Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Abuse Continues Long After Women Leave

by Susan

I saw a T-shirt that other day that said, "Domestic violence only ends when you leave."

If only that were true.

It's easy to think that the woman is free to leave at any time, and therefore she is choosing to be abused by staying. The reality is quite different. Ending an abusive relationship is only the first round of a boxing match with a blind referee against a heavyweight whose appetite for inflicting pain is never satisfied.

The woman risks everything, even her life and the custody of her children, when she leaves. She'll never stop looking over her shoulder. She alone knows what he is capable of because she's seen the ruthless violence that he saves for when they are behind closed doors. In public, he is very charming and no one will believe he is capable of doing what she says he's done. She'll look crazy.

The abuser will make the woman pay a steep price for her freedom. When she leaves, he will escalate the violence and abuse. He will call her night and day. He will tell lies to her family and friends. He will destroy her possessions. He will talk to her about all the ways he can take revenge, how no one will believe her, and how he always wins.

What she does after she leaves will not be based solely on protecting her rights or doing what is right for her. Rather, every single decision she makes will be agonizingly weighed against what the retribution will be from him. If I file for divorce, will he kill me? If I file for custody because he's abusing the children, will he try to get sole custody or falsely accuse me of child abuse? If I file for a protection from abuse order, will it only enrage him more?

He'll use the courts to continue his abuse. Instead of fearing being beaten when she gets home, she'll be afraid of being hit with more court motions. Our judicial system will allow him to make the divorce or custody process a living nightmare. He will delay the process, or bring frivolous motions. He won't answer her lawyer's letters, and he'll send dozens of his own. He will force her to use up what little money she may have fighting him in court over the simplest matters while the referee stands idly by doing nothing.

Or, worst of all, he will take her children away despite overwhelming evidence of his abuse toward them.

Is it any wonder she is having a difficult time leaving?

Now imagine a society that holds him accountable for his abuse. The referee doesn't just cry foul, but prevents the boxing match from even taking place. The abuser is arrested and prosecuted every time he violates a protection from abuse order or doesn't uphold his end of a custody agreement. Custody evaluators and judges believe disclosures of abuse from children, and she isn't afraid of losing custody for protecting her children. She doesn't lose everything she owns to break free; marital assets are split fairly. He is ordered to an abuser program for at least one year, and preferably longer.

It's time to stop blaming women for staying, because we as a society are the ones who let the domestic violence continue long after she's walked out the door. Instead, we need to start truly protecting women and their children after the relationship is over.


  1. One of the interesting flyers created around the SlutWalks movement was one reversing the traditional ways in which women are told to protect themselves: e.g. Use the Buddy system - if you're afraid you might accidentally assault someone, ask a buddy to stay with you and stop you. Carry a whistle with you at all times, and blow it if you're overcome with the urge to assault someone.

    It was amusing, but not. It really highlighting the way in which our society blames the victim for being weak enough to "incite" attack. Or after enduring years of verbal and often physical abuse, blaming the victim not being strong-enough and clear-headed enough to combat additional further legal or other attacks "the right way."

    OCPD - Scattered Thoughts from the Front Lines

  2. Lundy, this post brought to mind a recent phone conversation I had with an older brother from whom I've been estranged for many years. It was one of those unavoidable conversations about a gravely ill parent ... and my brother attacked me from the outset, while claiming he was 'trying to help' me.

    "... every single decision she makes will be agonizingly weighed against what the retribution will be from him." -- I had to think fast, fast, faster through each sentence, each thought, each word that I spoke -- Even so, he badgered, scoffed, and threatened me without pause -- unless I spoke a direct and irrefutable truth. Then he went silent ... only to fire back again. I find it impossible to share conversation with him beyond 'Hello' -- It seems to be his way to attack someone or something with almost everything he says.

    I purchased your book to help me make sense of my then-husband's behaviour ... and now I find sanity and sense in it again regarding my brother.

    Your post's headline breaks my heart with its relevance not only to marital / spousal abuse, but to the people in our original families who bullied and terrorized those younger or (perceived to be) less powerful than themselves ... and continue to do it now, long past our childhoods.

    Thank you, a second time over, for your wise book. You have helped me to recognize what is real.

