She made the step to leave him and that was months ago. Its been rough for all of us but her espically. She has blocked serveral of his phone numbers and he keeps getting new ones to harrass her daily. He's been sending her gifts and threatining to kill himself. He told her that he was afraid of what he might do and supposedly gave all of his guns to his brother so he wouldn't do anything stupid. He even sent someone to her house to try and talk her into getting back with him. Today she went to the courthouse to get a protection order against him and they told her it would cost nearly $300 to file the petition. She called me just now to tell me this. She will get the temporary protection order because she can not afford the permenant one. The temporary protection order will last not more than 30 days. How do people handle this? What can she expect to happen?
I have no idea, I'm not from the US and I don't understand your legal system. But just the fact that he has guns, which he does not trust himself with, might indicate that he's just trying to use emotional blackmail, or indicate that he's a dangerous man. Either way, given recent events in the US, it might be advisable for her (apologies if she has and I've misunderstood) to also mention to the police that he has guns and may be a danger to himself or others.
I do agree it is important for her to mention to the police that he has suicidal tendencies and is dangerous. He has over 100 self inflicted scars on his arms. He hides his "bad side" extremely well. He is a really strange character, he revolves around money. He throws money away like it's nothing, and he portrays himself as wealthy (even though he is not) and has to have the best of the best. It has been about 7 months since anyone has seen him (other than my sister). He is sending gifts in way of getting her back because he is desperate this time, as she is living with my parents not with him anymore.
I'd go with HoneyBB and Psycheskinner here. In the UK the police are usually the first port of call (even if you approach women's aid here, there usually always needs to be police intervention, too) H and P clearly know how it works in the US and I don't- your sister needs to be safe, whatever it takes.
Sadly a protection order usually isn't enough. She may have to seriously consider putting herself out of reach once the protection order ends. It may also require that she arm herself and get training in the use of a firearm. She should not tell the unbalanced ex about it. This is a difficult situation and my heart goes out to any woman in a similar one.
I looked into self defense classes, and the local police department offers seasonal 6 week courses, one of the classes is a gun training class. I am not sure if this is offered everywhere, but if it is, it's a good thing for women in this type of situation to look into.
I would maintain that given the difference in six and strength between men and women, that a woman should be armed and trained. Nothing makes a 50 year old woman of 5 feet 2 inches the equal of a 6'3" 20 year old more certainly than a .357 magnum revolver.
Your sister should get in touch with a Domestic Abuse Shelter or call the domestic violence hotline right away. If I were in her shoes I would not depend on an order of protection to protect me. She would be much safer if she went to stay at a shelter. The staff is often very helpful and they can help her get her life back together. The first day is the hardest when you go to a shelter but it gets easier and it relieves a lot of stress to be there and have people to talk to.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the people at the shelter will often help set her up with Legal Services, such as an order of protection, to handle any court procedures. They will help her based on her income or in some cases free of charge. Often, an order of protection, sets off the abuser and can cause them to attack. She really should go to a shelter, if only for a few days to get things in perspective.
She is living with our parents right now, but I must agree, I feel he is a dangerous man, and she should seek a shelter. Ever since she has "been free from him" the past few months, I have not been afraid of him doing anything other than calling and texting her. Then he started to send her gifts, threatening voicemails, and his friend showed up to "warn" her that he looked like crap and may do something. Well, yesterday, my 2 year old son received $250 in gift cards in the mail....no return address but with HIS handwriting. I'm not sure what that means, but I just have a bad feeling about him sending ANYTHING to my address. Not sure how I'm supposed to handle any of this.
Your sister is doing something that takes a lot of strength. I agree that she could probably get some help from a domestic violence shelter; they might also be able to help fund a permanent order. The time immediately after getting an order can be the most dangerous. I hope she has a safe and secure place to go. I am glad she has caring family members to support her.
A chat to the police can also be a good idea. I was involved in this with a family member many years ago, and it helped to know the police in the area would check in with her and were aware of her situation.
And you don't need to be in a shelter to contact domestic violence experts via a shelter. They will know the issues for your sister's local situation and the resources available to her. For example they might be able to provide support people who could help her through the decisions she will need to make as she goes forward--people who are very familiar with the signals of an escalating or higher risk situation.
Thank you, I will relay this to her. The hardest part would be to make her go to a shelter. I do have comfort knowing she is living with family, and I think she will be glad to get the information from the experts. It's a really scary thing for her because she has been going through this for years now, and is truly embarrassed. Will they have to be in the same room for the court hearing when she files the protection order? This is one of the things that frightens her.
I filed an order of protection before and my ex-boyfriend was not there. However, I'm not sure if he had the option to be there or not. If I were you, I wouldn't feel bad for your sister to go to a shelter. It really is the very best thing for someone in this situation. I know. I have been in it. I stayed with family over and over again when I left and although they were helpful what I learned and the comfort I received from the shelter staff was far more useful and empowering for me. I think that going there was the worse part but a day into it she would see the benefits of being there. I think you and all your family members should take steps to protect yourselves from him also and you may all think about ways to do that.
This is the thing, SHE should not feel embarrassed, absolutely not. Easy to say, I know, but this is classically how women feel when their self esteem has been completely battered and they've put up with abuse for so long.
It may be difficult for her to envisage now, but these are her first steps to closure and putting dreadful experiences behind her. She may feel that a shelter is something to worry about, but when she's met all those other women who are, and who've been in similar situations- she might actually begin to feel better and more assertive in herself. It helps, when you realise that you're not the only one, and more importantly, not alone.
Where I live, stereotypically, a woman who is in an abusive relationship is considered an uneducated low-life person, and that is just not the case. My sister has a great job, lots of friends, beautiful person. NO ONE deserves to be abused, and I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. I hear people say all the time that they would never end up in an abusive relationship, but that's just not true, because my sister said that too. It's unfortunate that she feels embarrassed, but it can happen to anyone. She does want to go to group therapy to talk to other women who have been through the same thing.
Abuse happens to people from all walks of life. I stayed in the shelter I was in for 3 months and people who were married to wealthy men came through there, a woman in her 70's that had suffered abuse for years came through there, other women came through there who had regular jobs or who couldn't leave the house to find work. That's the great thing about being in the shelter, nobody in there judges you, they all have their own things to get through. I decided that what other people thought didn't matter to me as much as getting myself together in whatever means I could to be the best parent I could for my children.
Actually living in the shelter may not be a good choice for her. If she doesn't like the idea of get help via a sheltering agency she might try a hotline: http://www.thehotline.org/
One thing on that link was "Remember that you cannot 'rescue' him or her. Although it is difficult to see someone you care about get hurt, ultimately the person getting hurt has to be the one to decide that they want to do something about it. It’s important for you to support him or her and help them find a way to safety and peace."
I've had to lean that the hard way. Before she left him, I was constantly pushing her and trying to get her to leave, it got to the point where I was almost angry at her. Then I realized what I was doing was actually pushing her away, and the best thing to do is just be there. I will email this to her, and I think she would be more willing to talk to someone who can help, thank you.
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