This is a guest article written by a friendly police officer. Thanks, Mark!
In Cop Talk: Domestic Violence Statistics and Police Procedures, Part One, I explained some of the systemic problems with police training and recruits as it pertains to domestic dispute calls. This article will explain how domestic trouble or domestic dispute calls work from a law enforcement perspective.
The following is a generic template without the jargon and Domestic Violence Act of 1986 requirements in Illinois. It is not inclusive and it assumes all parties are on scene when the police arrive.
The call: You or the crazy, high-conflict wife, the neighbors, the kids, somebody calls the police. If sounds of combat are heard by dispatch or yelling and screaming or you hang up after dialing 911, we are coming pretty much no matter what.
Getting there is half the fun. If I am “running code” (lights, sirens, etc.), I will already be pretty wound up when I arrive, since the motoring public is paying little or no attention and won’t get out of the way. Short answer . . . getting there can be more stressful than the actual call. We bring that with us. I have learned not to (stress out) after 20 years, but it is an acquired skill.
Safety first: Every call I go on is a man with a gun call. I’m bringing the gun and it is only mine as long as I can control it. I have never been disarmed, but approximately six or so individuals have tried over the years.
If you don’t carry a gun for a living, this is a bit hard to quantify. Guys, think about always having to keep your testicles covered. ALWAYS. Safety will keep coming up.
Arrival: Since I had my fun getting to your house, I now have to make contact with you or the crazy wife or girlfriend. Here’s a checklist of what goes through most police officer’s heads:
Police lights out. Don’t slam the doors. Shape, shine, shadow, silhouette. Stay out of the light. Pick your cover. Pick your escape route. Get rid of the nosy neighbors. Stop at the door. Listen. Have dispatch call in and have someone come out (depending on the type of call). I’m talking about active, probably violent, heated domestics. Make entry, by force, if exigent circumstances exist.
Contact: I have about 3 to 5 seconds to figure out who is going to be my primary “problem child” or children. First we separate the couple. We will search and cuff if needed. We try not to apply cuffs as it triggers arrest, search and seizure issues that are beyond the scope of this article.
Next, we try to control movement of subjects. For your own safety and a positive outcome (i.e., so you don’t go to jail), KEEP OUT OF YOUR KITCHEN, CLOSETS AND BEDROOMS! Kitchens are filled with knives, forks and other sharp pointy things. People tend to keep guns in closets and bedrooms and occasionally baseball bats and the odd sword. Put the dog away. PLEASE.
Working the problem: Why are we here? Injuries? Other hazards? Where are the kids (if any) and are they okay? Who called? Why? Are one or both parties intoxicated? Do one or both parties have mental issues? Etc., etc.
No arrest: Will the couple go to “neutral corners?” Will someone leave voluntarily? Can you get along so we don’t have to come back?
Arrest: We take photos and evidence tech stuff (CSI for the TV watchers). Then we transport the offender(s), victim(s), kids, pets, etc., and take statements from victim/witness. There is a pre-printed form and template for this which is actually pretty good. It helps remove gender bias by design.
Screening with on-call Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA): This is not unique to just Illinois, though it is a mandatory requirement for DV cases in Illinois. This is a crap shoot.
I have had ASAs approve charges on crazy people that were not fit to be incarcerated, anywhere, for any reason. I have had charges denied on what were pretty clear cut crimes to the rest of us (cops, victim, offender and witnesses). I have noticed I have better luck with female ASAs charging these crimes. Better luck as in doing something that actually fit the facts, logic and common sense.
Charging, transport to jail and a bond hearing: You bond out after your stay at the jail. Typically, you will receive a mandatory “NO GO HOME!” order from judge due to the Domestic Violence Against Woman Act. If this is followed up by your crazy wife or girlfriend with an Order of Protection (OP), you won’t be able to go home for two weeks or longer.
I have just reduced about 40 hours of training to a page or two. This is information is not inclusive. I am not an attorney (thank God) and am not giving legal advice. This is a basic outline of what takes place on the average domestic disturbance call.
Now I’m going to explain what you should NOT do if the police get involved. This is not inclusive. I am not an attorney. I am not giving legal advice. I am relating 20 plus years of experience as a working cop. Your experience may vary.