  3. Legal abuse and control is allowed to go on year after year after year. In my case, my ex was not physically violent except for some more mild instances that were chalked up to situational anger from the divorce process. He then kept me in court for six years and was successful in finding me in contempt, getting legal fees against me that are near $20,000, and the custody evaluator who is supposed to be the best for abusive situations told me, "He's just 'a guy'." I'm still reeling from what I went through. He continues to attempt to control me, and our children suffer through visitation (not battering, but emotional stuff and neglect). I'm blessed I retained custody, but the process has nearly destroyed me. I was routinely humiliated, controlled, experienced financial devastation and loss of stature, peace, and the right to pursue my own life.

    It isn't right. It shouldn't be this way because "this way" is going to keep people in abusive relationships for fear of how abusers use the legal system later on. We have to do something. I think often, I have to do something. I'm so worn out from what I went through, I don't know that I have it in me to fight back and the whole system seems so large and crazy that I don't know where to start.

    Thank you for this post that explains what so many go through. I hope my story will add a piece to it, that not only are there threats to family, etc., but legal battles and abuse that sometimes stretch out until the children are grown.

    1. Your story is similar to mine; I continue to be victimized by the judicial system my abuser uses to punish me. I too, am worn out. He tells the kids I will get tired of trying. I try to find support and have tried to find a supportive church to no avail. I don't know what to do anymore. One thing that did help was going to national resources on the internet and studying the funding that DHS is giving to local counties to promote fatherhood programs; that is why many judges overlook the victims because they get a kickback of money to help the fathers, especially when they continually take us to court. But knowing this, I don't know how to make it stop or defend myself.

  4. My ex tried to put me through hell and high water. Thank God the judge stopped him from taking me to court for the ninth time long after the seperation and divorce. Shame on him because he is now remarried and still a miserable abuser. After we leave abusers we need to rally a good support system around us (family, friends, spiritual leaders, co workers etc...)to weather the storms our ex's bring.

  5. It is a miserable person who rallies their own children to isolate the other parent because they finally had the courage to leave and stand up for themselves. Looking over your shoulder and defending yourself as a person and mother is a miserable way to live your life. Finding someone who loves you enough to stand by you through all of this is rare and finding the strength to love again is risky, frightening but rewarding. Why a person can cause such misery in your life for years, talk demeaningly at you all the time even in front of the children, flirt with young women in your face even at church and have affairs can put you through such hell when you finally get the courage to leave is unbelievable to me in so many ways. I chalk it up to being chemically unbalanced and therefore unable to even recognize what they are doing to a woman they once loved and bared their children with and more so what they are currently doing to their own kids. I pray for the women who never have the courage to leave for it is truely a lifetime battle and I pray that people causing all this pain will see the need to seek help for most of them see themselves as doing no wrong.

  6. Reading your book was so empowering! There's a label for all these behaviors and I am not crazy! Although I did step up and and finally divorced, the abuse continues through the court system and I am finally understanding all this. I also have a friend who I'm trying to help who is trying to get custody back of her children and currently trying to defend a restraining order vacate while her 6 yr-old daughter is being treated for herpes and no one seems to be helping her at all! I AM SO MAD!!! The mother has already had everything stolen from her including the children and now pleading to get the judge to believe her and not the charming ex who has everyone on his side. He is something else I've never seen anything like this. I wish you were here Lundy to help us in CA!! Thank you for your work and fight for justice!

  7. I recently separated from my husband. He was arrested for domestic violence. He went to jail and there is a no-contact order, which he has violated repeatedly. There are witnesses that have seen him break the order. The police has been notfied and still he is unaffected by all of it.

    He contacted me last night offering to help and blaming me for the relationship being "toxic". This is while he is going to therapy.

    The trial is a month away and meanwhile, he is free and happy to continue to do as he pleases. It feels like Im being ignored and, in a way, victimized again, by those people who are there to "serve and protect" me. The legal system is definitely not geared towards helping women.

    Your book gave me answers no one else seemed able to provide. I know now why he did the things he did and somehow this gave me the strength to finally stand up for my self and leave the relationship.

    I also understand now how "therapy" does not address the real issues and why the legal system is failing me this way. However, I have to say that this is a painful realization. It's an uphill battle that people like me have to face. The obstacles are many and very hard to overcome.

    Thank you for writing this book, I needed real answers and your book provided me with those.

