They also ask if they’ve ever reported the violence to police, she said. If someone wants to obtain a protective order, they need a police report to do that.
“Always trust your gut,” Tietjen said when it comes to children in the household. “If your gut is concerned the children will be hurt, the children will be hurt.”
There can definitely be a link between violence between spouses and child abuse, she said, adding that when controlling isn’t working with the spouse, the abuser can turn to the children.
Take any threats seriously, she advised.
Parents need to trust their own instincts, she said.
“I don’t want to make a person out to being a bad parent for staying in a relationship [where there is domestic violence between partners],” Tietjen said. “It may be safest thing to do at times.”
However, it’s never good for anyone to live in a situation where violence is present, she said.
Parents should also be aware that children always know what’s going on in the house, even if the adults try to keep it from them, Tietjen said.
Children always love their parents whether they hurt them or not, something parents need to think about as they are moving children, she said.
Parents who have left domestic violence situations should be aware that, unless there is a strong enough reportable crime, the other parent will probably be able to spend time with the children, as well, Tietjen said.
“Relationships are hard,” Tietjen said.
Though Freedom House does not work with offenders, other resources in the community are available for those who are the aggressors in domestic violence situations or may be recognizing they are engaging in behavior that isn’t healthy.
There are numerous counselors in Weatherford that can help work with the individual on issues such as anger management and CPS can even be a resource for those wanting help, she said.
They recognize that dealing with domestic violence is painful and happens to one in four women in their lifetime, Tietjen said.
“A lot of women struggle with this issue,” she said. “You are not alone.”
More information on Freedom House can be found at www.freedomhousepc.org and the 24-hour hotline is 817-596-8922.