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Question
Posted by: Triple x | 2003/02/24

Mad Dad

My parents are divorced for about 6 yrs now. My father has a terrible drinking problem and when he gets drunk he enjoys picking on my mother. The thing is I live in another city with my family and because I've seen this behaviour all through my childhood I am feeling very helpless at the moment. I've written to him hoping that he will stop verbally abusing my mother as well as my 2 brothers but he obviously doesn't care. I need to know if there is anything I could suggest that he does. He has been to AA but never kept to it. He has had a very troubled childhood but still he lives in the past. I am scared that he might hurt my mother maybe even kill her. I know it sounds drastic but he has hurt her many times in the past, mainly when he got drunk.
Please if you can help, I would appreciate it.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear Triple x,
You are describing an abusive alcoholic. But what I don't understand, from your message is this --- if they are divorced, how on earth does he get the opportunity to abuse your mother ? Surely, drunk or sober, he has no right to intrude into her life and cause her problems. He shouldn't be living with her, though, if there are younger children, he should be paying maintenance to her to provide for their care.
She need to consult a lawyer, and perhaps also the Family Advocate's office, to obtain a Court Order forbidding him from making contact with her, or coming within a specified distance from her, and not abusing her or the children or causing them any distress. Then, if he chooses to ignore the order, he would go to jail. With a past history of violence, and a future possibility of violence, it is not tolerable that he should be allowed to intrude and cause further distress.

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