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How would you handle things if a friend was getting a divorce and you are afraid of her husband getting violent and coming after her (and, possibly, anyone connected with her, like your family)????<br><br>
This man has done nothing more aggressive than shoving her when they have had arguments. ((Yes, I know that <span style="text-decoration:underline;">is</span> violence, but you know what I mean.)) The divorce is over many problems in their marriage such as control issues and their incompatibility. They have been married just 7 years and have a small child.<br><br>
There have been no <span style="text-decoration:underline;">actual</span> indications that he would be violent (other than the shoving). Yet, everyone that knows them has concerns on this subject. Nobody wants to have her over to their homes or visit her at the place she will be staying from now on.<br><br>
We all want to offer her support, yet we have concerns about this. The guy is huge and has one a hell of a temper. As I said, he has never <span style="text-decoration:underline;">hit</span> her (or their child). But, honestly, I think it's just because he knows how strong he is and what he could do to anyone.<br><br>
But, now that they are divorcing (something he is NOT thrilled with), I just don't know. People act differently when things aren't the way they want them to be. This guy always wants to be the one in total control and the center of everything. This divorce has taken away that control in many respects, a first for him.<br><br>
MDCers all talk about gut-feelings and listening to them. Well, as I said, everyone that knows about this that we've spoken with says they feel this same worry.<br><br>
So, ((Yes, I am finally getting to the point)), what would you do?<br><br>
How do you offer support without frankly telling your friend that you are scared of their soon-to-be-ex?? I expect she would say we have nothing to fear, but still I can't help how I (and, many others) feel.<br><br>
I know she will want to get together and to have our ds to come play with her child and I can't help with my fears.<br><br>
Ugh.............
 

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I would NOT stop being her friend <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Right now she needs friends more than anything! The vertible isolation you're describing could drive her right back to her abuser.<br><br>
If you are truly concerned this guy will come after her while she's at your place (and that really doesn't seem likely, honestly), arrange playdates safely. Meet in public at the park. Have your DH home (sorry if I ASSume <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) when she visits you to have playdates.<br><br>
But don't make her feel unwanted <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I've heard that it's really important not to give here access to your house (key) because he could get ahold of it, but rather help her to find a safe house where she can go just in case- you can be a friend without putting your family at risk. Keep meetings away from your house- park, mall, etc. and have an emergency plan that doesn't include your house. Scary!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes right-handed">:<br><br>
I have a friend in the exact same situation and have been wondering the same things.
 

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I would carry pepper spray at all times (FTR, this is something I do anyway). I would give her a pepper spray to carry at all times. I would give her a sheet with info about shelters and advocacy groups in your area, in case she needs their help at a moment's notice. I would definitely be a friend to her. It's hard leaving any relationship, but even harder when you think you may be physically hurt as well.
 

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I invited her and her children to live with me. She wasn't a friend, but a co-worker. She stayed for two months, which was a bit hard. He was violent towards door mostly; had a penchant for kicking them in. I was childless then, but out roommate had a child and we all agreed it was the best thing. He never came close to my house. We were in a position of strength and he knew it. We had a couple of able-bodied adults in the house and a tight community of friends and plenty of sheriff patrols in the neighborhood. He knew we weren't impressed by his posturing and shouting. I hope it was a good shelter for her and gave her the space she needed to move on. I hear she is doing pretty well now. Promotion at work, place of her own, XH out of the picture, so although it was hard and I had a lot of misgivings, I didn't think or feel that that sort of bully was likely to come on my turf.<br><br>
But I was also pretty good at self-defense and always armed with a blade, which I knew how to use pretty effectively.<br><br>
Note this is not advice, it's just what I did in a similar situation
 

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I don't really understand what you are asking. Do you think that she isn't aware of him possibly becoming violent? Are you afraid to offer to let you stay with you because you are afraid of him?
 

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We'd have them over in a heartbeat. They'd have a place to stay if needed (though with only one bathroom, that would be ...interesting...).<br><br>
We'd keep our cell phones ON and on us at all times. If we really felt the need for concern, we'd call the police and request extra patrols--though since one of the local officers lives on our street...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
We did have a friend, no child though, stay over one night before her divorce process really got started. She was in such emotional shock that evening that there was no question of not giving her one of the spare new toothbrushes and a place to crash. Same description as far as the level of violence up to that point too.
 

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If you are concerned about it then dont get involved. Because your doubts will be read by her. BUT she needs support. If all her friends are scared of a man who pushes people, then shes going to go right back to him.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NatureMama3</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7900029"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would read Protecting the Gift by Gavin DeBecker and I would give it to HER to read too.</div>
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While this is a great suggestion, I would really recommend <i>The Gift of Fear</i> by deBecker. It has more scenarios and information for what your friend would be facing. <i>Protecting the Gift</i> is slanted more towards protecting your children.<br><br><i>The Gift of Fear</i> has a LOT of good information on restraining orders and the troubles they can escalate.
 

