Domestic Violence Discussion with
Jennifer Bowles, MSW, LCSW

Jennifer 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!

 

45. StorkNet Member: At first I thought it was because we both were drinking a lot, now I don't know. We/he got physical a few times before but during the use of alcohol. Now I don't know what the problem is or how to fix it. Last night neither one of us were drunk. We/I said some VERY bad things that I know felt like I stuck a knife in him and turned it with my words. Next thing I knew, he put his hand over my throat and I lost it (I had been MAJOR abused by my ex-husband). Then I was on the floor with him kind of on top of me. I did slap him somewhere in this and he did it again. I'm dying inside because my 7 year old Autistic son had to see this. We have a 5 month daughter together now and I was hoping he would adopt my son, but now I'm wondering if I should get a divorce? Is there someone/something that I/We can do to salvage/correct this problem marriage or should I just quit?

Jennifer:You have so much going on in your life. There is much work to be done. It sounds as though you are wondering if it is possible that alcohol caused some or all of these responses. Certainly it doesn't help your relationship and my first suggestion would be for both of you, for the sake of your child/children, get in to see an alcohol and drug rehab counselor. It is likely that even if you end up divorcing this person, he will likely have visitation with the child that you have together. If you are both drinking at this point neither of you are being the parents you could or should be to your children. They deserve to have sober parents who do not hurt one another either verbally or physically.

Get yourself, and if possible, your spouse into rehab treatment. Most rehabs offer anger management and parenting classes (something everyone who has children can benefit from). Perhaps this sounds drastic, but if you think you cannot stop drinking or living in this abusive relationship, get assistance from your local Children and Family Services. Yes, these are the people who monitor families for child abuse. They might be able to help you get the services you need and will make sure you do not "back slide" on doing what would be best for your children.

I realize that what I am telling you sounds harsh. But I believe that there is a part of you that knows you need to change, if not for yourself, then for your children. That part of you that is seeking help is the part of you that can propel you forward to do what you need to do to help yourself. This is much bigger than you and your husband. You are not just hurting each other. You are hurting your children who will possibly grow up and hurt their children. You can stop this from happening. You can make the biggest difference you will ever make in your son's and daughter's lives by getting help for yourself, getting sober, getting into treatment, and getting therapy.

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Questions and Answers (Click on the linked numbers below):

 1.  Husband's temper
 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?
 6.  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 damage?
12. Husband abusive and terminal. I'm pregnant. Can I make it on my own?
13. Therapists and false memories
14. 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 the holidays
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.
25. Is my boyfriend showing signs of being abusive?
26. How can I prevent visitation rights?
27. Question about one of Jennifer's comments
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 his temper
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 baby
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 support
44. Surviving molestation
45. Our arguing has turned physical now
46. I left my verbally abusive husband
47. Woman realizes she is the abuser
48. Husband's health is making him angry
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, threatening husband
54. Are my boyfriend's actions abusive?
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 of hope
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 stayed
69. I left and now I'm confused
70. Thank you, Jennifer
71. My husband mentally abuses me
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 reporting?
75. My husband is frightening me with his anger
76. 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 us
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!
90. My husband is in prison and we're divorcing. Visitation rights?
91. If you are in immediate danger

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