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Leaving - will he follow through on threats?

18 posts in this topic

I'm making plans to leave.  There hasn't been a lot of actual physical abuse, but some, and increasing amounts of wall and door bashing, broken furniture and tvs, etc.  the rages and tirades are much more frequent and over increasingly smaller issues, with much less, i.e. Zero, build up time.  I've done the lethality quizzes, he's like an 8-10 on them.  Do I make plans based on his threats of tracking me down and killing me, i.e. Fly to the farthest point on the map, or do I make plans that involve sticking around close in order to deal with court appearances for restraining orders and custody battles?  How do women leave and stay local, and not live in total fear of him coming to get them later?  I'm sorry this is so short, with so little backstory.  I've got at least 5 weeks to go before I can leave, and I'm already so exhausted.  

Gone Girl

 

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I'm sorry. Have you contacted your local domestic violence center? They may be able to give you answers specific to your location. If you don't know of one, the national domestic abuse hotline can tell you.

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Yes, a DV center - and also, have you had any consults with an attorney? Some will do an initial consult free or at reduced cost. This may help guide your decision.

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I have contacted them.  I have an appointment soon.  Their initial advice is that he is very dangerous and I should be planning to leave quickly.  She sounded like she was most familiar with abusers who contest the restraining order, and who contest the custody.  I will be asking her these questions as well, but I very much would like to hear from women who have been through this, and gotten out and made it. 

Do women usually stay in their local area when leaving abusive spouses?  Or do they run far away and just try to hide?  

Do the men usually follow through on the threats they make, to find you and punish you, or to kill themselves, or do they most often change tactics and claim innocence in the courts? 

I have 4 young children.  My preference would be to put as much distance between he and us as possible.  I know he is capable of doing what he has threatened, I just don't know if he will, or if will do something else that he decides will better suit his purposes.  

But then I worry that I will get far away and have to bring the children back for custody hearings, or god forbid, visitation.  

I guessim just hoping to hear stories from women who have gotten out.  Who've had to run and hide.  How did you do it, logistically, how did it go? Did he try to find you and kill you?  Did the courts support you in keeping your children away from him?  Things like that.  

Thank you. 

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Quaddie, yes, I got a legal membership service so I could get consults.  They are the ones who clarified that the courts will require me to appear if he contests either a restraining order or a custody suit.  They aren't giving advice, but they were clear with me about having to appear.  I do intend to call back and ask how they serve me if I've fled the state with no forwarding address.  My guess is, I would lose by default.  They did also say that if I could establish residency of the new state for six months or so, I could file my custody suit there.  That has pros and cons as well.  

Has anyone done that? 

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We've had members who have disappeared from their exes, but I don't think they post anymore.

The strongest advice is to document, document, document. Document every single incident, write down the facts, dates, times, places. Not 'soft' descriptions such as "he was angry because I didn't give him a towel" but rather "He raged and threatened that he would kill me, and then he punched a wall." 

Document his threats - his exact words, on what date. Write it all down, clearly and concisely, like a list. This will help you get ROs and may help you in custody.

A real divorce attorney's advice will be necessary because some places wouldn't look kindly on you if you left the jurisdiction with the children without his consent. A legal membership service - in my opinion - can't really advise you the way your own divorce attorney could. This is too complicated and tricky and important to try to navigate without expert advice and support. I'd highly recommend that you try to find an attorney you're comfortable with and who is experienced with representing wives of abusive males. This will also be invaluable for the custody questions.

Also, the broken objects and walls, etc. are also considered physical violence. 

You may not get a choice in when you leave - you should definitely have a safety plan. You don't need to choose right now whether you stay local long-term or go far away, but you do need to have a plan for the immediate future of where to go when you leave.

 

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There is a legal way to report such violence. Have you contacted them? or any police station nearby your place.

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Each area has it's own laws. Each abuser has his individual tendencies. It's hard to give general advice. I know mine tried to kill me but that was before I filed.

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My cousin was with a guy who was considered very dangerous.  When she left she stayed local but she got a RO immeadiately.  She changed her route to work and alerted her work about what was going on.  She disappeared for all practical ways just didn't actually disappear.  

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I don't intend to involve police until it's time for them to find the restraining order, and I'm on my way somewhere safe.  TY for the advice to start documenting.  I started making a list last night, I'll keep adding to that as I remember specific episodes.  Funny how easily the specifics slip out of our memory, isn't it?  I did take some photos of damage yesterday.  I will work with the DV on a plan for immediate needs, and then I will make an appointment with a local attorney to get advice on long term plans.  That sounds like very good advice. 

He's in the honeymoon phase, and I'm doing everything I can think of to keep him there right now, but it really can mess with my head, that he is being so calm and normal and great, and I'm making plans to leave and take the kids.  But I guess that's classic victim thinking, right? 

Thank you for responding.  I feel very alone at the moment and very surreal. 

