The mom went to court seeking a protection order against her husband after an alarming incident in December and following years of emotional and psychological abuse.
A judge has granted a B.C. mother of two autistic children a protection order against her husband, who she said had abused her for many years.
The mother, who is not identified in the judge’s ruling on the case, went to court in Kelowna in January and made a so-called ex parte application, an application without notifying her husband, because she feared his reaction at the news that she wanted a divorce.
The move came after the parents had had a heated discussion in December, following which the husband became aggressive and smashed a laptop computer, breaking it.
The husband then allegedly grabbed their youngest child, who is about 10 years old, and called the mom a “bitch.” Police were called and the ministry of children and families became involved.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Ann Donegan heard that, for many years, the husband had engaged in a pattern of psychological and emotional abuse of his wife.
The couple, who were married in 1997, encountered difficulties in December 2000 after the husband was convicted in connection to a fatal motor vehicle crash in the United States and was sentenced to two years in prison.
While he was serving his sentence, the mother had a brief affair, which the husband learned of by having his brother follow his wife.
When the husband returned to B.C., the couple reconciled, but the mother told the court that since then, her husband has engaged in many behaviours aimed at maintaining total control over her, both emotionally and financially.
She said she was not permitted to go to the mall or to motels or hotels, and was not allowed to attend her grandmother’s funeral or her cousin’s wedding.
She couldn’t speak to women who had left their spouses, with the exception of one friend who the husband considered “crazy.”
The mother said she was not allowed her own credit card, private email account, or Facebook account.
She said that she was not physically prevented from attending events or places, but was warned by her husband that there “would be consequences” if she did so.
The woman also claimed that for at least 10 years she had been unable to freely contact or visit her parents, who live in the Lower Mainland.
On one recent occasion when she asked to go see her mother, she said that her husband started to bang his head on their solid wood kitchen table, waking up one of the children who screamed and asked what was wrong with the father.
The judge concluded that the mom was an at-risk family member.
“The evidence establishes that her safety and security is, or is likely, at risk from family violence carried out by the (father),” said the judge. “Exposed as they are indirectly, I find the children also qualify as at-risk family members.”
The judge ordered that the father not be allowed at the family home and refrain from following or communicating with his wife.