Domestic Violence: Why Should SHE Leave?

  1. Sometimes true wisdom comes from a place where you'd least expect it.

    A family friend is a lovely, intelligent young woman who has worked very hard to put herself through school, buy a condo and furnish it in a comfortable, stylish fashion. She inherited some lovely things from her parents and grandparents. She started dating a man who raised alarm bells among her friends. He had no job, no money, crashed on the sofas of various friends and borrowed her car frequently because he had none. But she loved the guy, so she married him. Less than a year later, she showed up in the ER with a broken nose, broken ribs and bruises all over. Her husband, although he insists that she fell down the stairs, has cut and swollen hands.

    It seems the poor girl is really clumsy and falls down the stairs a lot. "She should leave him," my husband said. "She shouldn't have to take that." "Why doesn't she leave him?" Asked the child's biological mother. "Why stay with an abusive loser?" The child's stepfather says that if she was HIS kid, he'd "take care of that man," and gestured to his wall of gleaming swords and knives.

    The child, who it seems is wise beyond her years, said "Why should SHE leave? It's her house, her stuff, and HE's the one causing the problem."

    Why indeed?
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   CelticGoddess
    The sad reality is that sometimes, the only way to leave an abusive relationship is to leave all your belongings behind. My sister had to move halfway across the country to get away from her abuser. She left some furniture that had belonged to our grandmother, all her angels, her loom, her beloved cats. We were able to get my granma's cupboard and bed but that was all. He destroyed her loom, her angles and we don't even want to think what happened to her cats. I think the only reason he was unwilling to destroy my granma's stuff is that he is superstitious and was genuinely afraid of being haunted by Granma, and of course he was scared of the rest of us.

    My sister gave up her house (it was in her name), all her money (joint account. She hasn't made that mistake this time), and her personal possession so she could survive. This time round, she kept all her money in her own account, and everything she owns is in her name. I wish she could have kicked him out. I wish she could have stayed in the area that she really loved, and I wish that she could have taken her belongs but sometimes, you have to do what is safe.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    If she stays then he knows exactly where to find her.
  5. by   Horseshoe
    If the house is in her name only, couldn't she just sell it? She would not need his permission to do so, it would seem. Obviously I am not a lawyer, so it wouldn't surprise me if it were not quite so simple.
  6. by   Meeshie
    Women are killed most often in abusive relationships when they attempt to leave their abuser. Telling your abuser to 'get out' and yet staying exactly where they know to find you seems like an excellent way to become a statistic. Restraining orders are pieces of paper... not shields. They're only useful if you can get to a phone, call the cops, and have the cops show up all before you're dead.

    Even having them arrested only helps if they stay in jail. If they make bail? Well...

    Sometimes the only way to safety is to be somewhere where you won't be found and attacked by your abuser. It sucks.. but it's the sad reality of the situation.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Horseshoe
    If the house is in her name only, couldn't she just sell it? She would not need his permission to do so, it would seem. Obviously I am not a lawyer, so it wouldn't surprise me if it were not quite so simple.
    If you live in a community property state, he becomes part owner of the house just by virtue of being married and you need his signature on the paperwork. Plus you owe him part of the proceeds of the sale but not, it seems a part of the debt if you sell your house for less than you owe the bank. Besides, it is quite difficult to interest someone in buying your house when there is someone living in it who is a degenerate slob and points out the flaws to every potential buyer who enters.
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from CelticGoddess
    The sad reality is that sometimes, the only way to leave an abusive relationship is to leave all your belongings behind. My sister had to move halfway across the country to get away from her abuser. She left some furniture that had belonged to our grandmother, all her angels, her loom, her beloved cats. We were able to get my granma's cupboard and bed but that was all. He destroyed her loom, her angles and we don't even want to think what happened to her cats. I think the only reason he was unwilling to destroy my granma's stuff is that he is superstitious and was genuinely afraid of being haunted by Granma, and of course he was scared of the rest of us.