Simple is good (SIG). There are only three things you can do to pretty much guarantee you will have a bad experience. They are:
DO NOT RUN. I mean this literally. I have seen too many people, mostly men, run on sight of the police. Almost all of them get injured and the police never touch them. They trip and fall. Some people reading this might be thinking, “Mark’s not being truthful!” Wrong.
These men (and sometimes women) trip and fall. They go over fences blind. They slip on dog shit. They impale themselves in the pile of scrap iron they leaped onto from their den window. All chases are BAD. Car or on foot, it makes no difference. Too much adrenaline and people (good guys and bad guys alike) do really stupid things. Not enough space to write this up either. Find a copy of On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace by Col. Dave Grossman and Loren Christensen. They explain much of this stuff far better than I can.
DO NOT FIGHT. I have been tased, pepper sprayed, knocked out, punched so hard in the head my jaw was an inch off center, cut, etc. I haven’t been shot yet, but I have about 10 years until I can retire, so it still might happen.
The point of mentioning all that is I won’t fight fair and I will win. I’m going home and am highly motivated by my three kids to do so. They aren’t losing Daddy. Period.
Yell, scream, vent be pissed off at the wife, whatever. Don’t fight with the police. In most states, assaulting a cop is a felony. By doing so, you turn a problem that might result in an arrest, into a felony charge and a trip to jail, usually by way of the local hospital.
DO NOT LIE. Everybody lies to the police. We’re used to it and (mostly) try not to take it personally. I had a priest lie to me once. He forced the arrest after repeated chances to just tell the truth. Simple. Tell the truth. If you don’t want to say anything fine, that is your right under the Constitution. But don’t lie.
Corollary to not lying to the police . . . Never lie to your attorney. Ever. I have heard many attorneys yelling at clients over this. Your attorney can’t help you if he is operating with bad, false or wrong information.
Seems like a lot of stuff just to try and explain one cop’s view of DV and how people, mostly male, wind up getting arrested. Yes it is. Without an understanding of what you, the male half of the issue, are up against, you are going to add to the problem. Men unwittingly add to the problem. It is in our nature and there are many issues that contribute to this. Too many to list and Dr. T. has covered many of them in her writings.
So how does one avoid problems with the police? If you read the material in Part One and Two of this series, you are ahead of the game. Part Three will go over how to act when the cops show up, which is, of course, your choice.
Thanks, Mark! – Dr T
Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.
Thanks for the info.
The discussion here, and by you in the comments of the last article about the asshole dance, on how not to piss cops off dovetails well with what’s available at places like Marc MacYoung’s “http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/”. – especially in detailing out how fights escalate, and how to de-escalate them.
For anyone who hasn’t read them, “On Killing” and “On Combat” by Grossman are… interesting… reads on how combat affects us as people. He oddly also authored a fairly decent SF/Fantasy story or two that also incorporates some of the basics.
Again, thanks for the info.
Mark and Dr. Tara,
Thank you both very much for taking the time to address this issue with us readers. I am in the midst (2 years now) of a divorce with a high conflict personality disordered individual. The things that I learned on the Shrink4men website have been INVALUABLE to me as far as helping me through the process and keeping me and my 9 year old daughter safe.
Just a quick recap, guys, buy yourself a small video recorder. I literally have captured her making threats to me to “call the police and have them come over and kick my ass” while I was in the basement with my daughter playing with LEGO’S!!! After recording her 3 or 4 times saying things like that, I went to the police first and filed and incident report (thank you so much for that advice Dr. T). It was the smartest thing that I did, although I should have done it previously when I awoke to a .357 magnum in my face ala Goodfellas, but that was my stupidity. I believed her when she “apologized”.
Anyway, after a couple of weeks passed, the inevitable “real” call was eventually made by her to the police. Luckily, the officers who responded were extremely professional and calm. I can’t stress this enough to you guys reading this, stay cool, tell them the truth, and hope that wacky packs crazy shows the police her true colors. I can’t blame the cops one bit for the confusion that results from these calls. I mean, I BELIEVED crazy for 17 years of marriage, these guys only know her for 17 seconds.