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I think you may want to call the local domestic violence hotline and find out what the best steps to take are as a friend, and also get some contact info to give to your friend.<br><br>
The end of a relationship is usually one of the most dangerous times
 

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I was in a situation much like that but I was the one leaving. If it was not for my friends having me over or coming over to hang out with me I might have ended back up with him, or with him in my apt against my will. He only showed his ass a few times when people were around and all it did was cause them to be come more protective of me.<br>
She needs you in more ways than one and Don't let him win by not giving her the support she needs
 

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I would give her every support I could, including hooking her up with domestic violence resources, offering that she and her child could stay in my home, and maintaining our friendship in whatever manner she desired (i.e., I'd meet her for playdates if she wanted, etc.). The only thing I wouldn't do is go visit her at her/her dh's house. I would feel vulnerable there.<br><br>
Julia<br>
dd 1 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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How would he know if she's over your house?
 

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I think there's a difference in recognising that this guy has the <i>potential</i> to snap and become violent towards anyone in his STBX's life, and in letting that fear rule your life. I'm not saying to dismiss your (and everyone else's) gut feelings about him, I'm just saying don't let this <i>potential</i> threat keep you from doing the right thing by your friend who obviously needs you right now.<br><br>
There has been a lot of very good advice on how to keep yourself out of situations where this guy could have the upper hand while still helping your friend. And really, if it were me, I'd weigh the real and immediate needs of my friend against the <i>possible</i> threat of unknown violence or harassment from her STBXH, and unless this guy had made open death threats against my family's lives, my friend would win... and even then I'd still probably find sneaky ways of helping her. But, I rebel at the thought of letting some creep dictate my life that way. My instinct is to fight the injustice of it for all I'm worth.<br><br>
The degree of friendship would determine how much help I'd be willing to give, but I'm thinking "close friend" more than "acquaintance" for purposes of this advice. And actually, my BFF is living with us right now, having gotten out of a controlling, mentally abusive relationship (but I <i>wasn't</i> worried about him being crazy or violent with us, though some other friends were worried he'd start stalking her). In our case, I've known her so long (18 yrs! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> that she's family and there's no question of <i>not</i> helping her, so I may be biased. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><br>
Serendipity
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MissAnnThrope</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7905273"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was in a situation much like that but I was the one leaving. If it was not for my friends having me over or coming over to hang out with me I might have ended back up with him, or with him in my apt against my will. He only showed his ass a few times when people were around and all it did was cause them to be come more protective of me.</div>
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I could have written this myself. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> My XH's actions did escalate when we separated. He would call and threaten me over the phone, show up at my apartment and refuse to leave, stake out my apartment to see when I left or came home. It was scary. Fortunately I had friends that I could turn to when I needed support and help, I don't know if I could have made it out otherwise.<br><br>
I don't really have any advice, though.
 

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Well I divorced a man that as far as I knew was not abusive. During the process (after he had moved out but before we had filed) I got a strange feeling that I needed to change my locks. It was 11pm. I went to Walmart and got some locks and replaced them. I had to be at work at 4am. Well at 2 am my dog started growling. He was in his crate and I was on the computer. I had already decided that a few hours of sleep would be worse than none. So he kept it up and being that I had only had him a few months I didn't relize the danger that was about to ensue.<br><br>
The next thing I knew there was a pounding on the door between the basement and upstairs, I had left him access to the basement because his tools were there. This was not a fist pounding but something else. The new door knob was shaking. I screamed for him to stop. He told me to let him in. I called the cops. So he went outside and called the cops too. About 5 cop cars came. He is a felon that owns a gun illegally. Thy asked him to leave, although they told me that legally they had no reason too since we hadn't filled yet. At 4 I stopped at work and told them I would not be in and the situation.<br><br>
When I went to get a retraining order I was told that I needed his address. I didn't know where he was living. So I was told that I couldn't get a restraining order. I asked what I could do to protect myself and the lady told me sorry she couldn't help. I ended up getting a conceal to carry permit and a gun from a friend.<br><br>
I tell you my story to show that although she may not think something is going to happen she might get a feeling at sometime and need someone to rely on. Please don't feel that you shouldn't spend time with her. She needs all the emotional support she can get right now. My friends at work became protective. They would not tell anyone when I would be there. They made a great saftey net.
 

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Wow. This makes me sad that she is being further victimized by friends not wanting to be around her, and her being further isolated when she has finally taken a step to protect herself. Shoving is a big deal, as is the emotional abuse that she has most likely endured. Please strongly encourage her to hook up with a Battered Woman's Support Group, maybe there will be someone there that will keep being her friend even though she is being threatened.
 
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