How does one document emotional and verbal abuse?
August 28, 2014 8:13 PM Subscribe
I am trying to get an idea of how to document emotional abuse. My sister is in an abusive relationship and I am of the opinion that separation is not the worst idea.
I am at my wit's end trying to figure out what to do to help my sister.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My sister is in a very unhealthy marriage. We are an Indian/Hindu family and my sister is in an arranged marriage. They (and I) are in California and since they emigrated when she didn't have a visa and later on had kids(girl now 5; boy 5 mos), she never worked here. We are all permanent residents now.
There was a lot of friction in the relationship over the years but being the 'good' Indian wife, she took everything in her stride. The main bone of contention was the relationship with each others' families. My sister had a baby a few months ago and my mother was here to help out. As part of the ceremonies of having a new born, she had a prayer function to which he took offense that his side of the family (none of whom live in the same town) were invited while my cousins (who do live in the same town) were invited. One thing led to another and he called our mother names. They had a huge fight. My sis is prone to anxiety attacks and she had her most recent one that night. ERT personnel were involved, anti depressants were prescribed and so on. This is a typical kind of fight they have.
1.He belittled her many times before, called her a bad parent and in fits of anger did ask her to get out leaving the kids to him.
2.He diagnoses the root of the problems to her being unemployed. When she did find part time jobs, he ridiculed the jobs she was willing to do.He earns at least twice as I do and probably 4x what she would make if she worked.
3.I have never seen him talk but bark.
4.He lies when well meaning elders sit down to hash out details of their arguments. I don't know if this is a form of gaslighting.
The issue is that we were oblivious of the fact that this was considered abuse and domestic violence. She is scared of the fact that he could get the kids (the daughter of course is who she's most worried about) if she doesn't back down given the fact that she doesn't have any means to support them. Also complicating matters is the fact that my niece just started school and I am worried if the disruption of school is going to affect her side of the argument. After reading through what I could find, there's no doubt she's a victim of emotional abuse. Now I want some way to officially prove this. Thankfully, there hasn't been any physical violence. If this does lead to divorce, I want my sister to get preferential custody. How do I build a case for this?
Any help is greatly appreciated. We all live in the SF bay area if that detail helps...