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Domestic Violence

Deciding to End an Abusive Relationship

01/20/2005

Question:

Well it happened again our son in-law threw our daughter twice across the room and some other bad stuff. She is pregnant too. He left bruises. She got an order of protection, moved herself and her son in with us in a nearby town, quit her job and started back to school. She is also attending alanon meetings. She feels alot of his problem stem from zanax addiction and being super spoiled by his mom. His mom is very good to our granson and desperately wants them to stay together, as we did at first, after all this I just don`t know if he `ll ever change and actually fear for our daughter. Personally, I think leaving is the right thing to do. His Mom says she is going to get him fixed, take him to alanon too and she super cleaned the kid`s house and told our daughter that her son did it. Our daughter says there is NO way he did it and that his mom is trying to use her money to buy our daughter back.

Is this normal too? She is a good grandma, her son is just MEAN and spoiled. This site has been tremendously helpful to our family. None of us have ever known such a person as our son in law.

Answer:

Over the past several months, we have been observing a pattern in your son-in-law’s behavior that does not seem to disappear. He continues to use violence against your daughter, and he demonstrates this violence in front of his own son. From a research perspective, battering typically continues during a pregnancy. The research shows that if it happens once, it is likely to recur across all three trimesters. This fact is alarming in itself. It certainly appears as if you and your family are looking at this situation from a realistic perspective. You have consistently worked hard to protect your daughter from her husband’s violent path. Let’s remember that in many situations the abuse typically becomes increasingly more violent, and in some cases, lethal.

I am sure that your son in law’s mother wishes things were different; however, creating a life for her son – a life without consequences is probably not the best teacher. His abuse of medications is also problematic and would in itself create conditions for violence. As I have mentioned previously, your son-in-law is likely to benefit from intensive individual counseling. As you are well aware, without any form of intervention which is geared specifically toward domestic violence, the problem always continues.

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Response by:

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