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: Hi Jennifer. I have been married for four years. I
feel in love instantly and so did he. We had a good relationship
for the first two years. We have been through a lot since we have
changed so much, we argue all the time and he has become so childish
acting. He takes forever to take care of things and he has frightened
me twice. One time was when his dog was in the house and he kept
trying to tell us that he needed to go out, we just really didn't
pay attention and then the dog used the bathroom in the house
(it was clearly our fault) and my husband hit him on the butt
with a belt pretty hard, I started crying and kept telling him
that it was not the dog's fault and he held the belt up and told
me that if I didn't shut up he would use the belt on me, and that
hurt me deeply. I love this man and he is supposed to take care
of me and never threaten me.
is one night the dogs started barking and my husband went down
the stairs and got his bb gun to scare the dogs (I cannot stand
this) I told him that it wasn't a big deal that the dogs were
barking, and I again started crying and yelling at him because
it hurts me so bad for anyone to be mean to animals. Anyway, he
kept telling me to shut up and he turned around and pointed the
bb gun at my leg. He didn't shoot it and it is not a gun that
would kill me but it did scare me. I am so confused and sad that
it has turned into this and here I am wondering if this is something
that just happened or will get worse. I had a very serious talk
with him two days later and I told him that if he ever threatened
me again I would leave, period. I don't understand what happened
and when it happened. His childhood consisted of seeing his mother
physically abused all the time.
is how he is with sex. The attention that I get is always in anticipation
of sex. The way he has treated me has destroyed a lot of my feelings
and I almost can't stand it when he wants to touch me. I feel
very angry inside and If I don't do it he gets mad and upset and
we go to bed mad. I was sexually abused as a child and my dad
is still in prison today for that. I went to counseling and dealt
with all of that and moved on with my life, I didn't let it destroy
me and I am proud of myself for that. But, I feel a lot of those
feelings of my past coming back and I feel that it is because
of all of this. I would love to hear what you have to say, and
thank you so much.
It must feel so scary to be in this situation. The feelings you
had when you were a little girl are being brought up. In particular
is the fear of not being heard and the loss of control. Anyone
in your situation with the background you have had would feel
the same. Listen to your feelings. Your anger is telling you something.
We have anger for a reason. It is an emotion that helps us to
act when we are in danger or being threatened. I think it is helpful
sometimes to imagine that it is your dearest friend or sister
in your situation and consider what you would advise her to do.
You are now in charge of taking care of that frightened little
You know that
you cannot fix someone else. You can understand how they may have
come to be the way they are by examining their past. Your husband
is responsible now for his actions and no amount of understanding
from you will prevent him from another outburst. It is not your
fault. Be very proud of your work you have done on your abuse
issues of the past and take what you have learned back into therapy
(it really is an ongoing process. My coworkers and I call ourselves
"works in progress"). Don't see going back into therapy as going
backward. You will need all the support you can get and you deserve
to be treated with love, compassion, kindness and respect. It
will not be easy. Talk with people who are involved with your
local domestic violence shelter for referrals and assistance in
making a plan. Be safe. Take care of yourself.
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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