Needless to say, she called the police again a couple of weeks later when I told her to knock it off (I was in bed mind you) about her phone going off at 12:30 p.m. on a Sunday. It woke me up and I told her that I knew all about her “little boyfriend” (he’s 25, she’s 42), to knock it off , and that I allow this because he is doing me a favor by taking her crazy ass off my hands. That he is too young and too dumb to know any better. She denied even having a boyfriend (big shock there) and lost it when I laughed, told her his name, and suggested that they have a nice time going to prom together so can it and be quiet because I needed to sleep.
About an hour later, (after I fell back asleep mind you), the police were knocking on my door. Again, readers, if this ever happens to you, be cool and tell the police the truth and keep your composure. I explained EXACTLY what happened to them, all the little details. They were the same two officers from the previous call a couple of weeks back. I Thank God that they were properly trained and saw right through her nonsense. It is almost comical now that I look back at it.
After they interviewed me (as they must do guys), they sent me back to bed and turned their questions to my crazy wife. “Why are we here?” They asked her. “Did your husband threaten you?” “No”, was her reply, I was just scared (the victim role, go figure). “What were you scared of if he didn’t threaten you?” they asked. She paused to think of an answer (because she really didn’t have one) “I was scared for my friend was her reply”. “Did your husband threaten him? Would you like your friend to file a report with us? He can, if he was threatened.” “No, he didn’t threaten him directly” was her reply. “Well, at least give us his name then, so we can “protect” him if necessary” the officers asked (I felt like yelling it out to them from the upstairs window, that would have been pretty funny). “I can’t do that” was her reply, he is just my friends son.” To this, the cops became agitated and repeated the question to her “why are we here”? She gave no reply. What the police did next was beautiful. The senior cop told my wife “so let me get this straight, you were so “scared” that you drove around for an hour or more before calling us, have no real reason to give me for calling us, and now you won’t even give us the name of your “friend” who you were supposedly scared for?” “We are done here!” “STOP WASTING OUR TIME”. They then began to walk away and get into the squad car. She stood there exasperated! She ran after them mumbling something but they left. I then closed my eyes and went back to sleep with a big shit eating grin on my face.
Mark, this was in Illinois, in an outlying suburb of Chicago, and it was obvious to me that the officers (albeit they looked young) were welled trained in this sort of thing. I felt like they understood the situation in less than a minute. It entirely changed my perspective on what you guys do and what you have to deal with. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to this site and for your observations and insights on this. It really does make a difference what you guys (Mark and Dr. T) are doing. Again, a big THANK YOU.
Thank you dg and maclancelot.
dg check out Force Science Institute (http://www.forcescience.org/). Cutting edge, real science applied to conflict. Grossman is an interesting guy; I have heard him speak and he can hold an audience. Smart, funny and subject matter expert.
maclancelot I am curious as to what suburb of Chicago? Don’t say if revealing such would be a problem. Things are getting better, at least locally, due to some dedicated people working under the radar so to speak. Glad you had a good experience with your local police. Your situation sounds disturbingly familiar though. Have taken that call before.
Let’s just say that the suburb is located about 30 miles west of Chicago. It has a great “downtown” area and is very progressive. It starts with an “N”. I just don’t want to give out too much info right now, as I am STILL stuck in the midst of divorce, limbo hell.
The strange thing about it, is that after reading many of Dr. T’s articles, I was fully prepared for her to pull something like this and I knew somewhat how to respond. Your articles provide much greater detail and the mindset of what the investigating officers have to go through. Thanks again.
U r welcome.
Funky Monk says
The officer that answered my DV call really changed the course of my life, even giving me a vote of confidence when I protested that they could not charge my wife with three counts of assault, since I didn’t know how to care for my then 7-month old son. “Have some confidence man, you can do it”, he said, and I am forever grateful to him for it.
B Experienced says
Good for you Funky Monk! Many women are also very afraid of infants. Women really don’t have Mommy instincts as Pop Psychology or Jenny McCarthy has some believing, and they have to learn how to take care of infants just as Men do.
