Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Guns & Domestic Abuse

From the Huffington Post:

Nicole Beverly, a clinical social worker living in Ypsilanti, Michigan, hadn’t given her husband’s gun much thought until the night he pressed it against her head.

It was 2009. Before that, her husband, a former police officer, had never threatened her with his firearm. It sat in a box in their bedroom closet, almost forgotten. Over the years, she said, he had abused her in other ways: Calling her names, shoving her to the ground, throwing objects in her direction. But the gun never made an appearance.

Once it did, everything changed. From then on Beverly, then 36, couldn’t stop thinking about the weapon, she said. She was acutely aware of its exact location in the house at any given time, in terror of when it might be brandished next.

But he didn’t have to take it out again. He only needed to mention it and Beverly would shrink. He frequently threatened to kill her, she said, telling her he knew exactly where to shoot to paralyze her. He told her he would disfigure her face, she said, and that she would never see it coming.

It took five months after the incident for her to gather the courage to leave. And when she did she took the gun.

“I didn’t feel safe leaving the relationship knowing he had it in his possession because he was threatening me with it on a regular basis,” Beverly told The Huffington Post by phone on Wednesday. “Once it was introduced into the equation, it became a tool of intimidation and fear.”

Read more here.

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