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Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.

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Old 01-26-2010, 01:57 AM
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Default What contitutes harassment?

My stbxh has a history of abusing me throughout our marriage. We have been separated for nine months now. What constitutes harassment now? He drives by my house to see if someone is visiting me. He phones and lets the phone ring just once so he knows if I am talking to someone or not. He tells me who I can see and who I can't. He questions my choice of friends. He phones and emails my family.

What are my options?
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:57 AM
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If he did any of these things once, it wouldn't be harrassment. If he did them 20 times a day, he should be locked up long ago.

It is mainly a question of frequency. That doesn't mean you don't have a right to be upset if he even does it once, you do. But it means you won't get legal action unless he is persistant.

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The words “molesting”, “annoying”, “harassing” and “communicating” that are used in the legislation. The courts will define what these words mean on a case-by-case basis, which means that they look at the individual facts of the case in order to make a decision as to whether to grant the request for a restraining order or not.
No one can say if you have enough reasons or evidence to get a restraining order. You have to collect your evidence and make your case. Don't rely on a divorce lawyer for advice or representation on this unless they have handled this regularly and are comfortable with it, it is really a criminal matter that crosses over into family law.

There are also "anti-harrassment" orders. My lawyer made this as a suggestion at one point for me to get against my ex, but she said they don't really have teeth and wouldn't help much, maybe just to intimidate my ex to shut up and stop emailing me with insults and criticism. You can discuss this with your lawyer though.

Speak with the phone company, there is a number you can call immediately after a hang-up call that will note the last number that called and the phone company will keep a record. They will only release this record to the police, when you are ready to press charges. (this is so people don't constantly use the service just to see who last called).

If possible try to get a friend as a witness that he is driving past. You can take photos, but it may be hard to catch the car in the shot every time. This will help though.

I can't stress enough, you won't get action unless you have proof, it sucks but you have to document this stuff.

Please don't think it is too much trouble and you won't document it unless it gets "worse". In a few weeks when it is worse, you will wish you already had the last few weeks recorded.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:46 AM
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DOCUMENT everything. You could obtain a restraining order, but you need proof. Did he ever hurt you? Threaten you? Injure someone close to you? A pet?

If you are actually scared of him you do need to take action. The longer it goes from teh seperation date, the harder it is to get a RO. Did you know that women in abusive relationships are actually MORE at risk after separation?? If he is doing these things then he is not normal. Please speak to a lawyer or call the local women's shelter for advice.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:40 PM
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I have been documenting his behaviour over the past several months. I've kept all emails and I have a journal of any phone calls or text messages.

I have an appointment with a lawyer on Feb. 3. I am also going to the group "Choices" offered by the Family Violence people.

I am not truly scared of him. He has never hit me, but he definitely abused me in pretty much every other manner, both before and after I left him. I am concerned that my kids, seeing his behaviour, will consider it "normal".

Thank you for your opinions.
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