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Domestic Violence

Identifying A Dangerous Situation

04/27/2004

Question:

My son-in -law and daughter have been married since May, they had a son in July. Normally he seems to be very sweet. However, about every 3 months or so he totally looses it and screams and yells at my daughter and says things that totally don`t make sense. Like once, he even told her that if she were a good mother she`d quit paying someone to watch her son and do it herself. He has had a hard time keeping a job and her`s is the stable job. He pushed her over the recliner last time and our daughter moved into her mother -in -laws with the baby for a week. He then agreed to counseling. My daughter went once by herself and he went once with her then, it became too easy just not to go. He was acting alright and scheduling around their jobs became a problem. A few weeks ago there was another incident at some friends house and their friends called the police fearing for our daughter. The policeman arrested him at his own discretion. Now he`s been ordered into anger manangement. Our daughter and grandson are living down the road. My question is how dangerous is this situation and what could the problem be? Like I said our son in law can be very charming. He is, according to his mother very spoiled.Our daughter plans to go back if he completes the anger management. However, he is pressuring her to come back now. She is afraid he wouldn`t finish if she did.

Answer:

I believe I responded to this question several weeks ago.  I really do not have any additional information to share with you regarding your daughter`s situation.  I believe anytime there is a pattern of  behavior being demonstrated that is intimidating, threatening, or violative, there is always the risk of danger.  These situations tend to become more volatile with time.  I would strongly recommend that you and your family (including your daughter) seek more formal treatment with a professional in your area.

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Response by:

Cathy   McDaniels-Wilson, PhD Cathy McDaniels-Wilson, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Department of Sociology
The Ohio State University