Some men kill their wives, others steal the children

Statistics show that abusive men who kill their wives do so after they have been separated or divorce. What about statistics of men who emotionally kill their wives off by robbing them of the very children they carried and nurtured since birth? There must be a special name for this type of murderers and this morning I set out to find out just what they are called.

Post-separation violence can take many forms, including physical or sexual assault, threats of physical abuse, stalking, harassment, and threats related to taking custody of the children or refusing child support.

Wikipedia on Domestic Violence: “Clinicians should not relax their vigilance after a battered wife leaves her husband, because some data suggest that the period immediately following a marital separation is the period of greatest risk for the women. Many men will stalk and batter their wives in an effort to get them to return or punish them for leaving. Initial assessments of the potential for violence in a marriage can be supplemented by standardized interviews and questionnaires, which have been reliable and valid aids in exploring marital violence more systematically.”

Then there is the case of The Obsessed Abuser, Family Violence Prevention Fund “He may make threats to kill himself or her if she leaves him, asks for a separation or divorce. He often says, “If I can’t have you, no one will.” This behavior may persevere months or years after a separation. His criminal record can include violations of protective orders or situations where he has disturbed the peace as he pursues or harasses his partner. However, some of these men have clean records – only the partner knows about his jealousy and possessiveness.”

Spouse Murder and Separation Violence – Finally, I found the official terms for these behaviors.

Men like O.J. Simpson, think they are the abused spouses are very dangerous during separation and divorce. In one study of spousal homicide, over half of the male defendants were separated from their victims. G.W. Bernard, H. Vera, M.I. Vera, and G. Newman, “Till Death Do Us Part: A Study of Spouse Murder,” Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 10 (1982).

Bristol, CT Police Department  has compiled some data:
Men, who believe they are entitled to relationship with battered women or that they “own” their female partner, view women’s departure as an ultimate betrayal which justifies retaliation. (Saudners & Browne, 1990; Dutton, 1988; Bernard el at, 1982)

Evidence of the gravity of separation violence is overwhelming.

Husband threatening to declare wife insane and threatening to take the children away:

In the book  The batterer as parent: addressing the impact of domestic violence on family It is common for batterers to threaten to take children away from the battered woman by proving her to be an unfit mother (Doyne et al., 1999). Threatened or actual litigation regarding custody or visitation can become a critical avenue for the batterer to maintain control after separation (Shepard, cited in Straus 1995).

For this reason, some lawyers advise women not to tell courts or mediators about child abuse or domestic abuse because, by doing so, they risk losing custody to the alleged abuser (“Custody Litigation,” 1988; Saccuzzo & Johnson, 2004).

Message to Victims that you will often see posted says:


Really? What can I do to get out this situation? You can only get out of it if you do something before this situation has exploded in your face.

In the News: Kimberly Smith was murdered in her Oconomowoc home Oct. 1 2009 during a custody battle.

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10 Responses to Some men kill their wives, others steal the children

  1. JRKmommy says:

    Speaking as a family and child protection lawyer…..

    I find that it is really essential to ensure that the abused spouse has a support system in place, esp. if the abuse has taken place over a long period of time.

    In some of my more challenging cases, the woman is so used to being controlled that she truly feels helpless and unable to manage even basic things on her own. This is especially true if she was young when she entered the relationship, if she doesn’t have family and friends supporting her when she leaves and if she doesn’t work outside the home.

    These can include:
    – confiding in a family doctor
    – joining support groups
    – getting involved with women’s centers
    – finding a decent individual therapist
    – building up skills for independent living, such as finding employment, managing finances and generally making decisions on one’s own

    It’s also really important to have good relationships with third parties who are involved with the kids. Assessors automatically speak with teachers, daycare providers, doctors, etc, and their comments can hae a HUGE impact.

    I have never advised anyone to refrain from disclosing serious, relevant abuse, and I screen for safety issues from the very first meeting. However, I do ask a LOT of question first, and obtain the maximum amount of documentation and detail.