My husband was more relaxed with our child than I was as an infant. I took his cue not the other way around.
funny, many of our stories are so similar, if our wives or gf’s find their way over here, they won’t be able to figure out who’s who anyway.
i would also like to report positive experiences with the police. wife banging on the door yesterday. honestly, i need protection. the kids need protection. of course they love their mom. mom is not ok right now.
one of our kids is very young.
i don’t know what to say to him.
i am not a law enforcement officer, but now it’s been 4 times that the police have been involved. one incident, there was only one officer and it didn’t go well.
usually they send one male and one female. much to my disbelief — the police have done a very good job.
one police officer who wrote up one of the reports literally said to me “you’re at the police office right now, we know that both women and men can be perpetrators, you are not at some political organization, we know what is going on because we see it on the ground floor every day.”
that officer, literally, i mean, i think of him as an angel.
i have quite a bit of career flexibility and have been thinking about getting closer to law enforcement in some way. my family and ethnic background do not coincide with trusting the police — at all. but i never in my life imagined that now, when i see police officers, i often relax instead of tense up.
Good to hear your story. Go take a Police test if you are interested. Go on a ride along if your local PD or Sheriff’s office allows it. Ride alongs are a good way to see how it works. “COPS” and reality are different.
As far as what to tell your kids I can only suggest you stay as close to the truth as possible in terms they understand. I know it is hard. A have three of my own kid and have had to have a few “hard” talks with them, mostly about older relatives passing away. When Mom or Dad get cray that is a tough thing to talk about indeed.
crazy not “cray”. Someday I’ll learn to type.
Not to worry, Mark. We understand. Thanks for your article.
mark, man, maybe i’ll do that, but the kids are with the x for thanksgiving and i’m about as broken up as i could b. during the exchange she: sent threatening texts, shoved me with her back (not causing injury so i know the case is weak), called the wrong number for the police (which was odd — and she actually told them the wrong location which was even stranger — anyway the police were involved yesterday and did a good job, so i was kind of hoping they’d come), she jostled our son making him cry — and i just let them go. the kids are back with me tomorrow, but mom is just SO not ok.
i talked with the mom who she’s spending thanksgiving with and i just hope everything winds up ok.
as far as i understand it, the psychotherapists talk about “splitting” and a couples counselor we worked with said that she was “lashing out at her abusive mother” through me. it makes sense, it just doesn’t make it any easier.
i mean: i’m not actually doing anything and there she is calling the cops. why? who on earth knows. yesterday, she was banging on my door and nearly broke my buzzer. umm — that’s when cops get involved.
it just does not feel like an “appropriate” development for my life. i simply cannot actually “grasp” that a woman i’ve known for 17 years (which is what got me involved in this post — same number of years), could POSSIBLY act the way my x is acting.
i mean — social services is actually WATCHING. our kids may even lose their MOM! i mean, could she WAKE UP and stop acting so violent and crazy?
and who is actually alone? me.
i’m so used to being with the kids everywhere i don’t even know how to do anything without them. so i didn’t make any thanksgiving plans — and the days leading up to thanksgiving have been so whacked due to mom’s behavior that even if someone had invited me, i might not have gone.
we live out of the country. but a lot of folks where we live celebrate thanksgiving. i could have gone to some “paid” thanksgiving even thing or two — but i have no idea what to say to anyone. how can i talk with anyone?
most even vaguely “aware” people i meet immediately have a sense of what is going on — and during the meeting — they start asking questions that go directly at what i’m hiding. what am i supposed to say: ok, look, my wife is a narcissist sociopath willing to hurt her own children (and me in front of them), to get her way about the smallest things. she is still a full custodian of our children until the divorce is finalized so i am completely powerless. she will shove me, threaten me, and abuse me if left alone with me, if given a chance — but on good days she makes crafts with our children and everything is ok.
if i met myself at a party, and i am a pretty open and generous guy, i would probably turn around and run, and i mean RUN away from me.
Hey there Anon.father. Question: Did your crazy ex like the couples therapist? If she did then ignore what the therapist said about your ex “lashing out against her abusive mother” because your crazy ex was most likely playing the therapist. When I was in grad school one very wise professor of mine (the only wise professor I had–it was an MSW program) warned “If your borderline patients like you then you are not doing your job”. The splitting concept is just theory. Sometimes it applies but oftentimes the person it seeks to explain is just batshit crazy. I say this so you aren’t tempted to give your ex the slightest ounce of the “abuse excuse”. Hang in there!
B Experienced says
When I was in school, we were taught in our Psych classes not to take BPD’s on if you were going into clinical work, unless you wanted to ruin your career or drive yourself nuts. If you do your job right, then they will most likely run or ruin your professional reputation with distortion campaigns.