  8. It took me 7 years to make he decision to leave and I lost everything. He got the house, the furniture, the vehicles, all the money (which was substantial), primary custody of our daughter and I walked out with less than I went in with after 15 years. My family was furious with me and disowned me for not fighting for what I was entitled to (even though I was facing daily threats of having my throat slit, or waking up in a ditch with my face or wrists slashed which resulted in my sleeping in parking lots in the car every night), my friends stopped returning my calls and my lawyer (the best I could afford on the little money I could borrow) turned out to be a "yes man" for my x-husband's lawyer, agreeing to very demand they made and even trying to convince me I was getting a good deal and I was to scared to try to stop it.

    I moved out almost 5 years ago, but, the abuse has continued and even gotten worse - all except the sexual, as I am no longer "required" to perform my "wifely duties". Every encounter, I am belittled, ridiculed, criticized, shoved, pinched, yelled at and worse, he takes me to court at least twice a year trying to get full custody, which depletes what little money I may have and forcing me to borrow more. I am now bankrupt, completely broke, unemployed, and soon to be homeless. My daughter is now almost 12 now and constantly tells me she doesn't want to go back over there when it's time for him to pick her up. She tells me what he says and does over there - everything short of punching and kicking her.

    Truthfully, I regret leaving. Our lives are a living hell, we have nowhere to turn (I've gone to the police, social services and every agency I could find, but I'm constantly told there's nothing they can do until he physically beats her up), just when I think I've hit rock-bottom, the bottom falls out yet again, and now I can no longer be there to take the brunt of his abuse to protect her. I've gone through the safety pan with her several times and I make sure she always has a bus pass and some money to escape if she needs to, but he finds it and takes it away from her, then takes the phone offline, so she can't call out. He keeps her isolated and confined. If I knew then what I know now, I would have stayed and just kept praying that he would have a fatal accident at work.

  9. Lundy I totally agree with what you've said. My abuse only ended when all contact ceased between me and my ex-husband, but that only happened because he did more stuff that caused me to withhold our child from visiting him every fortnight.
    I remained in violation of the Family Court Visitation Order until our daughter turned 18, but thankfully my ex never took me back to court (which points, I believe, to the face that he knew he would never be able to prove his innocence to the Family Court.)
    It was a dreadful thing that caused me to withhold visitation, but it was a God-send in the end, because once contact with him ceased, our lives (mine and my daughter's) gradually became normal. We had never had a normal live before then, we were always living in crisis mode because of his abuse tactics.
    BTW, anyone who is looking for resources for domestic abuse in a Christian context might like to go to my site (click on my name) as I have heaps of material on my blog and my main website.
    Barb Roberts (author of Not Under Bondage: Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion)

  10. 1/29/12 Been through extremely abusive marriage and divorce.Finalized in 1997, but kept filing 101 motions hoping to get full custody and deem me an unfit Mom ending in 2008.(he did not win) Have had a breather and there has been a lull,but is now re-engaging the abuse indirectly, although my kids are in their 20's. I'm happily remarried, but becoming increasingly alarmed at the growing attempts by the ex at the re-engagement in setting up situations and vulnerability to more abuse. The process is accelerating and I need an opinion of what is going on and what should I do. The restraining orders are ignored. I'm becoming scared at what his end game is, and having been so abused for so long I'm trying not to over react. Should I stay and try to stand my ground or get out and move to where family is. This may be a no brainer for most, but I very tired, exhausted and beattened down. Could some one give me some help? S

  11. Police and clergy have been no help at all. Hundreds of incidents of physical abuse, thousands of verbal. (His other 4 short marriages were also violent). Once, he choked me, scratched my face, shoved me and shook me hard. Later I discovered that when he bent my thumb back, he broke it. When I finally locked myself in the bedroom, I called the police and when thy arrived and saw my cuts, bruises, scratches and blood, he told them I did it to myself. They said he was acting crazy but it was my word against his and they left. The advice to call the police...why bother?

