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 daughter has been physically and emotionally abused
my my ex and his new wife. I've gone through court, and somehow
HE got custody even though he abused her. She recently told me
of an incident, and honestly it makes me furious. I need to have
someone not related to me help me to decide whether or not to
go to child protective services, or if I'm just so angry I can't
(many forms of emotional abuse have occurred including being made
to eat off the floor like a dog) my daughter tells me they are
made to get up at 5:30 AM for school. They don't leave until 7:30.
She told me she was so tired and had gotten up at the normal time,
got ready, did everything expected, and then asked stepmom if
she could set her alarm and lay back down until time to leave.
Stepmom told her no and to go do the laundry. This was about 6:00
AM. My daughter went, did the laundry, and asked her stepsis who
was sitting on the couch watching TV to wake her up when it was
time to go. A few minutes later stepmom came in, told her that
she was told she couldn't go lay down and made her stand in the
corner until 7:30 AM. This is a common thing, standing in the
corner for hours. My daughter is always singled out, she reported
physical abuse by this woman, and is always singled out, confirmed
by my son. I also have a restraining order for no corporal punishment
against her father for her, and stepmom tells her "I don't have
a restraining order so I will spank you if I want."
is scared. She doesn't want me to say anything to my ex because
she knows what will happen. She doesn't want to go to court ordered
counseling because as soon as my ex finds out she will be in trouble.
I just can't sit back and keep watching this, its gone on for
over a year, she is depressed and I don't know what to do. If
you can, please let me know if you think that is considered emotional
abuse, and the best way to get her into counseling. She really
is terrified to go. Thank you and sorry so long.
My heart goes out to your daughter for the pain she is in, to
your son for being victimized by having to watch his sister suffer
and of course to you for being in such a helpless situation.
help and it will help to have the protective service report made
by someone other than you. I have seen from clients that so often
when there is a divorce it's far easier to chalk things up as
a "custody issue." Perhaps it is like that only in the counties
near me, but it is excruciatingly painful for the other parent
who is trying desperately to protect his or her child. And YES
what you described to me is abusive. Your daughter will need counseling,
but it will be hard for her to open up as she will fear the abuse
being reported and the resulting vulnerability. I don't know if
your son will be strong enough to back up what is happening to
his sister, but perhaps the therapist will be able to help assess
that. I'm glad she has a mother willing to help her. If you have
a domestic violence program/shelter near you talk to them about
local therapists and any legal people that they could advise you
to talk to. Can you also talk to your daughter's teacher and see
what her assessment is of your daughter's behavior and mood in
school? Some teachers are sharp and pick up on the red flags and
can be an ally for the child. It's worth looking into. I don't
know how much of this will help, but if she has a place to work
through her depression (in therapy) and at the same time if she
has another ally in her therapist there's a chance you could gain
custody at some point. I also think it would be helpful if you
could also get some professional support. You are at risk of depression
and anxiety as you struggle to help your daughter deal with this
very difficult situation.
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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