    My sister gave up her house (it was in her name), all her money (joint account. She hasn't made that mistake this time), and her personal possession so she could survive. This time round, she kept all her money in her own account, and everything she owns is in her name. I wish she could have kicked him out. I wish she could have stayed in the area that she really loved, and I wish that she could have taken her belongs but sometimes, you have to do what is safe.
    I understand doing what is safe. I was left standing on the side of the road with my dog and what I was wearing. You do what you have to do to survive. But wouldn't it be nice if it WEREN'T that way? If the person who was causing the problems was the one who had to leave, leaving everything behind?
  9. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    If you live in a community property state, he becomes part owner of the house just by virtue of being married and you need his signature on the paperwork. Plus you owe him part of the proceeds of the sale but not, it seems a part of the debt if you sell your house for less than you owe the bank. Besides, it is quite difficult to interest someone in buying your house when there is someone living in it who is a degenerate slob and points out the flaws to every potential buyer who enters.
    I live in a community property state, and a house purchased before marriage is separate property, not community property. He doesn't get half of the house just by virtue of being married. The problem would be if he is making payments on the house. That kind of co-mingling could well present problems, but that is something a lawyer could clarify.

    Any assets acquired before the marriage are considered separate property, and are owned only by that original owner. A spouse can, however, transfer the title of any of his or her separate property to the other spouse (gift) or to the community property (making a spouse an account holder on bank account). Spouses can also comingle their separate property with community property, for example, by adding funds from before the marriage to the community property funds.
    Who Owns What in Marital Property? - FindLaw

    Community Property States

    If you live in a community property state, the rules are more complicated. But in general:

    • spouses own equally almost all property either one acquires during the marriage, regardless of whose name the property is in
    • half of each spouse's income is owned by the other spouse during the marriage, and
    • debts incurred during marriage are generally debts of the couple.

    In community property states, the following is separate property:

    • gifts given to one spouse
    • property either spouse owned before the marriage and kept separate during the marriage, and
    • inheritances.
    Separate and Community Property During Marriage: Who Owns What? | Nolo.com
    Last edit by Horseshoe on Oct 14, '16
  10. by   morte
    the only permanent solution, is the abuser permanently stops breathing.
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Horseshoe
    I live in a community property state, and a house purchased before marriage is separate property, not community property. He doesn't get half of the house just by virtue of being married. The problem would be if he is making payments on the house. That kind of co-mingling could well present problems, but that is something a lawyer could clarify.



    Who Owns What in Marital Property? - FindLaw


    Separate and Community Property During Marriage: Who Owns What? | Nolo.com
    Not many who enter a marriage with love in their eyes manage to keep their finances completely separate. The moment you start paying the mortgage with a joint checking account, you're co-mingling funds. I kept my own checking account and always paid the mortgage with my own funds; yet when I sold the house that I bought years before my marriage, my husband's signature was required on all of the paperwork and the money could be deposited only in a joint account unless he agreed to let the money go to my own checking account. Abusers often keep control over the money to keep control over the spouse.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from morte
    the only permanent solution, is the abuser permanently stops breathing.
    While that it true, it is also somewhat problematic, legally speaking.

    I remember when the man I was dating used to visit his aunt in prison. Her husband was in the process of beating her to death with a baseball bat when she got her hands on his pistol and shot him. Abuse was well documented with multiple broken bones, lost teeth and prolonged hospitalizations. Neighbors witnessed him going after her with the baseball bat, although when she ran indoors in an attempt to escape him, they didn't see the fatal shooting. Multiple complaints of abuse, nothing was done. She shoots him to save herself, and she goes to prison. She died in prison.
  13. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Not many who enter a marriage with love in their eyes manage to keep their finances completely separate. The moment you start paying the mortgage with a joint checking account, you're co-mingling funds. I kept my own checking account and always paid the mortgage with my own funds; yet when I sold the house that I bought years before my marriage, my husband's signature was required on all of the paperwork and the money could be deposited only in a joint account unless he agreed to let the money go to my own checking account. Abusers often keep control over the money to keep control over the spouse.

    True, comingling is very common. But if it's important to someone to keep their separate property, they will do so. Just being married to someone doesn't entitle a person to his spouse's separate property. I think that's important for young people to know going into a marriage in a community property state. My best friend got burned by her ex. She now owns several properties and has decided she will never again allow her separate property to be exposed.

    My Ds will soon come into a trust fund. They may choose to co-mingle their disbursements someday with a spouse. However, the principle in the trust funds will NEVER be accessible to their spouses in the event of a divorce.

    Prenuptial agreements are another way to protect separate property, but I know a lot of people don't like them because it seems like they are accepting from the get go that the marriage may not work. It is a very practical thing to do, however.
  14. by   la_chica_suerte85
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    If she stays then he knows exactly where to find her.
    Yep, that's pretty much the reason why. He knows and so do all the people he enlists to try and make her life hell for giving him the boot. Even if he gets hooked and locked up, it doesn't mean it's the end of it. One would do well to change the locks and make herself scarce from the residence for a good long while.

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