  12. Wow. SO WELL SAID. I wish I had known when I left all that I know now.

  13. Where I live (Ballarat, Victoria, Australia) they have a family violence court every Tuesday. It is one of two pilot project family violence courts in the State. It is fabulous. There is a support worker for the victims. She gives you info and advice and comes into the court room with you and puts you in touch with other support services if you want them. The police, by law, are obliged to take out an intervention order (protection order) on behalf of the victim, if she makes tells them she has suffered family violence. The perpetrators are assessed and if suitable are funnelled a behaviour change program, which can be mandated by order of the court and that order is not connected to the protection order so even if the victim wants the protection order dropped (because he's pressuring her into reconciliation) the order for him to attend the behaviour change program will not be dropped. Not that such programs lead to many perpetrators changing. But at least the victim feels supported by the police and the court. I wish all of you had justice systems like this.

  14. yes! I wish there were more warnings out there about how our court system is a joke...that the courts exist only to take your money...the sit idly (as they make money per hour!) as an abusive person can re victimize his wife right there in court...and then the victimized woman is re victimized by the judge who is friends with the man's lawyer, etc. I didn't let my ex drag me through the court system as I had no money, no family in the state, and little emotional wherewithall to fight (if you cry in court they use that as 'evidence' that you are crazy, etc.) My ex took everything and custody of the kids as well...even tho I was an at home, homeschooling mom...the courts still gave him full custody and would not let me move out of state with the kids so I could live with someone til I got on my feet.

    Lundy, there are a lot of non custodial moms like me who are benefitting from your wisdom...I recommend your book Why Does He Do That? all the time. Controlling men STILL try to control and abuse even after they have gotten EVERYTHING...it is like they want to snuff the life out of the ex wife.

    Please write more books!!! Do you give seminars??

    God bless you! You may never know in this life just how many people you have helped!!!

  15. I was financially controlled during the first half of my marriage. No money, no checks and no access to the bank. He made sure it was in a part of town I was fearfull to go into with my kids. I had no sitters (no one was good enough, if I used a sitter I was an unfit mom). He worked and traveled (military and local police dept) constantly, and so was never around to help raise our four daughters. It was HIS money, and HE made all the decisions for me. I made do. I told myself this was "marriage".
    Meaning I married the house, the kids and he was free to come and go, at will. I remember he went to a swim party, while my mom was there helping me, as I was ordered to bed rest at 4-5 mths pregnant. He used both me and my mom as his "lackeys" to avoid any responsibility. We were at the most "after thoughts" that had to be controlled and pacified. He welcomed his family, (though I told them not a good time and they came anyway) and so now my mom had to wait on them. He offered to baby sit his nephew....while ignoring our year old daughter, much disturbed by my inability to properly parent her while on dr. ordered bed rest.
    It got worse from then on. Once "trapped" by two children the full order of "how" he emotionally and financially abused became apparent. I was treated more like an employee than a wife. Our chlldren were, in his words "my responsibility". This went on for years, I wasn't given any of HIS money to deal with the need of our children. No budgeting at all. I made do. Finally I just started writing the checks I insisted I be given, to care for us all, he was a workalcoholic, stingy with his money.
    Because he worked two varied hour jobs with little predictibility and had a former wife who would profit, all things considered, including income tax, it was "decided" by us both it would be profitable for me to not work. This was a horrible mistake on my part to "trust" his support with this joint decision.
    I wanted to stay home with my kids, but not as a prisioner, with NO support and no money. In the middle years I tried to return to school, as I could see the writing on the wall of years of this type abuse and neglect. I had NO family here, no money to pay a sitter, and NO support from the "all about me" husband I had. I had to drop out. He then shamed me for being wasteful with HIS money, because I hadn't completed my schooling. Really? with NO support at all. Nearly impossible to do it all, study, attend school, the house, the little kids, with NO support. The little ones were always complaining about how "mean" Daddy was, and when home I could see he ignored them and the house while I was gone for a few hours. I gave up. He actually left them home alone to go to the store to buy diapers (my fault he ran out, supposedly). They were 2 or 3, not older than four, and he just left them alone and went to the store, Really? Of course I stopped school under that "dangerous" threat of behavior.

