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Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?

GUEST,A Concerned Friend 27 Jul 01 - 12:18 AM
Mrrzy 26 Jul 01 - 11:49 PM
mousethief 26 Jul 01 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,Norton1 26 Jul 01 - 11:44 PM
katlaughing 26 Jul 01 - 11:39 PM
catspaw49 26 Jul 01 - 11:33 PM
ddw 26 Jul 01 - 11:26 PM
catspaw49 26 Jul 01 - 11:22 PM
Sorcha 26 Jul 01 - 11:13 PM
Amos 26 Jul 01 - 11:07 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jul 01 - 11:01 PM
MMario 26 Jul 01 - 11:01 PM
GUEST,A Concerned Friend 26 Jul 01 - 10:39 PM
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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: GUEST,A Concerned Friend
Date: 27 Jul 01 - 12:18 AM

I appreciate the input--I really do, and thank you for being honest. There is no easy fix for this, is there? I have read every every word here, much more closely than I ever do, and the situation is getting a lot clearer in my mind, but not in a very good way.

Both of them have good educations, and both do the same thing, but in different places. Neither works directly with abuse issues, but, ironically, either one might be the one of first professionals that someone trying to deal with this problem would approach--I suppose tied in with everything else is a fear of losing their jobs and their place in the community--and they were just married, so this is supposed to be a happy time. What a cruel world this is!


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:49 PM

All of you butters-in, good for you. And I'm not sure that there is nothing to be done legally, many many states now have statutes that allow for charges to be pressed by the State, not the abused person, to protect the abused from their own fear of reporting the abuse. But the abuse has to be proven, like if the cops are called DURING a disturbance and find the one kicking the other they can arrest the one, even if the other then claims that they don't want to press charges. I don't think any cops would do it on your sayso, but if sitting her down and MAKING HER JUSTIFY HER DECISION TO STAY, after of courese sitting her down and MAKING HER ADMIT TO THE ABUSE or convince you that it isn't (maybe she's taking boxing lessons and doesn't want you to know), then I would go ahead and call social services. You can also report it to a medical person, I think they have to report it, like go to HER local ER and mess with her privacy if you can, alert them to watch for it if she comes in if you can't... if she hates you later, it's better than if you didn't try and he kills her, no?


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: mousethief
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:45 PM

Most victims of long-term abuse are held in place by fear and what can best be described as a form of brainwashing by their abusers; it plays on low self-esteem, feeding it and crushing out any sense of personal worth. It is vital that your friend come to believe that she doesn't deserve to be battered; but it could be a long time for her to get there. I'm not at all sure how a coworker goes about helping a woman regain her self-esteem. Definitely this is something to ask the people at your local shelter about.

Meanwhile, educate yourself. There are many good books about spousal abuse. Look at some, ask the shelter which ones they recommend. Then, when she's ready to say something or do something, you will be educated enough to know what to do.

here is a list of books at Amazon.com that is recommended by the Wichita "Women For Women" group.

Good luck!

Alex


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: GUEST,Norton1
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:44 PM

It's what I do for a living. Contact the Department of Human Services, in most states the State will assume the role of prosecutor if the woman will file a complaint. Keep reaching out to her. Many of the folks I work with stay in the relationship - but I work hard at empowering them with a "lock the abuser up" and they'll stop mode. Usually the abuser does stop after getting busted once. Stay with her and keep reaching is the only thing I can tell you.


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:39 PM

If your workplace is large enough, maybe they could sponsor a workshop on domestic violence at which she wouldn't feel singled out.

Also, see if the local shelter or police have any pamphlets which you could leave around the office, in the coffee area or even give to her, if you feel it appropriate. The pamphlets should explain what abuse is and what resources are available if and when she recognises what is going on and is ready to try getting out. With luck, there will be information on a "safe" house where she could go at a moment's notice.

As the three of you continue to have lunch, etc., perhaps the one with the experience could casually talk about her former days and what gave her the courage to get away.

These are all just suggestions; I have no idea if they would work in this particular situation.

Encourage her independence: does she have her own checking acct.? Her own ATM? Talk in general about how important it is to women, and their children, to have the security of independence.

Here are some websites which may help you and/or her, when she is ready:

BrokenSpirits.com

Practical Advice on leaving

good article

Safety Plan

Good luck and good for you for being a caring friend. Please keep us posted and PM, if you'd like. I did a series of articles on this, in Wyoming, a few years back, with extensive research. It is not an easy thing.

kat


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:33 PM

Lots of cross posting here, but the gist is the same. I'm not amazed, just sad..........Helluva' world ain't it?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: ddw
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:26 PM

I think Amos is bang on — there's not much you can do if the woman doesn't want help and it could be dangerous to press the matter. Either the abuser, the victim or both could turn on you and that can get pretty ugly.

When I was in grad school there was a couple in my social circle who, at a party one night, started a row. He punched her hard enough to knock her down, then grabbed her long blonde hair and literally started dragging her toward the door.

Fool that I was, I interceded — punch him, told him to let her go. The minute he did, she jumped up and attacked me with more venom than I'd ever seen. I've still got scars.

