Domestic violence help (any members in NJ?)


#1

I have a friend (the wife of an old Navy buddy of my husband) who lives in New Jersey. Her husband is a violent abuser and she is trying to get her and her kids out of their situation. The latest incident happened with her husband punching their 11 year old son several times and verbally abusing him for getting a D on his report card. The husband actually convinced the police that he only spanked his son and that his son gets nose bleeds when he’s nervous. He also convinced the police that his wife is an unstable alcoholic who makes up stories.

She was very emotional when the police arrived because of what he did to their son and he was calm and seemingly rational. Her son repeated his father’s story to the police. Their 14 year old daughter told the truth about what happened but apparently the police didn’t believe her either. The police had been called to their house before (her husband hit my friend in the head with a beer bottle.) The one police officer angrily said “we’ve been called here before because of drinking.” She said no you were called because my husband broke a beer bottle on my head. The cop said “whatever, next time we get called we’re taking the kids.”

Now she is terrified of her children being put in foster care. Her husband has drained all the money from their bank accounts. She has no car because only a couple weeks ago her car caught fire while she was driving it on the expressway. She managed to escape unharmed but her car exploded and burned to nothing. Her kids actually said to her. “Do you think daddy did something to the car?”

She tried to report him to the Navy in the past but again after speaking with her husband he managed to convince them that she was unbalanced and an alcoholic. They called her back and angrily accused her of trying to get him in trouble.

Now that he knows she is afraid of calling the police she fears he feels he has free reign to do whatever he wants to them. She called an 800 number I found for her from Catholic Charities in NJ. They had a lawyer call her but her husband got the message and flipped out on her. She is going to try to call the lawyer back tomorrow. She has family but no one offered her any help except to tell her to get marriage counseling. Her mother doesn’t believe her because her husband can be very charming to others. She called her a liar and an awful person and told her she was going to hell for falsing accusing her husband.

In this day and age the fact the the police would not believe her when there was blood all over her son’s face just shocks me. She is terrified of losing her kids. Tonight he called everyone in her family and told them she was crazy and she and their 14 year old daughter had tried to beat him up. He has also told this same story to the neighbors.

She is scared and feels incredibly trapped. She’s scared he’ll get the kids if they divorce because of how he seems to convince those around them that she is the crazy one. She’s also scared of what he might do next.

Does anyone know of any other help for abused women and children? She lives in Ocean County, NJ.


#2

Oh my, how incredibly sad. I don’t have advice but I offer prayers for your friend and her family. It is so sad how sometimes police can take sides “just because”. They are people too and sometimes just assume things that are not true. Well I hope you can help in some way but I will be praying profusely for this family and the safety of the children especially.:frowning:


#3

She needs to get to a womens shelter. Womens shelters have all the resources needed to help someone get out of an abusive situation such as this (at least they do here where I live in Canada). She can take her children with her as well. Could you lend her the money for a cab ride to one in her area? Her situation sounds very dangerous for her. She will be in my prayers.


#4

she needs to call the police anyhow
having the kids taken away temporarily is not the worst that can happen
having them dead is
she also has to get the Navy involved


#5

Could you possibly pick her and the kids up while the husband is at work and drive them to a women’s shelter? A shelter is definitely where she needs to be right now. First step is to find safety, second step is to let God take care of the rest.

She’ll be in my prayers.


#6

She has tried to get the Navy involved. They did not believe her. My friend was sexually abused as a child and she is terrified of that happening to one of her children in foster care. She used to have such spunk, she has lost all of it. She is scared and totally discouraged because she feels no one believes her. Her mother disbelieving her was probably worst of all for her.

Her husband suffered a closed head injury about 11 years ago. His personallity completely changed. He spent every dime of their settlement money. The one thing that has kept her from leaving in the past is that his rage and lack of self control are caused by the head injury or at least appear to be. She felt guilty for leaving him because most of this is a result of the accident.