  16. This would start a pattern where my children would suffer, if I did ANYTHING that displeased him. I and the kids were "punished". Not by direct physical abuse but financially, and emotionally or by neglect or abandonment. As a police officer, he knew not to leave any marks, so the abuse was being in a constant "no win" and totally at his "mercy" to make do. I did, then I was called trash, for taking anything "free", cheap or making something into something "usable". No he looked down his nose, but if I asked for sufficient money to meet his standards of acceptible, he denied it. I was constantly chastized for even calling my mom, as "we couldn't afford it" . She was NOT made welcome at our house.
    One thing he did was to "favor" his children by his first marriage. If I asked him to take our children to the park with me, he left ours home with me and took his first two. This too was emotionally abusive. Once at my insistance we do something as a "family" he took just our kids (told me I couldn't go) to Mcdonalds and stayed for hours, and hours. My neighbor came to my house and said she saw him with another woman, talking to her for hours and totally ignoring my children. How embarrassing. He never offered any info as to who this woman was, needless to say I learned my lesson insiting on "family time". You see both I and my children were punished, for the asking. He frequently used such tactics, to make sure I never asked for anything, for us.
    I also found out my wedding day (which I was suprised by being told MY check was buying the rings AFTER we got to the jewelers and I was on the spot. I was 23 and he was 32, so naturally having had NO discussion about me paying for them, I was expecting HIM to since he asked me to go "get the rings" . ) was the EXACT day of his divorce two from first wife. Exactly a year to the date.
    He had lied and told me he was divorced five years from her when we met and that SHE had cheated. Nope, cause he had dated others before me. He was the cheat, but thankfully was officially divorced barely a year, when he and I met.
    Lying obsessively was another one of his charms. I never understood the "attitude" from his ex. It was 36 years before I discovered the actually LIE to me and her and how my wedding date was the same day he was officially divorced. His lies made me complicit to something I never even knew. How insulting to us both, his ex and me. This cruelty was the "norm" in his conduct, for many many years.
    It gets worse, and fast forward 36 years later when my children were almost grown, that I realized I couldn't take this "mind bend gaslighting abuse any longer" and they were, I thought, out of the crossfire. NOt.

  17. Finally, since I wasn't allowed to work, I made handmade dolls and sold them for 45.00 a pair. Business was booming. I had to make deliveries with my baby in arms, as again he refused to baby sit, by then I didn't even ask. He then took over my "cottage business" by trying to change my prices, and taking orders for dolls I didn't make. Again making himself "the boss" over me. Now I was sweat shopping trying to redesign them for African American tastes, which required I get new fabric and hair material, and of course, now I was spending more than I was making. This sabotouge plagued every endeavor through out the marriage. His micromanaging and sabotouged "no win:.
    To manage my "responsibilities" according to him, with his withholding of funding adequate to having four girl children, and after learning home maintence and ALL repairs to SAVE money, in frustration I got some credit cards. Naturally HE encouraged me to use them, and frequently volunteered to pick up the tab for family dinners with grown childrens spouses, on, of course my SAHM credit cards. He got the cats fixed on the cc I got for my and daughters teeth, and maxed them out. So NO dental work for us. This was "usual" backass, upside down "reasoning" he used to abuse US.
    In the eventual divorce 36 years later while the majority of kids were out of the crossfire of retailation, I was royally abused in the same manner of the marriage. He lied (had a signed note saying it was voluntairly given up, on his cell phone) to get us ordered to mediation ( I wasn't the one unwilling to compromise or negoiate, he was, by insisting he have HIS will on the settlement) and from there I was really messed over as he had planned.
    Family court is a major joke on the "woman down" financially and info wise, as to the finances available in the marriage. His work, gave him all sorts of "hide the assets" opportunities.

