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My Girlfriend's Ex is Abusive, I need help!

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Hello everyone,

I am new to this community and I hope I can find some answers for my problem. I'll begin by explaining the situation as best I can. When I say abusive it means all of the above, from emotional to physical.

I recently entered into a relationship with my girlfriend about a month ago. In the last couple of weeks she seems to have reached out to me and is starting to trust me enough to tell me about the problems, and history of problems she has had with her ex boyfriends.

She is my age, 25, and has two beautiful boys. One is 6 and the other is less than a year old. The father of her 6 year old child was abusive to her, thankfully (as far as I know) their relationship is distant enough where they no longer have conflict. The father of her baby boy (the infant) and her split up about a month prior to us dating. She has recently told me more details regarding their relationship, and it appears that he was, and still is abusive as well.

She currently lives with her mom and grandmother, some nights he comes and stays the night. Without getting into too much irrelevant detail, which can be answered to anyone who is willing to help, let's just say that It was a shock to me to find out that he was still abusing her.

What helped this situation come to light is that he just found out that she was dating me. She went home last night and was planning on leaving to come over to my house and began texting me that she was very scared about him coming home, and that he wouldn't let her leave if he got home before she had a chance to leave. He had been blowing up her phone all day prior after he "hacked" her facebook account and found out about us, and saw the private messages we have been exchanging. He also sent me a private message that was quite disturbing. It appears that he is delusional, and he also threatened me in a clever sort of way.

When I found out that she was frightened and was going to be held against her will, I asked her to text me every couple of minuets to make sure she was okay. I also told her that I would see her tonight one way or another to make sure that she was okay. I said that if she stopped texting me after too long that I would call the sheriff's department to protect her. Her phone ended up dying and needless to say I called the police thinking that her phone had been taken from her and either turned off or broken after I tried calling several times. The sheriff called her house phone and her grandmother picked up, and handed the phone to her, and she said everything was okay. Luckily just the call alone scared her ex enough to let her leave. He was blocking the doorway prior, and was trying to take the phone from her.

When she got to my house she explained just a couple of incidents that have happened before, and I know it has happened many more times than just those. I still have yet to find out "what he did". I'm worried it's the worst kind of thing imaginable. She told me very vaguely without details of other things that happened to her in her life, and reasons why she shouldn't take him to court. I'm afraid that she has been raped in her life, beaten many times and hurt repeatedly. I'm afraid that she doesn't have the capacity to help herself, and I told her that I will always be there for her, and do whatever it takes to get her out of this cycle of abuse. I told her the only way she would ever lose me is if she chose to leave me. I want to help her and I will take action to get her out of this situation if I have to but I'm afraid she isn't always honest with me, sort of protecting herself, and him. That's what brought up the conditions of leaving me, which include that I won't stand by and watch this happen to her, that I will do what it takes to protect her, and she would have to deal with me helping, or leave me, but I would never leave her.

I asked her if she would go to a support group, because she doesn't want to take legal action against him, and she refuses. I want to go to a support group for people in my situation if I can find one for advice but I'm asking this community first. Also another important detail is that I believe her mother and grandmother with whom she lives with know about this abuse, but only know a very small amount of it. They are not being supportive of her seeing me based on what her ex has done to manipulate their point of view regarding our relationship. My girlfriend is always telling me that he is playing the victim and crying, and complaining that she is breaking up the family, and her REAL family is buying every bit of it, and she is afraid to tell them what he is really like, she is afraid to tell me too.

I know that was tough to read through, but any advice, or questions that would be helpful for advice would be VERY welcome! Please help me, I don't really know how to handle this. I don't want her to leave me because I know how sensitive these situations can be. I don't want to violate her trust and lose her to this abusive person. She wasn't angry that I called the Sheriff, she seemed okay with it and was thankful that it happened because that was her ticket out of the house, but I'm afraid of overstepping and having her completely cut me off from her life, especially because I am just gaining some trust in her eyes. There was a lot of the conversation I left out, so comments and questions, please don't be afraid to ask!

Please help me figure this out!

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replied October 13th, 2012
Extremely eHealthy
The behaviour and attitudes of a "brainwashed" person is quite alien to the majority of us who haven't shared that sort of background and experiences...

The great danger is they will defy logic and return to the abuser, even though they believe they are acting sensibly.
There is something in some people that makes them natural victims and unfortunately many such people have a natural affinity to those who will take every advantage!

I suggest you shouldn't be surprised if she does go back and the only way to protect her then will be if you go too and move in with her...

I suggest you don't commit anything to your computer or phone you aren't willing to share with the world, that you change your email and numbers and you and your girl remain as incommunicado as possible for as long as possible - change your address too if you can as you don't need her ex cluttering up your hallway or heaving rocks at the house...

A cabin in the mountains would be ideal...

A rape counsellor or encounter group might be the best place to begin your search for information and support.

