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    What would you do in this situation?

    A friend of mine called hysterical over the weekend saying her husband had beaten her. Of course, my immediate response was that she needed to leave, but she is in a tough spot.

    She makes most of the money, but they live paycheck-to-paycheck (with no EF). She is also relatively estranged from her family - her parents didn't like her husband when they got married a little over a year ago. She lives about five hours away from everyone right now too (they moved for her job shortly after getting married last year). There is no extra money for her to leave their apartment and move elsewhere. Both of their names are on the lease so she can't ask him to leave (nor does she want another fight, I'm guessing).

    With no other place to go, being far away from everyone, and being in rough spot financially, what are her options? I'd like to be able to go back to her with some things she could try/look into.

    #2
    I'd leave right away, like get in the car and drive to her family's house. Do not stop, do not come back. Divorce him ASAP.

    Domestic abuse is a crime and its completely and totally legitimate to divorce someone who is an abuser.

    james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
    202.468.6043

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      #3
      So sorry to hear about that situation. First thing that comes to mind is file a police report to get it documented. I'm sure others will disagree with this thought, but unfortunately I believe the only thing you can do is be there for support, since you really can't force anyone to do anything unless they truly want change. The quote "We accept the love we think we deserve." comes to mind.

      "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

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        #4
        Some of this varies a bit one way or the other depending on the exact circumstances and how badly he beat her (in orders of magnitude -- single slap/punch/etc. vs. bleeding/bruising vs. broken bones/significant physical injury), any history of abuse, and her level of fear/belief that it'll happen again. I don't say that to minimize anything whatsoever, but I also wouldn't necessarily go full-bore based on a single strike that is very out of the ordinary for him. But beyond that, I'd suggest some or all of the following:

        I'm probably biased somehow -- I'm pretty protective of my wife/family, and I've dealt with this a bit with some previous subordinates... But I would absolutely NEVER tell anyone to tolerate abuse, regardless of circumstances.
        - Protect herself first. Physically, mentally, emotionally, etc. That is always the absolute #1 priority.
        - Right behind that: File a police report. I don't care if it's her husband, I don't care if he's never done it before & never does it again, file a police report. Because if there's any chance at all that it could happen again, domestic abuse charges, divorces & other settlements on those grounds, and getting out of bad situations fast will require evidence of the abuse.
        - I would strongly suggest leaving the apartment, and figure out how to make it work financially. Even if she shows up on a co-worker's doorstep or at the nearest church, or family 500 miles away, I guarantee that someone will take her in and help her, at least for a few days/weeks while she gets her life together.
        --- If she's concerned it'll continue, or if this has already been happening for a while, she should talk to her landlord and ask to terminate the lease immediately, or at least removing her from it. Any landlord with a scrap of humanity will work with her, even if it means (worst case) forfeiting her deposit. Her safety would be worth it. If they refuse, find a legal aid attorney. Get a court order (again--police report!) directing the termination of the lease as a condition of a restraining order, or whatever else is necessary.
        - I'd tell her not to go back to living with him until they both have been through extensive counseling together, and separately if needed. This should probably continue for the foreseeable future, if they plan to stay together and get past it.
        - Regardless of anything else, she needs to build plans RIGHT NOW for how she can react to and escape the situation immediately if it ever happens again. If this happened by surprise, it can never be a surprise again. She must be prepared and ready to leave at anytime, under any circumstances, and simply escape a bad/dangerous situation.

        ETA: Not sure what I was thinking, this is a financial forum -- One more addition to the above:
        - Cut him off from her finances immediately. It helps that she's the primary breadwinner. Get her name off of any joint accounts, open a personal account, and start sending her direct-deposits to the new account.
        Last edited by kork13; 12-03-2019, 09:03 AM.
        "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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          #5
          File a police report and get out of that apartment. Divorce should be in the works.

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            #6
            Amastewa, if your friend is thinking she cannot ask someone to leave just because their name is on the lease, then she is not thinking straight. If she thinks she cannot go to her parents just because they did not like her husband, then she is not thinking straight.

            You could do a little thinking for her and contact the nearest to her organizations that advises and supports women who've suffered domestic assault. It doesn't matter if she has no money right now. It doesn't matter if they are a hundred miles away from her. They still will know how to help her file a police report, how to get her seen by a doctor if needed, how to help her get a protective order so that she has some weeks to pull together alternative living arrangements for herself (and kids?) if necessary, to get legal advice etc. There may be a paid or volunteer person who will come right to her and help her get the most immediate stuff done. It is possible they may even be able to arrange a temporary alternative living place for her. They will be able to advise her about what to do if she fears the husband would come vindictively to her workplace or the kids' (if there are any) daycare or school.

            Find such a group, and try to persuade her to call them right away.

            I would not discourage you from giving her a gift a couple hundred dollars to help with any court filing fees, gas money (she may have extra errands to do), etc. Otherwise, remind her that just as she might buy a new television or laptop on credit card, it is okay to charge some life saving expenses, for gosh sakes. We don't want to let money woes stop her from protecting herself.

            "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

            "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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              #7
              Thanks everyone for the feedback!

              To provide a bit more information - there was a police report filed the day it happened. One of her neighbors called the police because they could hear the altercation. When the police got there it was obvious she'd been hit. She filed a report and decided against pressing charges (for whatever reason).

              I'll do some looking into some groups/organizations near here where she can go. I've been trying to talk her into just going back to her mom's house. That seems like the best option for her right now and her mother wouldn't turn her away.

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                #8
                Not pressing charges seems to be a common theme. At least its documented. Possibly a restraining order, if she's actually serious about leaving him. My guess is he will smooth things over and at some point in the future, this will happen again. Not a good situation to be in.

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                  #9
                  "She makes most of the money." That is powerful. She should use that to her advantage.

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                    #10
                    Sorry to hear.
                    As hard and as complicated as it seems, she really should just leave. Go anywhere but there. A friend, family, hotel, etc.
                    All the details can be dealt with and figured out later.
                    Brian

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by rennigade View Post
                      Not pressing charges seems to be a common theme. At least its documented. Possibly a restraining order, if she's actually serious about leaving him. My guess is he will smooth things over and at some point in the future, this will happen again. Not a good situation to be in.
                      That is what I'm afraid of as well! We chatted for a bit yesterday evening via telephone before he got home and she immediately needed to hang up. The whole situation makes me nervous. If I wasn't on the other side of the country, I'd be at her door pressing the issue.

                      Thanks, again, everyone, for the feedback!

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post

                        That is what I'm afraid of as well! We chatted for a bit yesterday evening via telephone before he got home and she immediately needed to hang up. The whole situation makes me nervous.
                        Agreed, that's pretty concerning.... sounds like this is something that's been ongoing for a while, and she's afraid of more to come. That just reinforces everything I said earlier... she really needs to get out of there.

                        You haven't said where she lives, but if it's a decently-sized city, there's probably a women's shelter in the area. Perhaps you could talk to them and they could make contact with her to start the process of helping her? (probably better to do that with her permission)
                        "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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                          #13
                          leave. pack up car and drive home. Jobs can always be found if you aren't dead.
                          LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                            #14
                            Have him arrested.

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                              #15
                              she needs to talk to her boss and get her boss to put pay into a new account for her...Im sure they will give her a few days to get things sorted and then come back to work, I would put a restraining order on him and any bills in joint names I would change to single name only...she needs to get away now....before it is to late

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