  18. He lied in court to get mediation ordered, prior to OUR total discovery. His lawyer intended to support his abuses, by asking for 36 years worth of receipts of ALL purchases in the lengthy marriage, asked for detailed info and listing of my "adult toys" (I had gotten due to his contrived impotence to "help" the situation) and a complete accounting of my whereabouts, social media, and to confiscate my computer (something HE was very jealous of though there was no untoward behavior on my part) in short, he tried to lessen my respectibility, faithfullness, and decency as a person. Me, a stay at home and him traveling the entire world with no "spys" to report on HIS doings EVER. He was now accussing me of being "unfaithful", why? Because I could suffer no more of his "double standard" and sabotouging abuses. The court, bought this script, entirely. I was now a golddigger, cheat and unfit mother. Tried with NO evidence, by these scare tactics. The courts ignored his contempt, while he still helped himself to monies supposedly "frozen" and through the courts I was ordered to pay him for his apartment, out of a settlement the courts gave me in temp orders, while the actual divorce progressed, and behind the scenes he constantly bullied me to pay ALL of his costs at his apartment, the court did nothing and my attorney wouldn't even discuss filing contempt charges on him due to ANY of these abuses of me and justice. He got a very aggressive attorney, who bullied and harrassed just like him, and the settlement wasn't entirely in my favor at all, and worse I know he is going to claim disability, and be protected from the creditors, so that my "settlement" awards are mostly the liabilities (with his continued control over HOW and when I deal with them) and the bulk of assets NOT even discussed in mediation (by his design) go with him. The years of suffering alone, while he traveled the world, I will not see ONE penny of. Fair? I think not. He finally coerced me and the courts into giving him the SAME abusive stature he had adopted throughout the marriage. He controlled the money, and I had all the liabilities and hardly the means to pay. He abused, my time, my money and my integrity, and used the courts to do it all. I the stay at home owe him 27,000.00 equity (which I increased buying below market and through a refinance he was opposed to entirely, but we would have sunk financially without) and 20,000.00 in bills (he refused to take money out of the pension to pay off while he too ran up charges to save his "retirement" funds), the house that HE has a lein on and tried to limit my guests to biological children only (again alluding to a non existant affair on my part), thus eliminating my own son in laws from being able to spend the night in a seperate house on the property.

  19. All the life insurance proceeds, money undeclared in mediation, but given to him in his attorneys decree (while I was supposed to take the lead as the one who filed first, his attorney is drafting and inserting HER terms, including many give to him things not even discussed in mediation, AT ALL.
    I am out about 15, 000.00 in lawyer fees, as his and her tactics have deliberately run up the bills, with gamemanship of the most ridiculous degree. In the meantime two years plus my daughter has reached 18, so not a dime of support will be ordered, and I am told she is "inconsequential" to the divorce. She has informed me she will be moving away after graduation, so it appears I saved the house for little reason. Did he convine her to do this, as he wanted me in debt, and alone? Maybe. It is all a huge injustice to mothers, decent women, and further abuse by all the players in the system.
    All counsel in this one horse town,, ALLOW this one aggressive attorney to run up costs as THEY profit too, which is why you cannot get any "fairness' in family court. It is a racket, and mothers and children are suffering with the new "abusers rights male groups that INSTRUCT men how to further abuse these women and children USING the courts to do so.

  20. My divorce is now final, and he STILL comes and stays at MY awarded house when I am out of town on archeological digs (hobby/sanity saver). I have attempted to apply for some form of work, but 36 years without a work history and at age 60, not a lot of offers. I do get or will a monthly amount barely allowing me to stay above water, due to the costs of maintaining this home and utility bills. I am learning how to do more on less AGAIN. He holds a lein on the ENTIRE property and house, and I am being instructed how to "give" him this equity money, even though I havent broken the terms of the Owelty that no one explained to me would give him what he assumes is control over me and my "business" at this house.

  21. . I have begged to file contempt for this "harrassment" and obvious violation of my santuary I and only I will pay for and maintain, and I am "humored" and told to come up with more money before anyone will do anything. I am maxed out on all the cards I Had to get to defend myself, and now owe HIM money. So he basicall undid any monies I was awarded and continues to abuse at will.
    Due to the nature of his pensions, and military service HE is still controlling and calling the shots. While I try and live and get out of debt usiing the "token" settlement amounts, he continues to run up costs and CLEARLY thumbs his nose and waits till I go out of town (costs minimal or paid by the hiring entity or shared among three like minded hobbyist), I have sold property awarded me to in part fund these sanity saving adventures. I am still expected to pay ALL our bills though now divorced and the temp orders giving me the jointly owned money to do so are suspended. No one sees the realities here, or cares. Hopefully someday my hobby will afford me a "job opportunity".