Found out later that the rough stuff was their foreplay and, because this was the first time he'd roughed her up in public, it was really a turn-on.

Don't get me wrong — I'm not advocating domestic violence or not caring if it goes on. Just trying to say it's best to tread VERY lightly around that kind of thing until you know what's going on and who wants something done about it.

david


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:22 PM

I'm with Joe.......Contact the shelter and report what you suspect or know and ask advice. Also in the U.S. most counties have a a branch of Social Welfare known generally as "Family and Children's Services." Again, I would contact them and report and ask advice (and as you know, children are truly affected by this stuff too).

It is unfortunate but true that until the woman takes a step, even a tiny one, nothing can happen legally. At that point everyone must be on-board to give her the support she needs on taking even that small action. A case of domestic abuse in my county ten years ago was classic. Everyone knew what was happening including the police. Everyone was trying to get the woman any help they could and she never would take the first step. Some never do. In this case, the result was the scalding death of a three year old child. Lots more to the story and as I had several of the kids in foster care, I'm all too familiar.

Get all the available advice and get the people that can help on board........Then, do whatever you can or that they suggest to get this woman to take a step. Prepare yourself for the absolute worst though........Sorry, but too often that is the result.

I'd wish you good luck, but luck doesn't enter into it. You have my best thoughts and wishes. May this one "go right."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:13 PM

YOU can't do ANYTHING until SHE decides she has had enuf. A lot of women/people in this situation never decide that. You can only help her when she wants to help herself. Help herself for real!!

Right now, she is probably denying the situation and telling herself "but he loves me, and I love him". This could go on forever.

Be a friend and be ready for confidences when she is ready to share them. I've known many women who went back to "him" over and over and over and over....ad nauseum. Because he promised to change. Because of the children. Because I love him. Because he loves me. Because I have no money and can't support myself.

If you bring it up you will probably only piss her off--"NO, that is NOT happening!! HE would NOT do that to ME--I will no longer be your friend!" etc, etc. etc.

Mr. is on the Safe House board here--PM me if you wish.


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:07 PM

I don't know enough to speak with authority, but from those I have met in such straits, the problem is that they are blinded by some kind of overwhelming connection to the abuser. It may be emotional overwhelm, or some kind of special sensation which the victim believes she depends on, such that it makes all the punishment worth bearing. The problem is like a fanatacism or a cult-like obsession, except that it is a personal one-to-one blindness instead of a group.

Unless and until there is some kind of communication breakthrough, no alternative will be real enough to even consider. But for that to happen there has to be enough necessity to shift things a little, whether it comes from an accepted friend or because the instinct for survival finally rears up and asserts itself.

My effort would be to take her to lunch from work and try to cut through to the the simple reality that she is at risk of losing her life. Whoever she most trusts or could be brought to would have to take on the mission and give it every shot.

Failing that it's a call to the police department and social services. Hard to say on what evidence they would be willing to intercede.

A


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:01 PM

Hi - I'd say that shelter is the first place to ask. You can talk with them on a confidential basis and give them specific information. If the victim is an adult and is not willing to cooperate, there's not much you can do from a legal standpoint.
It's certainly a commonplace problem. I do volunteer work at a women's center, and many of our guests are victims of abuse. Last month, one was shot and killed in a domestic violence incident. Our center is in the poor part of town, but domestic violence happens everywhere.
-Joe offer-


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Subject: RE: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 11:01 PM

A tough situation - I once had a co-worker come running into the restaraunt where we worked, in her nightgown with her husband in pursuit - she had run the 8 blocks from her house in December,(in upstate NY!) mainly to draw him away from the kids - a neighbor got the kids out of the house while he was still ranting about the restaraunt - and the crew took turns never leaving her alone for two days while social services got their act in gear -

but she was ready at that point to both leave him and press charges.


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Subject: Suspect Physical Abuse--What to do?
From: GUEST,A Concerned Friend
Date: 26 Jul 01 - 10:39 PM

Sorry to post a non-music thread, and sorry to post as a GUEST when I really am a member-- Can't think of a group of people who I trust more for direction than you all here, but I don't want to risk endangering the person I am concerned about--

So--a woman that I work with on an ongoing basis, and have come to respect and care about,came to a meeting about four months ago with a lot more make up on than usual--in the light I could tell that she had a black eye, and some small cuts on other parts of her face--She nearly broke into tears several times, and when we asked (another woman, who had been in an abusive relationship was also there) she assured us that she was fine--since then, more black eyes, and other bruises. The three of us have had lunch a few times, gone shopping--but she doesn't say a word, and seems to know when we are about to say something and withdraws--

I don't know what do do, what to say, etc. A few years back, worked with, and became friends with another woman who had trouble with her husband--one night he nearly killed her, and my spouse and I arranged to get her into a shelter and get a restraining order--they got back together, and neither of them has ever spoken to us again--

So please, share what you can--I am so afraid for her, I dread seeing her on Mondays, because am afraid of what may have happened over the weekend--


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