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Should I drop charges against my exh?
August 26, 2007
1:15 pm
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Desert Moon
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Ok, in a nutshell, my exh verbally and physically assaulted me several weeks back, and I called police and filed charges. In the meanwhile, I wrote an email saying I never wanted to see him anymore unless it is unavoidable, and that included phone calls. We have children, so of course the exception would be medical emergencies, but for the most part everything else could be handled from now on by writing or voicemail. (by the way, two of our children are grown, and I have a 15-yr old still at home)

Last night I received a reply in which he wrote he received an order to appear in court for domestic violence/disorderly conduct charges. He thinks I am seeking revenge, and am greedy and conniving, among other things. He also stated he had no wish to see me again.

Here is my question. Should I just drop the charges? My exh lives three hours from here, has not called or harrassed me in any way (other than responding to my email), and his email states he doesn't have any wish to see me. If this is the case, then the purpose of the charges would be strictly punitive, not preventive. It's not really my desire to 'punish' my exh, I just want him out of my life, and if that has already happened, is there any good reason to continue to press charges? Although he hit me in the head, I did not need any medical attention, nor were any marks or bruising left afterward. Emotionally, of course, that is another story. But I think it would be even more traumatic for me to go through the whole court thing than just not seeing him anymore.

I would greatly appreciate anyone's feedback on this.

Thanks

DM

August 26, 2007
1:39 pm
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StronginHim77
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He physically aggressed on another human being. That demands CONSEQUENCES. This is not just about you. This is about everyone down the road of his future who might be a victim of his unchecked violence and raging.

PRESS CHARGES. If you don't, you are responsible for anyone and everyone he ever manhandles in the future. He can learn there are CONSEQUENCES for such actions right here and now.

I don't see any justification for dropping charges.

Again, this is not just about YOU. If more abused women pressed charges, there would be LESS abused women. If you follow me.

August 26, 2007
1:51 pm
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Desert Moon
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Strong

Thanks so much for the input. I have also given thought to that very same thing. As of yet, this hasn't happened. He has had male and female roomates in the three years since I divorced him. He left on good terms with his latest roomate (female). He has dated other women as well. I am pretty sure he has not been abusive with them because I would think he would have had charges placed against them. So far I (and my kids) seem to have been his only targets. I wonder why he can get along so well with others that have lived with him when he was so abusive to his own family like that?

But yes, it is something to think about, thanks so much

DM

August 26, 2007
1:55 pm
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Desert Moon
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Sorry, my brain not working this morning. I meant they would have had charges placed against him.

I need more coffee! : )

August 26, 2007
2:52 pm
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fantas
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Desert Moon,
I agree with strong wholly. This is not about you. It's about his aggressive behaviour towards you. The fact that he doesn't abuse and assault other people but you has nothing to do with it either. The fact it, he must think so little of you that he is willing to disrepect you in ways that he wouldn't dare do to others. This is even worse. You need to send a strong and clear message that he cannot do that to you either.

I think that with time, he will assault someone else. Abusers do not change. As for him saying that he doesn't want to see you...can you really trust anything he has to say? Can you trust him to not come over to your place should he decide to? Let the law deal with him. He had the courage to raise his hand at you, now let him deal with it. He will think twice the next time he has the incling to do this again. He is used to bullying and intimidating you into not standing up for yourself and it's time he learned you are not the same person.

Being in court is a small price to pay. This is called self assertion. Would you let someone who came an slapped you off the hook this easy simply because they were upset you sued them? What kind of arrogance makes this man think that he can hit you and not be charged for it. He is now faulting you for defending and asserting yourself. He is making it sound like it's all your fault instead of taking ownership of his wrong doing. This means he doesn't get it and he sure will do it again and this time, it could be the 15 year old. What do your children think about all this?

All the best. Keep us posted.

August 26, 2007
3:27 pm
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atalose
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Sounds like you are buying into his bull sh-- e-mail and are now questioning your self and your motives.

You are divorced and live 3 hours away from this man and he still assaulted you. Why would you question that it wouldn’t happen again?

Don’t justify his behavior with former roommates, ex’s, etc. Don’t justify not having bruises or needing medical attention, that just sound like an abused wife in denial yet in need of a lot of help.

Focus on your own behavior and why you would even be thinking of dropping these charges.

Take a stand and stick to it, don’t allow him to make you second guess yourself in knowing what it right and just for you and your child.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

August 26, 2007
3:51 pm
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_anonymous
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Hi. Been there. The best thing I ever did was to press charges and the next best thing was when he got convicted. This is not about what went on in his life the second before he abused you or what happened the second after. It is about the incident that led to the charges. The only way you will ever be safe is to make him accountable. That way there will be no doubt in his mind what you will do and what will happen to him for it should he decide to hit you or anyone else again. Did he care about the consequences that you suffered physically and mentally when he abused you? Does he accept responsibility for all of the pain and suffering you have gone through? Of course not, he even blames you for it The difference between what is happening to him and what happened to you is he deserved what is happening to him you didnt. If you drop the charges the message that you send to him and the rest of the world is that what he did was OK.

