Bowles is a licensed clinical social worker currently working
in California as a medical social worker at a county hospital.
She obtained her Master's degree in social work from U.C.L.A.
Since graduating in 1993 she has worked in a variety of settings,
including private practice, with children and families, frail
elderly, and chronically and terminally ill clients. Prior to
becoming a social worker she was a deputy sheriff. She believes
this law enforcement background provided her with an increased
sensitivity to abuse issues, including domestic violence.
She has seen
first hand the damage domestic violence does to the individual
and family. It crosses all demographic barriers: financial, racial,
ethnic, age and sexual orientation.
Our thanks to Jennifer Bowles!
Member: Hi Jennifer, I’m four months pregnant and my husband
is an alcoholic, a manic depressant, dying from cancer and beaugers
disease and other ailments. He has also picked up another new
habit, gambling. I have a 4-year-old daughter from a previous
marriage who thinks the world of my current husband. I also think
the world of him when he is not drinking and takes his medications.
He has gone months and years at a time without drinking, so I
know he can do it. But now it is so bad he looks like death. There
is no physical abuse, but the verbal aggression and emotional
abuse including talk of suicide are at an all time high. I have
filled for divorce, but of course this week he hasn't drank, has
begun to search out counseling and now wants us in his life. I
do not believe him, but I love him and want us to be a family
again especially with the baby coming along soon. I must say if
this baby was not on the way, I would not think twice about leaving
him. I do not know how to be a single mom. I'm also showing signs
of pre-eclampsia and a tough pregnancy ahead of me. Will I make
it on my own?
What an incredible load you have right now. Do you have a good
support system? Family or friends who can help you as you work
through this and deliver the baby?
It has got
to be so difficult when you are feeling this fragile to focus
on being strong and centered enough to consider your options.
I trust your instincts that are telling you not to trust your
husband at this extremely early stage in his attempts at possible
recovery. He needs to show you a track record, one that's long
enough to show you he is serious and isn't just trying to pull
out all the stops to get his family back together. His behavior
is to the point where he is self destructive and a slower form
of suicide (drinking and not taking his medications). Is he actually
in therapy? Is he in rehab for his drinking?
I know it
is very frightening to consider life as a single mom. What I'd
want you to consider is the emotional toll it takes on you and
your children (even your unborn child) to go through this pain.
If he gambles you will not even have the financial support which
is often what keeps couples together. By giving him firm boundaries
and expectations you will see if he is able to follow through
on his plans and promises to you. If you don't have a strong,
loving support group (either formal or informal) please start
cultivating one. Consider going to Alanon (the 12 step program
for loved ones of alcoholics). It is free and you will likely
find others going through similar circumstances. Trust what your
instincts are telling you.
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Questions and Answers (Click on the linked numbers below):
2. Divorced, did
not keep documentation for protection. What should I do?
3. I'm getting divorced.
Do I tell the judge about my husband's anger? Should my daughter
be with him?
4. How do I find
an Abuse Center in My area?
5. How can I help
my friend see that she's in a cycle of abuse?
Thank you, Jennifer
7. Is verbal abuse
considered domestic violence?
8. I've left my
husband - why do I feel so sad and guilty?
9. I'm being abused
but no one can tell.
10. How does domestic abuse
affect the children of the marriage?
11. When do you get past the
12. Husband abusive and terminal.
I'm pregnant. Can I make it on my own?
13. Therapists and false memories
Who do we tell if a child in my son's class is being molested?
15. My children are afraid of
their father but he has part custody, what do I do?
16. This relationship is tearing
down her self-confidence piece by piece.
17. I got away from the abuse
but now my daughter is suffering.
18. Why do so many women end
up in abusive relationships?
19. Is yelling verbal abuse?
20. Steps toward recovery?
21. Parents drinking affects
22. My dad was verbally abusive
to me and I now suffer from low self esteem.
23. I can hear the neighbors
fighting. What should I do?
24. My ex says no to counseling,
but I want my kids to go.
my boyfriend showing signs of being abusive?
26. How can I prevent visitation
27. Question about one of Jennifer's
28. Finding strength and independence
29. I worry so much about my
children when they are with him and his new wife.
30. My friend got out of one
abusive relationship and into another.
31. Helping my brother with
32. My husband is an alcoholic.
33. My sister is abusing me.
34. My mom was abusive. Will
I be too?
35. Abusive husband and a new
36. How is past abuse from my
deceased husband affecting my 4 1/2 year old?
37. My best friend chose a controlling
boyfriend, just like her father. Help me explain to her.
38. My husband intimidates me
into sex. Is this abuse?
39. Husband has anxiety and
is becoming violent
40. Separated, pregnant and
thinking of working things out with abusive husband
41. Question about verbal abuse?
42. Is my boyfriend abusive?
43. Ex-husband and unpaid child
44. Surviving molestation
45. Our arguing has turned physical
46. I left my verbally abusive
realizes she is the abuser
48. Husband's health is making
49. Abuse and chronically ill
50. Abusive relationship and
going through divorce proceedings
51. Granddaughter may lose custody
52. Relationship with abusive
boyfriend is like obsession
53. Very afraid of abusive,
54. Are my boyfriend's actions
55. I worry that my children
will be molested because I was
56. Why do women stay or have
a hard time leaving?
57. I need help to get away.
What can I do?
58. Elderly parents are abusing
each other, alcohol involved.
59. Is my daughter being abused
by her stepmom?
60. Do you discuss female domestic
violence towards men and children?
61. Friend keeps going back
to abusive boyfriend
62. Alcohol problems as teens
related to growing up in a violent home?
63. I left my abuser... a message
64. How to help a pregnant friend
65. Resources for domestic violence
in the military?
66. Nephew in abusive relationship
67. My husband is too controlling
68. Advice from someone who
69. I left and now I'm confused
70. Thank you, Jennifer
71. My husband mentally abuses
72. I've taken steps to leave
my abusive husband, but am worried about my daughter
73. Abuse in friendships?
74. Why do women oppose mandatory
75. My husband is frightening
me with his anger
Am I becoming my father?
77. Love and abuse
78. Boyfriend threatens me
79. Husband wants me to get
an abortion, is verbally abusive.
80. My mother-in-law is harrassing
81. Children verbally abusive
like their father
82. Son and daughter-in-law's
arguing affecting grandson
83. Should I call my husband
on each verbal abuse?
84. My fiancé babysits and I
am worried about his temper
85. My friend's child is affected
by abuse by father
86. Every time he hits me, he
blames me for it, then repents, apologizes and feels bad.
87. Acquaintances from church--the
woman is attacking her husband. How can I help?
88. Shelters - how do you find
your funds to live on and where to go?
89. My friend appears to have
no way out!
My husband is in prison and we're divorcing. Visitation rights?
If you are in immediate danger