The concept of transference is, also, so overused in the context of BPD that it is ultimately a pat answer that isn’t often true. The need for a BPD to have power and control over others and a my way or else attitude because of their Psychopathy is often the reason for them lashing out or abusing and not because they were abused in the past. They want to wound or intimidate their prey to make it easier to conquer and control them just so that their own selfish needs are met. I have known many BPD’s who have healed from their abuse and their narcissism and psychopathy are still there. Some therapists will even believe they are cured because they have healed their abuse. Some BPD’s are abused because they didn’t behave and started abusing their family members first. They don’t stop until a parent who is considered normal loses control themselves. I am not condoning it, but it is very real. BPD doesn’t always develop because of abuse either so I wonder how the clinician who decides transference is at play thinks so.
it was supposed to be “paid thanksgiving event thing.” i also need to learn how to type, and well i’m also drinking. i mean i’m a lightweight by most peoples’ standards, so whatever. i’ll go to bed and to work in the morning.
there are some details i’m fudging to “anonymize” my posts, but well — i was without the kids yesterday and basically “tanked.” i drank lots of beer and was alone for thanksgiving. this morning, i have verification that the kids are ok. whew. it’s amazing what that does for me — kids are ok — all at their appropriate schools — fine — i can work and go pick everyone up and have a normal weekend. kids are with me for a while starting today. we’ll see what happens after, but at least i have some time to settle.
i think this “cop talk” series is very important.
Hang in there man. Drinking doesn’t help beyond a few hours. Don’t give her (the ex) that type of leverage or trick bag yourself.
Post something or call Dr. T.
Bunch of us out here that do care.
From my personal experience, it sounds like you are actually going through a ‘normal’ stage of the divorce / breaking up with an abusive partner process.
I remember feeling and fearing those same things. I remember being a complete basket case after a judge ordered my 5 1/2 month old baby to spend entire weekends with AXH 1 b/c he as a father felt like he was being watched when he would come over to spend time with her (even though he was left in a room alone with her the entire time…so needless to say, she basically was forced to wean herself at that age.
IT was bad. It was painful. I felt crazy, like drinking (and eating) myself into oblivion. Like the world would be better off without me. Those are the lies we have learned about ourselves from abuse or simply from not living up to our expectations of ourselves (i.e. I’m not supposed to be divorced! This is not the life I signed up for!). Right?
Do you have a notebook to note any ‘changes’ or differences in their behavior when they get back? Do they seem particularly angry or scared? My elder daughter used to FREAK whenever she realized she was in a room by herself, and she often came home (at 4:00 p.m.) so tired that she would fall right asleep. Also, she always cried and screamed when he came to get her…until a cousin was born, and she had a playmate.
Track dates and times and ANYTHING unusual. I started to, but he was so aggressive with frivolous suits against me (actually was going to sue me for not allowing him to take out a life insurance policy on me…after the divorce had been finalized!), that I didn’t have my wits about me.
And, remember – take care of yourself.
yes, there are changes even after one night with my wife. actual signs of neglect and abuse. a child showing me a scratch saying “this is where mama scratched me when she was mad.” problems falling asleep. afraid to let go of me even in fairly familiar social settings.
the thing is, we’re talking about the kind of stuff that is simply “unfathomable” in “my world.” it’s not how i was raised, not how i live, not what i do, not what’s even vaguely possible for someone i married.
but there it is.
it’s almost like i need to get through: how on earth could this even be happening? how could i even possibly need police assistance? how is it even possible for her to have done X, or Y, or Z or a,b,c,d,e, etc. etc. for that matter?
there’s a part of her perpetration that is so far off the charts that it’s like it cannot register in my mental/emotional makeup. then she calls and leaves a message that not only sounds sane, but actually is sane. it actually makes sense.
i am very grateful to Beesley, B Experienced, Mark, and TheGirlInside for replying to me, your comments come from experience and geeze, you are even professionals — i mean, professional analysis of whether there is a causal relationship between past abuse and becoming a perpetrator? this is a real superhero crew here — wow and thanks!