Good luck!
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replied October 14th, 2012
Thank you Verne. We have made some progress and have tried the best I can to be present when I can. This progress can quickly revert if I am not careful and thus I am looking in to a group for me to attend because at this point she is not willing to attend one.

I have been doing research and trying to understand this dangerous addiction to victimization as possible. She is starting to realize how many of his actions are with the intention of control, so there is some light beginning to shine. I appreciate your support and suggestions very much! Unfortunately she doesn't wish to take any legal action or isolate him from his little boy, even though he doesn't deserve to be a father at this point.

We are going to try a few tactics to see if we can change his attitude, but I'm afraid things will only be better for a short time before he reverts to his old ways. My main concern is the lack of willingness to hold him responsible for his actions and make him "earn" his right to be a father back, rather than suggesting he change.

I have prepared a letter for him, and changed the names for you to review. I will send this to him, please read it and make any suggestions you deem necessary.


I want to talk to you about your attitude toward me. First of all, you will always be Jacob's father, nobody but yourself can change that fact. Secondly, you have no say over Fred. Hillary has just as much say as you over Jacob as you do, he is both of yours. I am not there to replace you. You are the only person who can decide where this goes based on your actions and attitude, if you don't start treating Hillary with respect and continue to lose your head, abuse her mentally, emotionally, or lay a finger on her I won't stop perusing punishment for your actions.

I am not going anywhere, only Hillary can decide that. You are not the overlord, you do not have ultimate power over anyone, the way you act you resembles a little boy, not a man. Step up and be a man. If you want to play games it's something I can guarantee you will lose at! I have dealt with little boys like you before, and every time I either teach them to be respectful and act like a father, or have someone else teach them. You have a son, it's time you stood up and set an example for him. I don't know a fraction of what you have done to Hillary, I have a really good idea though. I can promise you that I won't stop until she has peace in her life, and her boys don't have to be afraid of you anymore.

You can intimidate children and women but you can't intimidate me. Even if you somehow use your evil to scare Hillary into leaving me, I still won't stop. In fact things will get worse for you. If as a result of this letter she suddenly stops talking to me, I WILL KNOW that you have done something to her, either physical force or intimidation, and I swear I will do everything in my power to make sure you never see her or your son again. The choice is yours, STOP and think really hard about what I'm telling you because if you don't act like a real man and a responsible father no matter the outcome of Hillary and I's relationship, I will take you down.

Abuse is NOT just physical. There are real consequences for bringing someone down emotionally. This includes talking to her family about things that aren't true and turning people against her, not letting her leave the house, talking to her about inappropriate things, calling her names, playing her children against her, and many other things I'm sure you have done to try to control her. She is a good woman, and the mother of your child, it's time you start treating her like it.

If you can act like a real man and let Hillary make her own decisions and start realizing that I'm not going anywhere, then things will be peaceful. I want you to have your family Harry, I want you to be happy, realize what you are doing, and realize there will be consequences for your actions, as well as rewards. Your family will never go away, you will always have Jacob and his Mom in your life, you just need to realize that neither of them are your property, and I am not going anywhere anytime soon.

I don't want to get the state involved, if you escalate things I will. I'm not one to take somebody's kid from them, but you have to realize that having a child is a privilege. Where we go from here is up to you and your actions. I want peace, maybe even a bit of friendship with you. The choice is yours.
Trust that.

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replied October 15th, 2012
Extremely eHealthy
Hello again,

I like your letter and its short sentences that put your message accross.

I will caution you about some of the phrases you use that could accidentally or deliberately be misunderstood as a threat of violence or even death against the person of Harry.

Such expressions as "take you down" and a number of others that carry such implications should never be committed to print or spoken in front of witnesses. Doing so could get you arrested and make your life complicated. there is even one phrase that could be interpreted by a lawyer as a threat to hire a hit man or thug...

The last thing you need is to be locked up for making threats if things should get legal.
Any letter you send should be whiter than white so I suggest you rewrite it leaving out anything that could have a double meaning or overt threat.

Just because Harry is an abuser and a manipulator it doesn't mean his behaviour is an instinct from the swamps - he could be a very intelligent man and could also be rather vindictive so you should never leave yourself vulnerable in any way...
Watch your back!

I believe an injunction or restraining order might help because the police needn't be involved - unless Harry does step out of line: that sort of order will make certain the right man is arrested first time. Normally the police tend to arrest everyone or no one and sort things out later when Harry will already have had the chance to sow seeds of doubt about your own innocence...

I suggest your letter is short and contains only the basic information - the girl is with you now and you are going to care for her as long as she wants you to. If Harry can manage his anger in an adult way he will be welcome to discuss the situation and terms - or not, as he chooses, but if he indulges in any behaviour not worthy of a gentlemen you will have no hesitation getting the authorities involved.

That sort of thing cannot be misunderstood by any third party. I suggest you record any such meetings.

I hope this helps...
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replied October 16th, 2012
Thanks a bunch! I thought the same thing. The threats were more geared toward calling authorities, and I appreciate your confirmation of this, and I will take your advice and use it!

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