August 26, 2007
9:18 pm
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thedogsmom
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has he ever physically abused you before? are you afraid of him?
TDM

August 26, 2007
10:12 pm
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bevdee
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"Should I drop charges against my exh?"

NO.

Otherwise the ass whoopin will happen again and he will know he will be able to bully and intimidate you into dropping them again. Thus another cycle within the cycle is perpetuated.

What would you tell a friend in a similar situation?

August 26, 2007
10:49 pm
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Desert Moon
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Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your input. It made me realize how much I am trying to bury my head in the sand and try to pretend it never happened. I had been convincing myself it wont happen ever again because I dont ever intend to let him anywhere near me again. Both my daughters have written letters (their own decisions) in which they are telling their dad they do not wish to see him or receive any kind of help from him again.

TDM, to answer your question, yes, my exh has verbally, emotionally and physically abused me and my children numerous times over the years. in 2001 I called 911 when he physically assaulted my eldest daughter and he was taken away in handcuffs. He spent three days in jail and the charges were dropped with prejudice because it was a first offense and he was willing to live away from the home while he underwent counceling. We went through extensive family counselling. He was placed on meds and forced to undergo anger management to no avail. 18 months later I moved out with my children. He pleaded me not to go. He then voluntarily went through 3-day a week group counselling for 6 months. He knows more about the cycle of domestic violence than I do. I have been divorced from him 3 years now, and still this happened because I trusted him to come into my home for a few minutes. (he rarely comes into town and even more rarely comes by my home).

So I am going to follow through and press charges. I am not making excuses for him anymore. He is a bully and an abuser, plain and simple. He needs to deal with the consequences of his actions. I hope the judge throws the book at him. I am so tired of him hurting me and blaming me for the way he treats me.

DM

August 26, 2007
10:56 pm
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thedogsmom
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(((DM)))
I don't know much about domestic violence. and am WAY too forgiving a person. SO before I could answer your question.. I had to know more about if this was a one time offense ..out of the ordinary for him... or whether he could and might harm you again.

I don't condone violence.. but I never ever.. thought I would lose control to the point where I would scream like a banchee or push somebody... and I found myself there in a RAGE one day.. with my drug addict boyfriend.
SO I thought maybe IF he just lost it and bopped you in the head without really hurting or harming you.... and was remorseful and regretted it.. and it was out of the norm for him... that it might be better to not pursue.. the negativity of filing the charges.. etc...

but in this case.. I would have to say to go forward NOT out of revenge.. but just to protect yourself. LEt him know it is just to protect you and your children.
Good luck to you.
TDM

August 26, 2007
11:01 pm
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Desert Moon
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TDM I didn't answer the other part of your question, if I am afraid of him. Yes, I do get scared at times that he might snap if pushed too far and go postal, so to speak. He has not stalked me, but a couple months after my separation (about four years ago) he came into my apartment unnanounced and restrained me, wanting to "get a piece of ass". I was able to get away and called the police and got an emergency restraining order. That was more than four years ago.

The more I read about personality disorders the more I think my exh suffers from it. He is not anti-social nor does he fit the criteria for narcissist, but he could very well have borderline PD (because of his rages) He does the value/de-valueing thing a lot ('I care about you' vs. 'you are conniving and greedy') I know there is no cure. From his latest email, he has no idea nor does he even care about what he did to me. He just sees that I am out to get revenge.

DM

August 27, 2007
4:06 am
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little pilgrim
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I agree with what the others who have written you have said. I worked for the prosecutor's office in New York City in Domestic Violence. Many women dropped charges because it is hard to go through. They often ended up back with worse injuries, or the case ended up as a homicide.
There is a pattern here with your exh and you have more to protect than yourself... you must protect your children and send them a clear message that you are strong and his behavior is unacceptable.
Good luck! I think if you go through with this, you'll find some inner strength and peace as well. It's not about punishment.... it's about protecting your family and about justice.
be strong, desert moon,
little pilgrim

August 27, 2007
2:19 pm
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glittered when he walked
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My answer is No, don't drop the charges.

We must hold people accountable for bad behavior...they must learn that such actions have negative consequences.

If you feel guilty for some reason, just know that unless he has an extensive rap sheet, assault charges won't be so severe a penalty to ruin his life. his lawyer will likely have plead it down to disorderly conduct, a summary offense, and he'll pay a fine. But the lesson he will learn is that you won't tolerate this behavior.

August 27, 2007
2:41 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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if your daughters came to you asking the same question - what would you say?

follow your gut - which says stick to your guns.

it doesn't matter if you are his only victims - the idea that he would harm his own FLESH AND BLOOD is sickening and frightening. If he did it before, has done it again, he WILL do it AGAIN.