  22. I did receive a lump sum (small compared to the once realities of our financial success) and he continues to make himself at home, my home, when I am gone. I realize this is HIS way of still trying to make me give up any freedom of movement or association, and the courts basically laugh at me or say that if I am out of town I have left myself open because his "concern" about the ""child." who is now eighteen, that was deemed "inconsequential" in the divorce that is now a LEGAL adult, and clearly not left home alone but with many folks I know checking on her, money, a cell and a very trusted neighbor looking in on her. I never travel further than an few hours away and she has a car, and two adult sisters nearby.
    So he still "limits" my freedom or tries to and the courts CLEARLY favor "his assessments and feigned parental concern". I have primary custody. He has NO legal or parential reason to be HERE, He has only a one bedroom apartment,, was never required to have ANY accomadations for her when she was a minor and has NEVER done any parenting at HIS house. He says she doesn't want to go there, so he TELLS me by neighbor reports of his presence HE is going to be here, without my knowledge or consent or even a phone call asking if that is ok. He puts the child in the middle, and has her side with him. He has told me SHE invited him, and again she isn't the party he divorced so that is ok, according to everyone. He NEVER even took the parenting course required by the court, and divorce finalized anyway. NO penalty to him at all. I took the course early on. He needed it more. How does this happen? Had I been the one to ignore this court ordered course, I would have lost my child, if I were to go to his home without his consent, I would be arrested and charged with contempt or worse. They smile and patronize me when I complain, and when I was once willing to spend the amount to file contempt and no one did throughout the entire process on easily proven "nose thumbing" at the orders temp and permanant, now I am not or won't for fear of judicial backfire on ME. Justice? Fair? I think NOT. No one even cared that he had hit me, hid money, lies or didn't even meet the minimal parentiall expectations or LAW regarding a minor child, early in the pre divorce phase. NOTHING I repeat NOTHING was done to him at all. I literally begged my attorney to enter in my "proof" or signed documents, withnesses, and other stuff I made sure to document and back up. My attorney REFUSED to even send his a letter or warning. NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING done, so now he is very bold. I fear for my sainity and safety, and they smile and patronize me. Of course this just gives him more and more "pluck" to do whatever to me. Divorced and he constantly still "controls" many aspects of my life. He makes himself at home, eats my food, waters the yard, rakes and acts like NOTHING at all has changed, except I don't even know he is there until I get home, or the neighbors tell me. Nothing is done.

    1. I am so sorry and I totally believe you. In my case the police don't do a damn thing, nor does the judge, nor legal aid, nor my family. I feel utterly alone. I feel like I am screaming and everyone can hear me but nobody gives a damn

  23. In the final outcome I have learned many important things regarding male abuses and privledge, how problematic the family court system is to serving anyone but the most skilled liar and financially ahead party. I have also learned AGAIN, (after years of premarriage police work myself) that having "court ordered" anything is a joke and not worth the paper it is written on. I have also learned MOST, if not all advice on the internet is complete bs. Especially, as it refers to abused women and children.
    1. If you are not a bloody mess and don't go the police immediately NO one cares, doing the above might even get YOU arrested if you ARE a bloody mess or can show evidence of physical abuse. The abuser will still have 50 50 split of assest (in spite of what your read ANYWHERE), and a good chance of NOT being supported by the system designed to protect you, the victim, of convincing everyone the facts are NOT the facts. At any rate, no on will reemburse you for your injuries or the cost to try and remove the perp. REALITY. Wrongdoers are rewarded by family court. PERIOD.
    2. Perjury, lying, abuse, comtempt and costs and compliance of court orders is ONLY applied to the woman. Men, get off the hook entirely. Paying for defense is a waste of assets. Better use the money to leave everything and start over as an indigent. You will lose it in court. Men are believed more, when abusers convincingly "play victim" .
    3. NO proof will be required by your spouse to support ANYTHING they want to do or claim YOU did to convolute they system. Waste of time, you will be rubber stamped in all but the most extremly obvious and documented abuses. And they most likely will win only by appeal to the first costly round in family court. .

