I saw this article in the Mirror and it brought back memories: Domestic abuse victim devises cunning plan to get help – by phoning up for takeaway pizza. Be sure to read the transcript of the 999 call and watch the video in the news article.
Domestic abuse is either physical, psychological, sexual or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. […] Domestic violence may often include a range of abusive behaviours, which might not include physical violence.
It’s appropriate that I make this post today, the day after my birthday, because the first time my wife hit me was on my birthday, October 24, 2011.
After the incident, from a B&B where I’d been taken for my own safety, I’d emailed a friend a couple of days later:
On 10/27/2011 5:22 AM, I wrote:
> Hi R,
> Consistent Internet connection has been hard over the past few days. Don’t know if K has told you what has happened, and that’s the reason for your note. But things have really gone wrong here. Paula has become more and more angry, with frequent uncontrolled outbursts. She had started shoving me, at first in a way as if to brush past me, but then more deliberate pushing.
The “note” I refer to had come to my email just before my above response:
From: R <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 09:44:57 -0400
To: Me <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Important
This is what I suspected before you returned to England the last time and why I asked K to try and talk to you about deferring the sale of your house. I think you have to face the reality of the situation you are in. Paula’s behavior has several possible explanations that are not mutually exclusive. One is that she has a hot temper and acts impulsively. While that may be true, I am sure that is not the whole explanation. Another is that she is mentally unstable, and if that is the case the situation between you will not change, but will only get worse as she pushes the limits further. The other is that she married you for your money and after she has control of it the marriage will end. If that is the case, and I am 100% sure it is, she will attempt to keep the legal relationship for as long as it is profitable. That means gaining control of your savings, the proceeds from the sale of your house, and your disability payments. Once she is successful she will either divorce you, you will have an accident or fatal medical condition, or she will attempt to have you hospitalized or ruled incompetent if that will enable her to manage your disability payments.
What you do know is that she has lied to you consistently, and has no interest in your welfare. You don’t physically abuse someone, or put them out along the highway like an unwanted dog, if you care about them. Your life is at risk if you stay with her.
I know that it is difficult to accept that she would have such a callous approach to marriage, but there are many such individuals for whom taking from others is far preferable to working. That is why meeting people on the internet requires a great deal of caution.
[…] Unfortunately money that has already been spent is gone forever.
You can put your life together again if you accept that you made a mistake and move on. If you stay there and try to make the marriage work the inevitable result will be that you will be on your own and destitute (or worse) at some point in the very near future.
The second time Paula hit me, she admitted it:
In some ways, I was fortunate; in some ways not so fortunate. Being in an unfamiliar foreign country, it was a long while before I realized that “999” vs “911” was the emergency number to be dialed. But the cards were stacked against me. I didn’t know how to find domestic violence resources. I was without family and friends in the UK. I was visually impaired. I had sold my home in the United States. I had the welfare of my dog to worry about, and no one back in the US who could take in both me AND my dog, and no way to get us both back to home soil without help from someone. If I called 999 for help, I would have eventually landed back in Paula’s home, and worse would have come.
I was fortunate because I had a strong gut intuition of danger. I was fortunate because I had had so many concerned people warn me that things weren’t “right.” I was fortunate because I’d seen the parade of lies escalate from “I love you so much, I’d die for you” and “We are soul mates” to being screamed at and being verbally abused and being called “c*nt” repeatedly and for endless hours.
I kept a backpack hidden under my side of the bed, and made sure it contained my cell phone and my passport at least. As the situation grew more dire, I located B&Bs that I could get myself to when a rage occurred. I still have the receipts for all my trips to B&Bs.
In May of 2012, I was stuck in a B&B in Lancing. By then, I was receiving the help of Worth Services in West Sussex for domestic violence. And also ManKind, support for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence. I had been stranded in the B&B for ~3 weeks or more, much of the time without anything but the clothes on my back, my iPad, my cell phone, and my passport.
I knew that a MARAC conference was due to be held on my behalf, and I had hoped that it would result in further help and a place to stay other than a B&B. But then I got the ever-more-threatening telephone calls from Paula regarding my dog, Otis. Her verbatim words in the last call: “Your dog has been destroyed.” Bitterly sad, outraged, and betrayed — this little dog who according to my wife was going to spend her last years “surrounded by love” — now gone, I was on the next flight back to the United States, May 27, 2012.
MARAC is a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference. A DASHH assessment had been done for me. DASHH is a Domestic Abuse, Stalking, and Harassment and Honour-Based Violence assessment. It is a nationally recognized tool in the UK.
A DASHH risk assessment was completed with Terry at our first meeting with him and indicated that he is at increasing risk of continued domestic abuse from his wife, Paula Khier. He was professionally judged to be at high risk. Terry’s case was heard at the Worthing and Adur MARAC (Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference) that took place in June of this year . The outcome of this meeting was to join up all the agencies involved with the family and to share appropriate information to safeguard all members. In light of the MARAC, a professionals meeting was held and the outcome of this was that it was deemed unsafe for Terry to return to the country.
These are not my words, not my conclusions. Not “he said, she said.” They are the conclusions of the professionals who knew what had been happening to me at Paula’s hands, and who were privy to the details and circumstances of Paula being followed by social services for many, many years and her children being on the “at risk” register, long before I met her, and even before her second husband met her.
Be warned, and do not be deceived.
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