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!

 

89. StorkNet Member: Help! My neighbor's husband is beating her. She went to the protective services and she did not go to their safe house. Instead she came home with me and I hid her out for a day or so and then she went home. The next day the CPS came and took her children. She went to court 24 hours later and the judge gave the children back, but they now have to go to court for charges against them both for neglect/abuse. There is no way she can afford an attorney to defend her and now the CPS agent told her she has to go to family counseling, and she has to be with her husband until the charges are resolved. He is still beating her but she really has to hide it now because they said if any more violence happens they will come and get the kids again and she won't get them back.

Now I know this sounds odd, I thought so too, but I went with her to the protective agency and I went with her to court and I have been with her each time they meet with cps, and I have tried to get her an attorney, pro bono only work for the children and everyone else wants 2500.00 to retain. I have called over 250 lawyers here in Las Vegas and there is not one that will help. I want to get her out of here secretly but can not. And now they go to trial and she still has no representation, and they are going to hang her in court. She also found out in court that her husband has been in prison for kidnapping a teenage girl he was dating 15 years ago and assault on that girl, and now they are holding that against her too. She did not know he had done this, and on top of all that she has been with this man since she was 16 years old and never knew all of this. She is 25 and completely lost. She doesn't know where else to turn, the courts are saying she is endangering her children but will not let her leave now that she is in court proceedings. I would like to get her help without anyone knowing and have heard of organizations that will hide you but not sure if that is the way to go either. I wouldn't even know where to start to even locate an organization like this.
Signed: Loosing faith in the law.

Jennifer: I hear and empathize so much with your frustration with the system. It sounds like you and she have both tried through all the normal and even unusual channels to find her some help. Have you talked with the administration at the domestic violence shelter? I have had the experience of overzealous protective services workers as well as those that will find no cause to remove the children from a very abusive situation. Your friend is in such a difficult spot. I recently had a client who was facing the worst possible situation I'd heard of and needed an attorney. She was able to get one and I believe it was through the local law school. If you have one in your area please check that out also. You are in a good position to advocate for this woman, but I would not seek out the line staff at protective services. Go to the supervisor or someone with some power in administration. I have seen that work for a client here.

Another more radical idea is to speak with the newspaper staff. If you can get her story out she will likely get some assistance and support from numerous other people. If she or you attend a church try appealing to them for some assistance. Check into Catholic Charities or other religious service groups. They have helped a lot of my clients with move in costs. She needs as much support from as many avenues as you and she can get. I don't know how to get services from what I refer to as the domestic violence "underground railroad". I do remember seeing an article years ago. You have to be very careful at this point because running while it may be a good idea as far as her survival she could be getting herself further into legal problems. I can only imagine what life on the run would be like and if caught she could lose her children permanently or worse have them given to her husband. Please let us know how you and she are doing.

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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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