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: I feel that my husband is an alcoholic. He, however,
doesn't think he has a problem. He drinks a lot. He never hits
me when he is drunk, but he gets mean. I am very worried about
him, and don't know what to do. He is also a gun collector, which
creates more worry. On two occasions when drinking he has pulled
out his gun. He never points it at anyone, but he will do things
like threaten to shoot anyone that comes in our yard. On one occasion
he just went outside and starting shooting in the air.
I love him
very much, but don't know what to do. I know that I enable him.
I am too scared, however, to live on my own so I don't want to
leave him. I can't threaten to leave, because I don't have the
strength to carry it out. I don't really know what my question
is here, just posting my concern.
I can certainly see why you would have concerns and am glad you
decided to post. I am concerned for your safety as well, as when
use of guns is added to alcoholism (or even social drinking) it
leaves a lot of room for things to go bad. I wonder how you see
yourself enabling him? My first thought is for your safety. Once
you have a plan for being safe (at least while he's drinking,
if you can't or won't leave at this point), then you need to get
a lot of support. It can be very difficult to help an alcoholic
see their problems with drinking and the havoc it can create.
If you have the ability to go to counseling for some professional
guidance that could be beneficial. Alanon would be very helpful.
Sometimes it can take going to a few meetings or different meetings
to feel a connection, but it would help you find a focus for your
own issues (those that make you fearful of considering a life
on your own).
I know that
you haven't given but a small glimpse into your situation so I
say the following with that in mind: sometimes what would frighten
most people may only cause the person in the situation to feel
a sense of worry, (i.e. about his gun collection/shooting off
the gun/taking them out when drinking.) Without trying to be "overly"
alarming I want to restate that I am very concerned for your safety.
If you can't leave him or don't plan to leave him, make it a priority
to make different plans that could provide you with safety (places
to go, people to stay with, someone to call) when he's drinking.
sound like he would be open to hearing your concerns about his
gun collection anymore than he is about his alcoholism.
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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