Posted by: Nikky | 2012-12-10

Death threats

Hi CS,

I have been married for 13 years and moved country to be with my husband, so my family live in another country. We have 2 kids. The problem is that my father in law keeps threatening to kill me. He owns a weapon and has been found with it against his head before. Now the threat is against the whole family, so I am out of the spotlight for once. The reason for the threats is that I refuse to give more money and now the family as a whole refuse to give money as the individual refuses to work.

My family wants to pay for me to get a restraining order against this maniac, but my husband said I am over reacting. I am petrified of this individual and worry for my kids too. He was in the army for a number of years, so knows about how to use a weapon.

I feel like fleeing for my life... Any tips?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

ALL such threats have to be taken seriously, and nobody, fathers-in-law included are allowed to threaten anyone else's life, let alone to atempt to or actually damage them. That's criminal behaviour.
When you mention "another country" Im not clear which countries or cultures are relevant here. If you are in SA, or any other country I know of, to threaten to kill anyone is a criminal offense for which someone can be arrested and jailed. And the more so if he is threatening a whole family. Why is he so hostile and aggressive ? Why can't the family apprpach the police and have his gun license revoked and the gun removed ?
If he refuses to work, its his business to get a job, not threaten other people with shooting them if they don't support his laziness. This is probably Demanding Money with Menaces, and a further crime.
Of course you should get a restraining order against this vicious person, and it should be suggested to the court that he also be sent to a secure psychiatric hospital for compulsory assessment as this is in no way normal or acceptable behaviour.
As Liza says, once there is a restraining order, the entire family must insist it is kept to - and if he breaks it ever or in any way, he is to be arested and end in jail.
You are all under-reacting. And there is no suh thing as a person who will never act on their threats - often enough they do, so all such threats must be taken very seriously.
Maybe a group like POWA which advises abused women, could help advise on safe places you and your children could seek refuge while this horrible person is being dealt with legally.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Anoescha | 2012-12-11

Its sad that your husband had to grow up with this and now considers it normal ( and you crazy, i''ve been in such a situation), always trust your gut, it is WRONG and take action, if you dont, something WILL happen and you will regret not doing all you can to prevent it.

Reply to Anoescha
Posted by: Gail | 2012-12-10

File a complaint with the Police and get a restraining order immediately.

Reply to Gail
Posted by: Liza | 2012-12-10

Get that restraining order. You ALWAYS have to take these kinds of threats seriously. And once you have the restraining order - don''t let this dangerous man get away with violating the conditions of the restraining order - not even for the smallest infraction. If he violates the conditions in any way, he MUST be arrested.

It''s not you overreacting - it''s your husband who''s under-reacting to an extremely dangerous situation. Perhaps he thinks that he knows his father well enough and that his father will never follow through with the threats BUT I also thought that my mom would never hurt me until she attacked me with a knife one night! If my brother hadn''t been there to restrain her while I ran away, I''d be dead today.

Don''t play Russian roulette with your and your children''s lives. It''s FAR better to be safe than sorry!

Good Luck,

Reply to Liza

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