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: My children from my first marriage, which ended in
92 (very abusive man) have, by a lie from my ex, ended up living
at his house. We are currently in a court battle but my children
are being both physically and emotionally abused and I don't know
if there is anything I can do. I tried taking them to counseling,
but now he has told them they are not "allowed" to go and they
feel they are in the middle. My question is this, do you feel
it is OK for me to find a therapist and tell my kids not to tell
their dad, so they CAN go to therapy? My daughter especially is
abused by him, including documented physical abuse and being told
she is the "worst one" and my son is the "good one." She is suicidal
now also. I just want to make sure I'm not making a situation
worse by taking them and having them not tell their dad. They
feel they are lying. Thank you.
I can only imagine the pain you must feel as you have to stand
by and witness what this man is doing to your children. You don't
say how old they are but I am assuming they are pre to early teens.
Have you talked to your children about whether they want to go
to counseling even if they have to lie to their father? Where
was the abuse documented and who documented it? If it was by protective
services they can often get court ordered counseling for the children.
Would their father be willing to take them to counseling himself?
He doesn't sound like someone who would want his family's issued
examined too closely. Your daughter needs to be assessed immediately
for suicidal ideation. Does she have a plan and means to implement
it? Is she willing to talk to her school counselor? Try to reassure
her that she will not always be in her father's care and under
I know I'm
throwing more questions at you than answers, but the situation
you describe is one of urgency. I'm very concerned about your
daughter's immediate welfare as her father is targeting her as
the scapegoat. If she is removed from his care he will likely
move the target to your son. I am very glad to hear this is currently
in the court system. I hope you have a very seasoned lawyer, one
who is willing to fight for these kids. Talk to him or her about
having counseling court ordered. Perhaps their father's problem
is a financial issue. Can you afford to pay for it yourself? More
likely it sounds like he just doesn't want anyone to know what
is really going on and could testify against him. Talk to as many
local people as you can including your attorney, protective services,
the local women's shelter/child advocates, and law enforcement.
If you run up against a wall, move on and keep asking questions.
the children about an escape plan. If there is someone "neutral"
in your ex-husband's family who could help them in an emergency
have them memorize their phone number in addition to yours. Consider
getting a pager so that they have access to you if they can get
to a phone. Don't hesitate to involve the police if you have any
question your daughter is in immediate danger of taking her life.
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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 fiancÚ 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