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

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Old 09-23-2009, 12:05 PM
JennyWren JennyWren is offline
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Question Abusive/Possibly mentally ill wife, child involved.

Hi All - I stumbled upon your forum after unsuccessfully doing a search to find information for my friend and his family, I hope you can help!

Here is the situation:

Latino Couple, married about 12-13years ago now in their country of origin. He came here much younger and is now a Citizen, she is still Landed Immigrant Status. They have one child who is 8years old now.

We suspect and have suspected that the wife has been mentally ill, possibly bipolar and after the baby was born things did get worse, but we are finding out now how serious this is getting.

The husband by nature is a sweet person, hates fighting, wants peace and quiet, which unfortunately the wife uses against him when something doesn't go her way. We knew she picked on him a bit, but found out that she has physically abused him before, and still does now. We do not believe that she has physically abused the child, however her temper and actions towards both her husband and child are mentally abusive, for sure.

She has JUST been to see a psychiatrist and was given a prescription for medication which she seems to have no interest in starting, also she has expressed that she plans on taking the new medication along with her previous ones, which I believe were given by the GP because she could not sleep, also she has or had been on antidepressants ... also GP prescribed.

This man is very concerned about the welfare of his child, he is very afraid to confront her or upset her in any way by taking any sort of action, but believes it is in the best interest for himself and his child to not remain with this woman, however is very afraid that if the court system gets involved the child will be given to the mother which could be catastrophic - this is a bad position to be in, and it is so very hard to find out how the legal system might help in this case, he cannot make any move until he is sure the backlash will not be on the child in any way - the child has just told the father about two days after the mother had a screaming episode about some homework issue, that he is 'still afraid' of his mother yelling at him ... what to do?

Thanks for any insight - oh to add, the wife has told people in past that she believes in this country the wife can divorce and 'take everything' from the man, and also she has said she would lie to police and say HE hit HER and take the child away from him permanently ... how does a man protect himself and his child from this sort of thing?

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Old 09-23-2009, 09:35 PM
allay allay is offline
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Sorry not much can be said, I have gone through the same thing. Unless he has a huge war chest even then it is a steep uphill fight. Forget about negotiating etc go right to trail. Hall in the doctors and have the child testify where they want to live. I'd say good luck but he needs more than luck. He needs to distance himself before she gets something on him.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:51 PM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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Having a mental illness does not make anyone a bad parent. Refusing treatment may not be good, but he will have to prove that she is not a good mother. Unless he has a specific incident where she has endangered the child or hurt them, then it is not fair to use her illness against her.

There are many people (and good parents) with mental illness and depression. If all of them were deemed "unfit" because they are suffering during the most trying time of their lives, then who would be left to take care of the kids?

My suggestion is that he try to get her into treatment and encourage her to go. It is very common to try several types of antidepressants before finding the one that works. By going to a psychiatrist she IS showing an effort to help herself.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:42 AM
Lanfear Lanfear is offline
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If I had of read that without knowing of the (possible) mental illness, I would say take the kid and run to the hills! Can't he report her abuse? Her behavior is unacceptable.

If my partner was being physically abusive, and screaming at my child over homework, I don't think I would encourage him to get treatment. Something like that will trigger another explosion. You would have to leave them in order for them to want to change, if that ever happens. That's when I'd seek a psychiatrist.

I suspect that most people who act that way have some type of illness or problem. And I am not ignorant to mental illness by any means, I struggle with anxiety on a daily basis.
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Old 05-14-2010, 12:09 AM
pokeman pokeman is offline
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pokeman has a little shameless behaviour in the past

the father needs to take the child and leave - to bad if it upsets her

thats the easy part !

things get much harder !

the child if doing homework is old enough to articulate the abuse, this is important because no one will believe the father.

the canadian legal system isnt going to help him at all, however the child will be safe away from her

my X abused me and our children - even drawing blood - it was 10x or more worse than what you describe above

here's how my case went ( its still going ) :

- i took the children and fled , i contacted a lawyer who told me to file an
EPO ( emergency protection order ) which I did in provincial court;

- a student at the court couried to the home ( from which we fled ) details of the EPO and literature, which my X signed for

- my X got a $600/hr downtown lawyer, and a court order in federal court that I took the children without her consent and that she was entitled to everything;

- the police tried to serve my X with the EPO, which she avoided due to advice from her lawyer

- since the house seemed abandoned my lawyer told me to return, which we did

- my X was watching the house and upon our return called the police to serve her federal court order, which they did

- police threw me out of the house, the emergency protection order was no match for a court document entitling her to house/car/money and (?) kids ...

- police ridiculed me, telling me to grow up "reporting abuse" and to be a man and not so childish and pushed and shoved me around ...

- i contacted childrens services who took the children from her after interviewing them, but since I was homeless put them in foster homes

getting the idea here ...

This isnt a fine tuned system , the child may escape but the father wont, expect years in court, lawyers acting badly, an X bent on revenge, and a court system that no matter what she does to torment and undermine you will still treat her better than you ...

eventually i got my kids back ...

there's lots of pain but a good father can still hold his head high he did something to save his kid(s) !

good luck
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abuse, custody, divorce, family court, mental illness

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