about drinking: there’s a part of me that is just like “can’t a grown man just get drunk, come home, go to sleep, wake up the next day and basically be a bit hungover and i dunno watch a movie or two and sleep it off maybe having done a few low-concentration household chores like mowing the lawn or cleaning something or mopping like i don’t know — once every 2 years or so — or just once?”
i am SUCH a straight arrow.
and in my current situation, basically, i am “on call” 24/7 and i know it. any minute, any time of any day, there could be a crisis so major that i need to be fully present for it.
i also noticed that you can’t even get me drunk enough to not be a good father. about a year or so ago, i had an “extra drink” before coming home on a friday evening (still before separation), what happened when i got home? kids not fed, still awake n not ready for bed, nothing set aside for their saturday activities. what did i do? i danced with our daughter, made dinner, got everyone ready, read two bedtime stories and fell asleep after everyone was settled. woke up and did all the saturday stuff. for everyone.
so, there was no emergency thanksgiving night, but one of the kids came back with a scratch.
there’s also kind of an odd thing happening with me and alcohol/caffeine.
after what i’ll call “incidents” or “episodes,” i have noticed that i can’t really feel my body. can’t feel my arms, my legs, or the skin on my scalp.
when i am in that state, i’ve tried to have coffee or alcohol to see if i could feel anything. in that state, usually, neither the coffee nor alcohol seem to “do anything” at all. like i am so numb that the effects of the drug don’t actually “work.” i am calling caffeine and alcohol drugs — case could be made for cooked carbs, sugar, etc. etc. etc. — but that’s a separate topic. however, there was one time when after a major incident, i went to a restaurant and had a soup that i thought would be settling and a beer (i live in europe and drink way less than most people ’round here, and am still surprised by the “beer at lunch” culture they have here). but it was the early evening. and i’ll tell you, i had one beer and i was completely drunk. like, i lost my footing briefly on the way to the restroom.
and another time, a similar thing happened with one coffee.
in a sense, i can say that it’s an attempt to actually be able to feel my body.
wait a second — i just called myself “completely drunk” for briefly losing my footing after having one beer after having listened to my wife barrage me and social services with one falsity after the other — making me out to look like a monster — mixing up dates, adding things, leaving out critical details, switching who said what, switching who did what, changing the sequence of events — and having social services tell me that my claims that she was not telling the truth were “just my perspective,” and then having them tell me they basically had “no mechanism” they use to verify the truthfulness of what people say. and it looked to me like they actually were believing what my wife was saying. like they were treating it as completely possible that what my wife was saying actually happened — when it didn’t. and at that point i was not sure whether my recordings, pictures, videos, etc. would be considered legal evidence. that they seemed to laugh at me when i asked “can i go under some kind of hypnosis with a video recording to recount the events of that day?”
and after THAT, i lose my footing for a split second and i call myself “completely drunk?”
that’s a bit harsh i’d say.
i was a mess thanksgiving night. i drank 145 ounces of beer and ate a lot of food — alone. i posted here at my drunkest while crying. friday, i worked and picked up the kids. friday night one of my children spoke to me in a way that was well beyond her years. she was very clear about what she wants. i had a very powerful dream friday night.
saturday was great. bed time was easy and i have at least one week of peace ahead of me.
interestingly, about being “on call” 24/7, it’s not 24/7 anymore. there are stretches of time when mom is not around and the kids are with me (since separation). i have not needed to deal with a crisis since around friday at 11AM. there is a “crisis” i need to handle for my wife on monday, but it’s something i can go do and i don’t need to have contact with her.
we were near my wife’s place for a while on saturday, and it was creepy. but that’s about it.
she knows i’ll call the cops if she comes pounding around my new place (again). and frankly, you almost wish she were an alcoholic with the kinds of things she’s done, because then there’d be an obvious cause.
ahh — another moment of insight and growth — alcohol doesn’t cause abusive behavior. even alcoholism doesn’t cause abusive behavior. some people have a drink and have a laugh and that’s it. some people are functioning alcoholics and don’t abuse anyone. some people are drunk derelicts and would cry if they squished a spider. some people don’t drink at all and are horrific perpetrators of abusive behavior.
anyway, i’m looking forward to a peaceful stretch here and with the recent incidents, i don’t know how much longer social services and the courts are going to “let” this go on.