But he has become more out of control as time has gone on. At this point his behavior is just plain frightening. What makes me angry is she has 3 sisters and none have said pack up the kids and come stay with me. I live more than 700 miles away and feel pretty darn helpless. I did find her some more 800 numbers for her to call. I just wish there was more I could do. I am trying to convince her to go to a shelter.


#7

I live in Michigan while she is in New Jersey. If we lived in the same state I would have had her out of there by now. I actually have considered bringing her here. If she had a car I would have said drive here and we’ll figure something out. She doesn’t have money to get plane tickets for her and her three children. And we don’t have really have the extra money for something like that either. I am praying for a solution.


#8

She needs a plan to get out. That’s what the shelter people will tell her. And even though she is afraid the kids will be placed temporarily in foster care, if he gets violent again, she needs to call the cops. She needs to call the lawyer back, to see what kind of rights she has and how much proof she needs in NJ.

How is your husband about your friend and the kids coming to Michigan? This is something to consider. Would Mr. Temper show up at your front door and bust it in? Would he harm you, your kids, or your husband? By NJ law, does she have to let him know where she is, on account of the kids? These are things to consider.

Sad to say, it does not surprise me about the Navy. This is the bunch that let my ex-SIL reup. A lot of it depends on his command, particularly his skipper, XO and command master chief.

While you two are pondering all this, have her get the following, if possible, and scan them and email them, or send you paper copies so the copies are in a safe place:
[LIST]
*]a copy of her marriage certificate.
*]a copy of each of the kids’ socials and birth certs.
*]Make copies of their military depdenent IDs. He may try to take them, saying he has every right. He does not, but having the copies, front and back, saves time.
*]Any military papers she finds lying about the house, including his last evals, and any Navy 1070/609, 1070/613, and 1616/26 records.
*]Copies of any monetary records she finds during the day.
*]The kids’ school records.
*]Some sort of written record for every domestic disturbance call, every incident of abuse she can remember, even if it is only a “log” of her own making. It can be backed up later by ordering police reports.
*]Does she buy the groceries, or does he? If she does, she needs to set aside some from each shopping trip, and squeeze those pennies. [/LIST]It is best to work with a women’s shelter and lawyer in NJ, but barring that, she needs proof.


#9

Beyond addressing the abuse, I suggest she try to address the underlying medical problem. She can call his doctor and tell the doctor what’s going on. Since the police believe him and not her, it might help get some documentation of his personality change, including this apparently dual personality. It might help her since he can regain his composure enough to convince police and others that his wife is a crazy, lying drunk, (assuming she isn’t. One of them is lying, and I don’t know either of these people.)

I knew a man who after a head injury began doing things that he never would have done prior to the injury. Not only is this man’s behavior frightening, but it’s frightening to realize how fragile our bodies-including our brains- really are. If the husband’s behavior is caused by a physical injury to his head, then this is also a medical issue. Maybe it can’t be corrected, but if his behavior is getting worse, there might be something more going on in his brain that should be looked at. A doctor should be aware of this; maybe they can do a brain scan and see if there’s anything to account for the behavior getting worse. If they can medically document his brain and behavior changes, it might help your friend retain custody of her children if it ever comes to that.


#10

I will be praying! Has she called a rape crisis center? I know it’s different but I used to work in one and they do offer support and resources for victims of domestic violence.

Also, has she documented all of this? She should document every incident, have her doctor vouch for her mental state (to prove she is NOT unbalanced/alcoholic), have her friend be prepared to speak on her behalf, and her kids to tell the truth. This man needs to be stopped.


#11

I can tell you some things not to do…

Don’t wait for the police to get a clue… either the kids will get taken OR the husband will get them.

Don’t tell a counselor doctor or reporting official unless you are ready to be moved out… keeping kids in that situation is actually looked upon worse and considered abusive. My advice is to get her out THEN tell counselor, doctor, teacher…

Don’t stay and think he will change.

