shall we say “somewhat vigorous” in defending herself too. She once held a mugger down with her shoe until the cops arrived. The heel was in a risky place for the guy to even try moving ....
I teach unarmed combat in a womans shelter (usually get badly battered, these ladies have gone through a lot and have a lot of rage to get out) and it is pathetic how many women cannot defend themselves. Amazing, the difference in them when they understand they can kick a** and take names too.
He used to beat her on a regular basis. Bruises, broken bones, the works.
I’ll not say more about this case if you do not mind, as I do not wish to risk her harm, but I saw the unedited original that was answered.
My response was, where are you, this scum needs a lesson.
1) Buy a lot of life insurance on him.
Broken bones??? She really needs to plan to get out. That kind of rage is not going to stay under wraps for long, even with a “support group” to talk to. This is good advice you gave her, especially about a bug-out kit with money, but man, she has got to be really, really careful not to let him know she’s planning. I mean, the kind of secrecy you practice when you know your life depends on it.
She won’t. That is the problem. She’ll not walk out until he nearly kills her, or threatens the baby. When she does walk, she will not have planned for it.
Posted it here because, though we are incredibly family oriented here, folk sometimes get to witness this situation within friends or family.
It gives an idea of what to suggest.
A lot of women like this will not leave unless they have someone else lined up to take the man's place. They have never stood alone, and don't want to. It's not even just financial... they just can't stand to be alone. JMHO. But good luck to her.
See it way too often. The shock and outright fear in their eyes as they try to come to terms with what actually happened and try to rebuild themselves and their world. The desperate scrambling to find something - indeed anything - to hold on to.
No woman should ever have to undergo that. How on Earth can a woman think of herself as a possession? Dependant on someone else. The thought almost makes me physically sick. The thought of raising a hand to a woman, except in self defense, makes me literally sick.
I do not understand it. Can not understand it. Doesn’t mean I have to tolerate it, right? Seem to recall a guy, a couple thousand years ago, saying something about that. Ignoring a wrong done to others is the same as condoning it.
I hope and believe that no readers here will ever need this post personally. Interacted with a few ladies on FR, and most of them would hand any pathetic excuse of a man who tried that his lunch, with a dessert of his face (or other body parts!)
I also hope that it is spread far and wide. Just in case.
Hi EnglishCon. I’m a longtime lurker here but your post brings me out of the wordwork. I used to counsel domestic violence survivors and I would suggest that you encourage her to talk to a domestic violence hotline if she will. And have her do it from a public phone or a friend’s phone in case she doesn’t clear her call log or the abuser has put spyware on her phone.
You can explain that a hotline counselor will help her evaluate her risk and options (not just for her but also for her child) and they aren’t there to judge her. She can be anonymous. They may be able to help plant a seed that no one else can right now. Offer to be with her when she places the call if you think that will help. If she won’t call, you or someone she trusts can also call to get their input on how to further help.
I’m in the US, and I ALWAYS received helpful assistance from the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They are available 24/7.
(interpreter service for foreign languages)
Are you in the UK? If so, there is womensaid.org.uk They may have helpful advice for you but I cannot vouch for them as I never used them in a professional capacity. I’d contact them first to be certain she can seek assistance anonymously if that’s an issue.
Here in the States, I used to dread Super Bowl Sunday because it always meant I’d be seeing more injured women in the days following the game. For those in the US who may read this, please know that you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for yourself or for someone you are concerned about to get advice and linkage with local resources.
Prayers and best wishes for all women at risk of abuse.
As a once abused wife they never really stop.They will go through the rehab and all of the various things they are supposed to do but the only thing that will ever stop it is to get far far away from them and never go back.The minute the stress gets too much for them or things don’t go exactly their way they will go right back to beating you.
Exactly! Leaving is the most dangerous the for an abused women.They will kill you rather than loose control over you.I was working when I was in this situation and was able to stash away $20 each week until I had a well hidden pile of cash to run with.He had no idea that I was planning to go and I had a packed backpack and left at 2am after he went to sleep.
And you, my Lady, have my utmost respect for getting the heck out!
Can’t understand these men, though I despise them.
I was lucky and didn’t waste most of my life living like that.I was married at 20 and left when I was 23 so 3 plus years of that kind of life was enough.Some people you just can’t fix.I did not grow up seeing that and knew that wasn’t the way it was supposed to be.I was lucky I got out alive many don’t.That was back in 1984 way before there were shelters.
First one was my bio-donor....69-71.
Next one was my brothers’ bio-donor....72-73 (he went to prison, turned out to be a serial rapist)
Third one lasted six years until he tried to slap her around and she broke his ribs, leg and collar bone.
Fourth (77-current, I think it might just last) is the man that I call “Dad.” I was 9 when he entered our lives. A single mom with two kids and her history? Most guys would have rightly passed.
He stuck around and raised us. Showed us what a man really IS.
I love him.
Just another part of the cycle of abuse. Women who put up with it do so because they were raised to think it's what they're worth or what's due them.
Getting out is the second hardest thing they'll do. The first is actually believing getting out is the right thing to do.
Now THAT is a man.
Sounds like you got lucky, but you got REALLY lucky.