Anon.father, you said: “after what i’ll call “incidents” or “episodes,” i have noticed that i can’t really feel my body. can’t feel my arms, my legs, or the skin on my scalp.”
I know this out of body feeling…
Over the summer my dh’s lovely ex attacked (with words) my kid from a previous marriage. It came totally out of left field. My dh’s ex is an alcoholic and was most likely drunk when she wrote the abusive email. The following day she claimed it wasn’t her. Um. Yeah. Right.
That event put me in the state that you describe. It’s utter hopelessness and helplessness. It cuts you to the quick. At that point I felt that there was not a damn thing I could do or anyone else could do to protect my kid from my dh’s ex. I seriously considered leaving my husband or sending my dd to live with her dad, two things I would never thought I would consider doing.
It’s not the first time I had that feeling because of his ex wife, but that was the most recent.
We filed. We dug up every nasty email she ever sent us (I spent 12 hours straight gathering those babies up) and filed a civil harassment charge. We dug up what we could and added a contempt petition on top of that. Trial was to be held last month, but we settled instead. What did we get? In a rare event, especially because we didn’t ask for it and my daughter is not a party to the action, the ex has been Ordered to stay away from my dd. We also settled to a mutual no-contact Order (he has sole custody). Her (new-ish) lawyer found out that her client was lying to her and was quite agreeable to our terms.
I got the feeling back in my body now. For the first time we have had many weeks of silence from dh’s exw.
Anyhow, I wanted you to know that you’re not alone in that feeling.
Anon.father, I also want to mention that my husband was in your place. What makes him wonderful is those “non” characteristics that had you in that rotten marriage to begin with. But, he did a couple things that I think were to our benefit: he sought therapy post his first marriage and he listened to the right people in establishing boundaries. I hope you choose to do the same thing for you, your kids and your future wife or life partner.
Hugs to you and your kids.
Seems like all common sense stuff. But most people don’t use common sense when they’re in the midst of a domestic dispute.
I’ll bet cops hate the holidays.
Holidays. All the people you don’t get along with to well, in an enclosed space, drinking. Oh joy.
Not all suckage. Shop with a Cop is first week of Dec. Always a good time.
As an aikido first dan, I’m pretty familiar with the “don’t run, don’t fight” principle.
On a different note, here’s a link to a National Geographic initiative in Australia: http://www.f4e.com.au/blog/2011/10/15/national-geographic-seeks-male-victim-of-domestic-violence-for-documentary/.
why on earth is that url singular?
like they are searching for the “one male victim?”
Wish I knew… I believe this url can be construed as follows: men find it very difficult to come forward. At least in the Australian context, it seems that men don’t want to disclose what’s going on in their relationships.
On the other hand, if Nat Geo is considering making a documentary of this kind isn’t bad news at all.
Take care, AussieLola
PS: My current partner was in THREE abusive relationships before he met me. Some great guys in my circle of friends have also been in abusive relationships, both straight and gay. I’d love to let Nat Geo know, but certainly it isn’t my call.
“Slip on dog shit” I laughed my backside off! If i was a cop and that happened I would be useless and just die laughing.
Not very helpful advice, since it isn’t going to prevent a mandatory male arrest. I would suggest going outside and ask a neighbor to be a witness and also have a recording device. Otherwise, ask a lawyer who will tell you “DO NOT TALK TO POLICE”.
incident 1: i didn’t get arrested. i was injured. my wife said stuff that didn’t match the scene — because what my wife said didn’t happen. the main reason i did not press charges was because our youngest would have had to stay with mom at whatever facility they would have taken her to. the cops did a good job.
incident 2: i didn’t get arrested either.
incident 3: nope.
the police, quite literally, have provided a foundation upon which i feel i can build a healed life. their protection has protected our children. no, the kids don’t like the police and cry when things go in that direction. yes guns are scary. but the officers do their best not to scare the kids and their assistance has been critical.
ps: absolutely get a recording device. preferably your phone. i have my wife’s last incident on video.
I can’t speak to whether this is a good idea or not but when she gets loud and starts trying to provoke me to respond in a manner that is not civil I leave. I will not let it get to the point where tempers control the situation. I won’t play that game. She has struck me one time and I never will let it reach that poit again. I have never hit her or threatened her in any manner what so ever nor will I