    I have had cases where custody was awarded to a man who had been abusive toward the spouse, because of other issues (substance abuse, mental health, general instability in life).

    That said, this is NOT a reason to generally believe an abuser’s threats that he will take the children. In many cases, it is a threat that is used to terrify despite the fact that no court would ever consider awarding him custody. It is a reason to have a consultation with a good family lawyer who can help assess a good strategy, and provide a more objective view of the situation. Each case is different, and laws can also vary considerably from place to place, so internet discussions can’t replace expert, local legal advice.

  2. f/e says:

    when i walked by a newspaper stand this morning (in israel) there was a headline of a divorced husband who killed his 3 sons, saying if i cant have them then they will be with me in heaven.

  3. Deborah Webster says:

    I am a licensed Professional Therapist and I have a daughter who is married to an abusive man. My daughter left this man 4 years ago when their baby daughter was only 6 weeks old. Her husband was abusing all of them including breaking their dog’s leg and threatening to throw the baby off the balcony.
    My daughter went through a nightmare in the court system. She was called a liar by the Guardian Ad Litem and we spent over $10,000 trying to help our daughter get away from this very abusive controlling man. To make a long story short she went back to him after 7 months of fighting in the courts and getting nowhere. She was so afraid she was going to lose custody of the baby to him. His dad had more money and everywhere she went she was treated as if she was a liar. This man is very good at what he does. He can fool a lot of people. My daughter is now totally isolated from her family and we do not see our Granddaughter. My daughter no longer has a mind of her own. He continues to abuse both my daughter and my Granddaughter.
    I cannot begin to tell you while working in my private practice with children in divorce how common it is for women to be treated like this. The courts call it parental alienation and believe women make up stuff just to screw over their husbands from their parental rights. However, there are a lot of women who are truly being abused and are not lying about being abused by their spouses.
    I have Aspergers and I have a high sense of justice. I will never trust the court system again after what I experienced in the courts of Missouri. My husband and I are beyond ourselves and do not know how to overcome our grief and worry for our daughter and Granddaughter. We pray for our daughter to come to her senses. But she continues to remind me that she was traumatized by the courts and will not take the chance of losing her baby to him. This is a heart wrenching experience.

  4. Sandy says:

    Please don’t let your spirit be murdered that’s just what he wants. Hope you have above resources available. They (the children) need you anyway. I’m sure you’re the only one that has their best interest at heart and can make a difference for them. Be strong and have God in your corner, L and P

  5. Pingback: Some men kill their wives, others steal the children « Battered Mothers-A Human Rights Issue

  6. sarah jane white says:

    this is brill and what i am going throu sarah jane white cambridge england

  7. Cecilia Wilkins says:

    I would pray that you have the opportunity to “bug” their home and put some sort of a camera system to work that captures a video of this heartbreaking beast/monster at work. He sounds as if he is trully demon-posessed and only sophisticated technology that God has given us through the brilliant minds of gifted men and women who have accomplished what we as proactive parents MUST take the initiative through P.I.s to do for our dear children who are screaming for our help, support and guidance. You can do it. As they say, anything the mind conceives can be achieved. Our country spies on enemies armament sites to protect us…be smart and do the same for your precious daughter and granddaughter. God speed and NEVER look back. Beat the MONSTER at his own sick game! My prayers are with you all. Let me know if your proactive actions are fruitful. Cecilia

  8. Abused Wife says:

    I am going through this nightmare after being a silent victim for over 20 years. I thank God everyday for the doctor who sav easy to leaveed me. After a 15 minute conversation, I knew it was time to save myself and my children.

    It isn’t easy to leave a abuser who has sociopathic tendancies. They are so good at lying, projection and gaslighting. They can fool almost everyone! Mine sure had so many people fooled until I pulled out a tape recorder with the proof!!!

  9. Mother of 4 says:

    I am going through this hell and about to lose my children I need legal help but I cant afford it!! please help?

  10. “Some men kill their wives, others steal the children |
    Autism Custody Battles” really got me addicted on ur site!
    I actuallywill be back again significantly more normally.
    Thank you ,Cyrus

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