Teach your daughters a no tolerance policy....you have done well so far - keep it up...they watch and take cues from you - if you drop charges, they may second guess their own decisions to detach from them - it could be a fatal mistake for someone.

stick to your guns - trust your gut.

August 27, 2007
5:10 pm
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atalose
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Desert,

I am proud of you for following through on what you know is the best thing for you and your children.

I know it's not easy and you are filled with fear of him snapping in your direction.

You are making some pretty great stides towards becoming healthy and this is one of them...

(((HUGS)))

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

August 27, 2007
5:55 pm
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sad sack
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Hi Desert Moon,

I am so sorry that it took this long to get back to you. Today, I dropped my son off at college. He is now an official college student. You could only imagine how busy the last few days have been. I'll talk more about that on my thread.

As far as your dilema, I wholeheartedly agree with every respondent here. However, I do understand how you just want to close the book for good on him and the relationship. You are probably thinking "the sooner, the better." You just don't want to deal with him ever again. And I do understand that.

I did read your later post and it seems you have made the decision to continue with the legal case against him.

Oh, I was wondering, what is M.'s position on this?

Well, I know you are a strong woman and I am behind whatever decision you make. At times like this, I wish there were more we could do to support you. Just know, you have many friends here who are rooting for you and wish for the best possible outcome.

sad

August 28, 2007
1:50 pm
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Desert Moon
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Hi everybody

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to respond. Yesterday was crazy busy and today is not turning out much better. But I did want to acknowledge all your help and support and that I will see this through. My goal is not only to never see him again but that he receives whatever punishment, if any the court deals out for the crime he committed against me. Glittered, you are absolutely right in that he must be held accountable for his actions. That is what I must remember when I feel like I just don't want to deal with things anymore. Rising, of course I would tell my daughters 'no way!' if somebody did this to them (actually my younger daughter was a victim as well, as my exh was verbally abusive to her as well) So I need to do this for her sake as well as mine. Thanks atalose for your support as well. I agree that following through is the healthiest thing to do. Little pilgrim, I do know many women drop charges out of fear of retaliation, only to become victimized again once they go back. What I have learned is abusers rarely, if ever, change. I read that it has nothing to with anger. It has everything to do with the abuser trying to control his victim in the unhealthiest way possible - through maipulation, humiliation and physical violence.

Sad, you asked what M thinks of all this. I mentioned to him on Saturday that I was just thinking of dropping the charges and he got really quiet and just said, you have to do what you think is right.' He didn't say much more after that. When I saw him on Sunday I told him I was going to follow through, and he got such a look and relief on his face and he said he didn't want to tell me what to do, but when I told him I was thinking about dropping the charges he was just SO disappointed. He thought I was just letting my exh off the hook - again. So he was glad to hear I was going through with it. In fact he said he would be there at the hearing to show his support. He despised my exh for what he has done to me over the years.

DM

August 28, 2007
1:53 pm
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Anonymous
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I would take action myself, the other day in my town, a woman just newly seperated from her husband who was very violent and had the children for the weekend( should of never had them~) he got so angry at her that he killed all her children and himself. A message needs to be sent and a strong one too. Be well.

August 28, 2007
2:05 pm
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Desert Moon
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I also have a question, maybe some of you know how the legal system works because i really don't know what to expect.

I called the Police Department to get an update on my complaint, and was told my exh received an order to appear in court. Of course I knew this already, but what I didn't know was that this was sent some two weeks ago. The officer could not give me my exh's court date appearance, and I asked if I needed to be there too. He said the court will send me an order to appear as well, if i am required to be there, which I think I would need to be.

As yet, however, I have received nothing from the city court. Do they need me to appear after all, especially if my daughter, her friend and I all wrote statements as to what happened? Does my exh get a hearing first and then does he have a second hearing with me present, or is there actually a trial (although I think it would not go that far) Who knows how this all works? I don't want some glitch in the system keeping me from not appearing when I am supossed to, then finding out they dropped charges because I failed to appear.

DM

August 28, 2007
4:07 pm
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readyforachange
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I would not drop the charges. Even though you were not physically harmed, you were assaulted both physically and verbally. This needs to be documented, and you need to send him a message that it is unacceptable. You have children you will be raising with this man, so any act of violence should be documented by the courts so that you are protecting yourself and your kids. It may have negative effects that would be much easier to just avoid right now, but in the long run you will be thankful that you took the appropriate action.

I wish you peace.

August 28, 2007
4:30 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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call the department back again and ask exactly what you did here...ask him what the procedures are and what to expect - explain you gave a statement - maybe that is enough???

I wonder if it depends on how he pleads? if he pleads not guilty - then maybe it goes to full blown trial and then you need to be there?

I would just call and ask - and keep asking until you get the answers.

do you have an order of protection against him? you should.

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