Don’t think you can force him out so you can keep the house… that only gets everyone more abuse

Don’t wait for an event or date to leave… like school being out or 4th of July… kids and her could be dead by then.

At a womans shelter she can get help for her problems too… they will have counseling for kids, her and job training… not to mention advocates for getting child support and orders of protection… NOW IS THE TIME!!!


#12

I live in Gloucester County, NJ. In this county, the DV shelter is protected so the abuser cannot find the victim(s). The local police transport the victim to the police station in the municipality where the shelter is located. Then those police transport the victim to the shelter. Ocean County is pretty far from me, so I don’t know what it’s like there. I agree that she needs to get out of the situation ASAP. Also to document evrything. In my prayers, and please keep us informed.

Peace,
Linda


#13

I can assure she is not a drunk. She has an occasional beer or mixed drink but is most certainly not an alcoholic. Nor is she mentally ill. He loves to tell the neighbors she goes to bars all the time, is an alcoholic and regularly picks up men. She rarely has an opportunity to leave the house let alone have time for the activities he accuses her of. Most of the time he makes sure she has no car. There always seems to be something wrong with hers, or her keys mysteriously go missing. He has also blocked in her car with his. Now that her car exploded into a ball of flames she has no car at all.

Rage and loss of self control is part of the type of closed head injury her husband has. The damage is not reversable. He has been on medication in the past but no longer takes it. He has also been to counseling but stopped that years ago. After the accident he had many months of recovery. She was devoted to caring for him.

His behavior has become so vile I truly fear for her life. We used to all feel sorry for her husband. I am long past that. He refuses help and his behavior toward his wife and children truly border on evil at times.

He is absolutely and completelty uncooperative. He will do absolutely nothing she asks. He will not go to the doctor because he doesn’t see anything wrong with his behavior. It would have to be court ordered in order for him to go. He is a huge man and she is a petite woman. She can not make him do anything.

He does what he wants, when he wants and she has no say or control. If she does something he dislikes he viciously verbally abuses her and sometimes gets violent. He also directs his abuse to their 14 year old daughter who tries to defend her mother. He has called his daughter a b*tch, a slut and a whore among other things. He has slapped her and knocked her clear across the room on more than one occasion for defending her mother. His recent attack on his son shows the abuse is speading. Yesterday my friend took a walk in the neighborhood when she returned he went bizerk making all kinds of wild accusations.

She has had such a difficult time admitting what’s been going on because she feels people now view her as a pathetic loser. To not be believed after finally getting courage to tell others has been a huge blow to her. Especially not being believed by her own mother.


#14

Tell her not to care what others think of her… or learn to come back with… “I’d rather be a live loser than a dead success” That usually puts it in perspective.

My ex was abusive to my kids but not to me. Unfortunately I didn’t know about it until 6 mos after he left… now I felt like a loser because the kids believed his lies and didn’t want to tell me about the abuse (he told them I would just punish them again if they told). Anyway, ask her to go to a womens shelter and if she says that everyone will think she is a loser, tell her at least she and the kids will be alive and well enough to be losers… damned her pride, this is no time for it!

Tell her to do it for the kids if not for herself…


#15

National Domestic Violence Hotline:

ndvh.org/

1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

You can call on her behalf, and they should be able to help you help her.


#16

Existing medical records may contain adequate information to help her make her case, especially if he in non-compliant with taking medication and seeing the doctor for follow up.

Forgive me it I didn’t automatically believe your friend’s story, but neither did the police who were there. I’ve known people with head injuries, people with mental illness, and people who behave badly for no apparent reason except bad choices. If your friend and her children are in danger, regardless of the reason for her husband’s problems, she needs to get help. But the documentation of his medical problems might be highly useful to her since her husband manages to convince people like the police that she’s the one with the problem, not him. Before she leaves, it might be in her best interest to gather copies all available medical records and names of doctors familiar with his case and keep them in a safe place.


#17

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