Fact: A woman increases her risk of death by 75% when she attempts to leave a violent relationship.
Fact: Even with a safety plan in place, in the event her violent husband responds negatively to the ultimatum, chances are minimal that she will make it to the door uninjured--if she makes it to the door at all.
Question: How many battered women out there have been physically prevented from getting out the door or had the telephone ripped out of your hands and violently destroyed before the violence was turned on you?
The quote below contains advice from author, speaker, Focus on the Family Vice President and media spokesperson, Dr. Bill Maier, to a battered wife in response to a letter for help he received just this year. Dangerous advice is hi-lighted in bold.
Begin Quote: My colleague, Dr. James Dobson, addresses the issue of domestic abuse in his book Love Must Be Tough. He believes the best approach is to force a crisis that confronts the problem head-on. Only then can it be treated and resolved. When you and your husband are both in a good mood, let him know that you have something important to discuss. Tell him that you love him very much, but that you are not going to allow him to abuse you any more. Tell him that you want him to get counseling for his anger problem immediately, and that unless he agrees, you are going to need to separate from him for a while. Given his past behavior, it's likely that he will beg for your forgiveness and promise that he will never harm you again. As much as you may be tempted to believe him, don't. Set a deadline for him to start counseling and stick to your guns. You also need to have a safety plan in place in the event that your husband responds negatively to this news. End Quote http://listen.family.org/askdrbill/A000000380.cfm
Do Not Follow Dr. Bill's Advice! Do not depend on that safety plan to get you out of the house in one piece. Do depend on the fact that Dr. Bill's advice could get you killed.
Update Feb 2008: We are happy to report that Dr. Bill has seen this post and revised his advice to battered wives. His response can be read here: