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Left abusive husband. Sister in law is relentless!

Community Member

After another abusive episode last weekend, the kids and I left. The police took out a DVO for me. Yes, the kids and I are safe. He has kept his distance which I’m happy about.

his sister has been sending me text messages telling me not to take out the DVO (not up to me) telling me I must have postnatal depression (I don’t - I’m depressed because of abuse, as anyone would be) says her brother is the gentlest person she knows (but then says she knows what he did and she’s “not happy about it). She also made comments about my personal appearance.

i know it’s easy to say to ignore her but this is hard to cop. My mother spoke to my husband and said if there’s any chance of us coming together in the future, his sister doing this will leave it in tatters. He said he told her not to but I don’t think he’s done a good enough job or he hasn’t done it at all, or she’s ignored him. I don’t know.

The police want me to make a report about her behaviour but I just don’t have the energy on top of everything else. I also do not want to speak to her. I have not responded to her at all.

But I don’t deserve to be spoken to like this. She’s not supporting either of us.

Did I mention she’s currently studying to be a social worker? She says she experienced abuse in her childhood as well. I’m just baffled at her behaviour and it’s really knocked me back in this whole thing.

8 Replies 8

Community Member

Unfortunately family always have a tendency to get involved in these types of things.

They do it out of care and love for there relation, and more often then not they have heard quite varying stories about your life and relationship was like.

In this case he has probably played the victim to her and in her eyes his actions were justified and out of sheer emotion only occured.

But the reality is DV is DV, it cant be justified and should not be tolerated.

And it is good the police got involved and placed the ivo on your behalf, they obviously have concerns for yourself and your children.

Go to court, amend the ivo to allow contact for him and the children if you deem it safe

But her speaking to you on his behalf, and him through your mother is also a breach of the IVO, you also cant send messages through them....he could also report you for breaches.

Tell the sister to cease contacting you or you will report it to the police and it'll probably be enough to scare her away

Social worker should know better.

Take care

Community Champion
Community Champion

hello Tropicana and welcome to the forum.

this is a caring, compassionate and non judgmental place.

I am sorry you have been put through this DV and then to have his sister put blame on you.

i suppose as sister she feels she is supporting her brother but ignoring the reality.

The borderline has some helpful suggestions .

you can ring 1800 respect , 1800 737 732 .

The trained counsellors are guided by you, your needs and your feelings about what is right for you and your situation. They will listen to you and are open 24hrs .

Would you consider ringing this service . they have experience in dealing with your situation.

if you want to let us know how you are feeling,

Look after yourself.


Thank you Theborderline.

The order didn’t disallow contact between him and I which I was fine with. So no need to amend (at this stage).

he said to my mum he told her from the beginning not to badmouth me or anything and she’s disobeyed that twice. The theory is that he’s so weak at the moment by everything between us he hasn’t stood up to her enough.

despite what he did I do agree with this view only because what happened is between US and didn’t involve her.

She even said in one message to me, “i was going to let you sort it out, but I will be involved”. So she thinks she has a place here. The point the police try to make is that it could be deemed a breach in that it’s an associated act if he hasn’t actually requested her to stop. They said They could call her for me to give her a warning or officially report It as a breach but I feel it could make things worse.

I meant you could have the ivo amended so he could contact via text regarding the children's wellbeing etc

But as i always say, theres only room for two in a relationship....not 3.

I'd let the police make the call, stay safe

There isn’t anything in it saying he can’t commujicate

Hi Tropicana,

Hope you and the children keep safe.

Regarding the sister in law, don't even open her messages!

Allow the police to deal with her.

I have no idea how a DVO works, maybe you just need some space right now to think about how you want to go forward and how you are going to manage that.

All the best from Dools

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Tropicana,

Firstly, I want to congratulate you on having the courage to stand up and say enough is enough and choose a better life for yourself and your kids. As someone who has left an abusive partner, I understand how hard it can be. In my experience though, sadly, these things rarely occur in a vacuum. My partner’s sister was also abusive in her relationship, in front of all of us, and it sickened me how the family enabled it. They would go quiet when she belittled her partner viciously. At first I thought everyone was merely uncomfortable, but it became obvious over time that they would only step in when someone else did, against that person. They also tried to discredit her partner subtlety etc. Unfortunately your partner’s family are too close to this situation and not objective at all. It’s hurtful because you expect people to care for your well-being and everyone to be equally horrified by domestic violence, but there’s reasons why abusers are allowed to continue their behavior for decades unstopped.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Tropicana,

I just want to say I know exactly how you feel as I am in your situation myself, with a few differences but the situation is much the same in regards to where family of the ex is a major issue.

I just want to point out that it seems your (ex)husband does at least want to deal with the issue, as it seems he does try to defend you in some way. I am not saying he is changed or if he is a good person (DV is not acceptable at all), but he does seem to not blame you for it fully, and realize that he is to blame for some of it as well. It does sound like there is hope for him, maybe not in the future with you, but at least for your children's sake, so I hope he continues to better himself, to become a better person, and at least become a better father than he was a husband (maybe he is a good father regardless, still a good sign).

As for the rest of the family, I would purely ignore them, as I have, try to exclude them from "negotiations" with your husband, as this will work in both your favor and his in regards to coming to some amicable and civil solutions to the future for you and your children (an him as well). When I say ignore, do take a little note so that (should it come to it) you have some evidence of the pressure his family is putting on you, but don't let it deter you from gaining a better solution to your situation.

In all these "negotiation" please keep your children's best interests in mind as a top priority, and keep yourself (and children) safe. Again, DV is not acceptable, but at least give him a chance to become (as I said earlier) a better father than he was a husband (or keep being a better father if he is good with them already).