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!

 

63. StorkNet Member: I was a victim of domestic violence. I'm reading these questions and answers and would love to share my story in hopes that it will help other women. I left my husband (in another state) and moved away safely with my two year old. I'm so happy now, but it did take three times of me leaving until I finally saw the light.

I was a victim of all abuse and can say that for me, emotional abuse was the worst. It hurst the most. It's only been a month (as of today) since we left; he has no idea where we are, and now we can sleep at night and not walk on eggshells all the time. I can actually be myself again, and not worry about making him mad or him getting jealous.

I just want to say to all women who are mothers in domestic violence that your children need a mother who is going to be alive! Be strong for yourself, and for your kids. They need you. The best gift for the kids is to be a happy mom. I know it is hard, but just be strong and if you can not do it for yourself, look at your children in the eyes next time they are scared because Daddy is mad.

For those of you who are not moms, do it for yourself. Women are all beautiful inside and out. We are so valuable and we deserve the best. There are so many questions that run through your minds but there are also so many resources that can help you. Try your local police department to get a phone number for your local crisis center where you can find help, counseling, and group counseling.

I was always afraid to talk to the police because my husband would always say he would cut himself up and say I did it if I called the police. He would also say that if I told anyone he would hurt someone in my family - that would hurt me for life. It is so easy for someone else to say "just leave." It's easy for them to question why you would ever want to stay. I know from experience that it's not easy to leave. There are cycles that we go through with the abuser that keeps us hanging on. It's as if we subconsciously live for the rush of not knowing what is going to happen next.

Be strong and know you are worth something. You deserve to be yoruself. I can tell you I am so happy now. It's scarey to be a single mommy, but nothing is scarier than wondering if he is going to hit you or hurt your kids. I never thought he would hurt my son but he did!! Again, it took me three times of leaving him for at least six months each time, and he never changed. There is that little hope of thinking that he will change, but they will not. Be strong. My prayers are with you.

Jennifer: Thank you so much for sharing your story with others. It is so personal and I know will help women out there who are looking for some hope. Be proud of yourself for taking care of you and your child. I know in abusive relationships that self esteem is crushed into nothingness and so it is a big help to suggest doing it for your children and your suggestion about looking into your children's eyes was excellent. Don't worry about being "single" for awhile. It will take time to heal your wounds and this will build your self esteem and confidence. You deserve this time to focus on "just you and your child." Did you know that telling your story is a healing act in itself? The more you tell your story the more it is released (like toxins so to speak) from inside of you. I wish you and your child the very best life has to offer and once again thank you for sharing this message of hope.

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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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