I recently stumbled upon your article "Friends in Need: Interventions for Domestic Violence." The
information you provided resounded heartily with me. Last fall my brother in law discharged a
weapon DIRECTLY NEXT to my sisters head. She was 8 months pregnant at the time. The
following weekend he disposed of the old tub box and had a brand new one installed, mud and
taped and painted, covering the damage that he had done.
I found out this is not the first time he
has hurt my sister. He has slammed her up against walls leaving giant Sheetrock holes. She has
had bruising on her face ( to what extent I don't know). They now have 3 boys under the age of 5.
She would not leave him. She recently (in the past week) found out that he has been cheating on
her for the past 2 years and has been unfaithful since they were engaged. Her new baby is less
than a month old. She STILL wont leave and is frankly living in some alternative reality.
I must also
mention that she has had suicidal thoughts in the past. I must also say that she is a medical
professional... educated, smart and beautiful woman. Most information about domestic violence
says to support, but not overstep boundaries, but I feel like we are past that. He has demonstrated
that he can be lethal. Is it reasonable that I consider intervening in a more direct way? If I
believe that her life or her children's life is in danger? Any response would be appreciated.
Please call the Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE) or your local Child Abuse Hotline. Violence toward a
spouse is also considered abusive toward the children. Child protective services will come to the
home, and if they find any evidence of abuse or violence (It's important to tell them what you
know) they will take the children and not allow your sister to have them until she agrees to refuse
to let her husband in the house. I know this is drastic, but if it saves the lives of her and her
children, it's worth it.
She probably has Battered Wives' Syndrome, and feels incapable of
handling life on her own. Abusers systematically undermine their victims until even intelligent
and seemingly self-sufficient people feel incapacitated. Your sister won't like your interference. "How to Keep Yourself Out of a Violent Relationship" has information that may be helpful for your sister. The
Domestic Violence Hotline will give you more information for help in your area. Please don't let
this go on. Your sister is incapable of helping herself. It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunctionwill help you understand the underlying psychology of this problem.