  24. 3. NO proof will be required by your spouse to support ANYTHING they want to do or claim YOU did to convolute they system. Waste of time, you will be rubber stamped in all but the most extremly obvious and documented abuses. And they most likely will win only by appeal to the first costly round in family court. .
    4. Hiriing an aggressive attorney, waste assets. YOU cannot beat the system, playing fair? You cannot beat the system. Waiting till the kids are grown? You cannot beat the system.
    5. Evidence, documentation, eye witnesses and signed notes from ex. Irrelevant
    6. The dockets of family court, also include CRIMINALS cases and you will be in the courtroom with not only your ex and his attorney but violent offenders. The judge will barely do anything but the "standard" go to settlement, take your course (only if you are a woman) and baisically have a whatever, why are you wasting HIS time attitude. You are "puppy milled" short changed and yet TOLD to spend all you livable hours providing much evidence, budgets, and other time consuming stuff while trying to keep it together on the home front, perhaps move, raise your children and really? NO ONE even uses this stuff or even cares. Your resolve and endurance will be tested, as your patience when you find you and every other case are treated EXACTLY the same, same "formula" of costs and destruction.
    7. Forget "best interest of the child". Everything is done in the best interest of the court, the money making system profiting from your misery or failed marriage or abusive 'ex" . Period.
    8. If you have any money in your marriage your divorce will take years, none over in a heartbeat. Bye bye money, almost all of it Words like fair, justice and equity and such will be thrown around. no one cares about REAL survival.
    9. ALL attorneys will tell you whatever it takes to get you to sign on with them, and then will conviently "forget" doing anything they assurred you they would do to protect you, or make the abuser sorry
    10. Alimony is gone. You will get the house, maybe, in part anyway with a lien they don't mention or explain the implications of till after the settlement.
    11. If you "research on the internet" expect your attorney to tell you to listen to HIM/HER instead, if you "trust" expect to be fleeced.
    12. You cannot get a second opinion from ANY attorney without the permission or the firing of the first. PERIOD no matter what anyone else tells you. The amazingly useless to have a "divorce team" when you have no money and no job or have been financially abused is laughable. The average person cannot afford a financial divorce specialist. They can barely afford one self serving attorney. Better to hire a body guard, and hope for the best. Period
    13. Expect bias towards you, and favoritism towards your ex. It all depends on who has the most money to waste and is the better liar. PERIOD
    14, Worst of all, more than likely your OWN children will be angry at YOU, for messing up their world. Real abusers can fool everyone, and they know it.

  25. busers clearly think they are above the law. So what makes them think Divorce law are not also rules to be broken? Divorce is a joke to abused women. Sharing anything with a man who hit you or your childrrn, forced a woman to apply for credit she didnt want in her name while he his assets and retains full control of HIS. Declared by him assets as his war chest would be criminal in any court but a divorce court. The courtd have been set back by hundreds of years. He who earns the gold rules. He who takes the gold rules and he who abuses the truth and justice of the court continues to abuse the woman. Power is feeding this monster and yet the courts give him this power regularly as a matter of course. All the complaining of men is the few that had to truly share anything at all.

  26. I am so thankful to have found this post. I just yesterday testified in court after a long abusive relationship. I finally left. The abuse and stalking got worse AFTER I left as he was losing his control over me and he could not stand that. It felt SO good to be heard and to stand up for myself. If anyone else is going thru this kind of thing, please reach out to anyone who will listen and get strong. I went back several times but this time I finally got strong enough. I am much more at peace with my life and know it is now heading in the right direction. I will be 50 years old soon. This isn’t something that just happens to younger people. And to anyone who knows someone is struggling, please continue to offer help and just be supportive. If you haven’t lived it, it is hard to understand it.

  27. I told my attorney if ex is giving it, you can bet it is worthless. I have uncovered proof husbands attorney knew our pension eas in trouble and underfunded dangerously. Yep. That is the income I got. It is now frozen by court order and I am going bankrupt while they hash this out in court. He kept the military pension that is stable. I traded it for equity in house. Final papers were written up giving him both equity and the military pension.I got the city pension that is currently frozen and not backed. Cannot even access the money I was awarded. 62 and no job record, no no job. Ruined financially. He had half a million and I, coerced into 20,000. Family debt while he saved. Criminal. But I will pay. Children are nothing but pawns to these men. He comes and goes at will. Attorney refused me any legal protection. If I deny him access he threatens to withhold 1,000. A month ordered by the court that I need to live on. Legal aid, abused women groups do nothing. Now he is free from financial obligations and treats my house as his own still. If I deny him access he comes when I am gone, or withholds payment. Daughter left due to his using her for entry. He still comes, I am beaten down and must endure this or I am homeless and starve. He wants to move back in to save "us". I want to die first. No one cares how psychologically sick HE is as he just used the divorce to punish me. I am still responsible, how with frozen pension money and no other resources.