 

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I remember being told that I needed a history of documented abuse - meaning many regular calls to police where he was taken into custody - to be able to even give it as a reason for divorce and even then he would be likely to get half custody of the kids. I think that is very dependent on your location.

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Dates, times, where, everything.

The police like that.

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Keep safe  

Get together ALL documents (or copy if you can safely ) for insurances , mortgages etc etc 

And any other irreplaceable little treasures .

Sending strength 

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What tendrils said.  

Creat a "bug out bag."  Put in it any irreplaceable items, important documents and extra important medications, plus small comfort items for the kids.  Maybe include a change of clothes.  People say definitely include some underwear for everyone. Put it somewhere out of the house where you could get it if you need to leave in an emergency.  

Talk to your DV centre or shelter about safety planning and whether there is somewhere safe you and the kids could go if he gets violent.  Ask them for referrals to a lawyer who understands domestic violence and family law.  They are likely to have a list of lawyers and may even know someone who will give discounted or pro bono advice. They are good at helping families in danger.  

Unfortunately, statistics show that the most dangerous time for victims of abuse is when they leave.  That is, unfortunately, when abusive men are most likely to seriously harm or kill their victims.  Everything I have read says to trust your gut.  If you think he could be dangerous, you, more than us mere internet strangers, are the expert on your situation.  If you feel unsafe, you shouldn't ignore your expertise and intuition.

I hope you and your kids will be safe and happy.  Good luck.

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I met with the Dv center today for safety planning.  I have the bug out bag ready.  Had to get a replacemnet ss card for one child, and got that done at the ss office.  I have a pretty detailed plan, she, the Dv counselor, said it was good.  I have an appointment with a lawyer in a few weeks.  I will hopefully have enough funds to give him a retainer, so if the husband files for custody here after I leave, I will have an attorney ready.  I've decided against ro.  They will almost certainly grant visitation and restrict me from leaving state.  I will just go and hope that I can get six months in the new place, then file for custody from there.  We shall see.  I'm debating how much to reveal to family and to friends in my goodbye letter.  Won't have those mailed out until I'm safely arrived in new state.  I'm not sure if it provides more protection for us by exposing what's been happening, or if it makes him more lethal because it ruins his reputation and he will have nothing left to lose.  Any thoughts on that? I have photos of the physical damage around the house, and making lists of violent episodes, with dates and details.  Got my new checking account, private mailbox with forwarding service.  I'm trying to make sure all my bases are covered.  Copies of medical and dental records to hand carry to new providers.  Good book to read:  whose face is in the mirror, by Dianne Schwartz.  Really, really good.  Gotta love kindle.  It's stealthy, lol.  

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I don't really have advice as to which is safer, to tell or not tell,  but abuse thrives in silence. Your truth is the truth and should be known, and may help your safety if people understand that he is violent.

But again, I can't advise which is actually safer, I can only have an opinion. 

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1 hour ago, gone said:

I met with the Dv center today for safety planning.  I have the bug out bag ready.  Had to get a replacemnet ss card for one child, and got that done at the ss office.  I have a pretty detailed plan, she, the Dv counselor, said it was good.  I have an appointment with a lawyer in a few weeks.  I will hopefully have enough funds to give him a retainer, so if the husband files for custody here after I leave, I will have an attorney ready.  I've decided against ro.  They will almost certainly grant visitation and restrict me from leaving state.  I will just go and hope that I can get six months in the new place, then file for custody from there.  We shall see.  I'm debating how much to reveal to family and to friends in my goodbye letter.  Won't have those mailed out until I'm safely arrived in new state.  I'm not sure if it provides more protection for us by exposing what's been happening, or if it makes him more lethal because it ruins his reputation and he will have nothing left to lose.  Any thoughts on that? I have photos of the physical damage around the house, and making lists of violent episodes, with dates and details.  Got my new checking account, private mailbox with forwarding service.  I'm trying to make sure all my bases are covered.  Copies of medical and dental records to hand carry to new providers.  Good book to read:  whose face is in the mirror, by Dianne Schwartz.  Really, really good.  Gotta love kindle.  It's stealthy, lol.  

I am so glad that you have plans and supports in place.  You sound really savvy and together, even though you must be going through a terrible time.

Definitely tell your own family and friends for support. That has been really helpful for me.  As to joint friends or his family, I don't know what to say.  I haven't told X's family any details, in part because I don't think they would believe me (from comments made, they may have been fed lies etc by X). X is nowhere near as dangerous as your husband (the most I see from him is stupid lies to my family, stupid nasty comments/texts and trying to mess around with child support).  

Some people sent letters via a third party in another state or place, so postmarks didn't give away location.  Others sent them from places a few hours from where they actually live.  If you think your husband could try to find you, maybe this sort of security measure might help.

All the hugs and support from far away.

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I wish you the best and good luck. Hugs

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