July 21, 2006

To whom it may concern:

Janet Brouse, my wife, goes into violent rages. Over the last several years, the rages have increased in intensity and frequency. There does not appear to be anything in particular that triggers one of her episodes. In general, it starts with screaming verbal abuse. It use to end after she screamed until she couldn’t scream any more. Now, she does not seem to end unless she physically beats me. I have never hit her.

I’ve asked her to get help. She refuses. I’ve attempted to limit my exposure to her rages, but I refuse to abandon my children (especially when she is being physically violent.)

On Friday, April 14, 2006, Janet went into a rage. In the mid-evening, it started with abusive screaming. She asked me to go outside so she could scream at me without waking up our son. When I went outside, she punched me with her full force in the chest. I said, “I can’t believe you just did that. You punched me. You just assaulted me.” And, I walked away. After a short period of time, she came back at me.. I begged her to stop or she would force me to have to call the police. In the event that the police did arrive at our house, I wrote several notes explaining that my wife was physically abusing me.

Some time of calm passed. Thinking she was done raging, I did not call the police at that time. However, several minutes later she started attacking me, again. She would punch me over and over again until I would defend myself by holding her hands away from me. When I would do this, she would start kicking me. Every attempt I made to retreat from her, she attacked with a barrage of punches and kicks that preventing me from being able to move. Eventually, we rolled to the ground. I attempted to hold her arms and legs away from me and begged her to stop. She would just scream louder and inflict as much pain as she could. Any attempt to get away from her resulted in more of her blows landing on me. If I would ask her to please stop, she wouldn’t and instead would do things like spit in my face or dig her nails into me, etc.

Finally, one of the neighbors called the police. When she saw them arriving, she came out of the rage. I helped her from the ground, and we went into the house. She sat down at the table. The police knocked at the door. Upon opening the door, the police grabbed me, pulled me from the house, frisked and cuffed me. Though I did not resist in any way, shape or form, the police applied excessive force. The handcuffs were tightened to such an extent that I yelled out several times. I had to ask repeatedly and beg that they be loosened. Then, the officer made them even tighter. He said he had to tighten them more before he could loosen them. Because of their handling, I was severely injured.

The police interviewed both Janet and I, before letting me go. Since I love my wife and didn’t want her to be arrested, I didn’t accuse her directly of attacking me. There where many other reasons why I did not speak louder that night, many reasons, most of which had to do with the children. Perhaps I did not yell loud enough... I still did ask several of the officers about what a man can do when his wife beats him. I had thought it was an unusual situation in which the man was the victim of domestic abuse. They told me it was about 50/50.

For whatever reason, the police did not find the notes I had written to them. (Janet later told me she had hid them and would not give them to me.)

As soon as the police left, Janet drove me to the hospital.

Because she didn’t continue to rage, I was hoping the police incident would make her realize how severe her rages had become. Afraid I would have to testify against her, in addition to dealing with the ramifications of accusations against the police dept., I decided not to file a complaint against the police officers at that time.

Several days passed before the next rage. Then, they started becoming even more severe. There was nothing I could think of to help her.

The morning of July 18, 2006, she started raging at me. My son could hear her screaming at me and asked her to stop. He made several attempts to console her and mediate a reasonable conversation. Each time she would quickly start screaming at me, again. She would leave the room for a minute or two, come back in, and my son would try to reason with her. She started screaming at him, as well as, me. The last time she came into the room with us, he asked her to stop screaming obscenities and leaving. She tried shoving him out of the way and began beating on him with her fists. My son and I both decided it was best to get away from her.

I’d witnessed Janet going into the part of the rage where she screamed at my son and was verbally abusive. But, this was the first time I’d ever seen her beat him the way she does to me.

Later that day, after she had calmed down, we were able to hold a conversation. She went out for a while for a function with the children. When she returned, I could tell she was still trying to fight with me. Many attempts were made to change the direction we were headed. I finally had to ask her to leave the house for a while. Upon her return, she was still trying to fight. Since we’d lost power and we were trying to switch over to the generator, I told her I couldn’t fight with her now. So, she started with my son. When he attempted to reason with her and discuss her paperwork, she took the papers, tour them up, threw them in his face, started shoving him and then hitting him. I intervened and tried to ask if she knew she was punching our son. She wouldn’t talk to me and got in between me and the door I was trying to exit. She started screaming she was leaving, but did not. Rather, she proceeded hitting me over and over. I said, “I thought you said you were leaving, please do.” She continued hitting me until I helped her out the door, closing it to stop any more blows from landing on me and locking it to prevent immediate re-entry.

She got into a car and left. The kids called her several times trying to reason with her, to no avail. Later that night, she came back to the house and unlocked the door with her keys. She took property that was jointly owned, some owned by me and some owned by the children. Then, she left. This wasn’t the first time she went into a rage, beat me and abandoned the children. On the other hand, this time was quite different. I can not comprehend her beating on my son once. Is beating on him once in a day the same as beating on him more than once in a day? And, is she hitting him as hard as she hits me? These are questions I thought I’d never have to ask.

The next day she would not talk to me. When the kids called to reason with her, she would not. Later that day, she filed a protection order against me asking for sole custody of the children.

The police arrived and took my daughter away. However, my son refused to go and wanted to stay with me. Because of his age, he was allowed to decide. He is staying with me. He doesn’t want his mother to hit him any more and becomes more frightened every day.

Daniel and Christopher Brouse

[Christopher helped write this letter. He’d rather sign it then ask his grandmother for money so that he could hire an attorney. When I asked him about other alternatives to signing it, he said they wouldn’t work. He’d rather just tell the truth. And no matter what, he does not want the children, him nor his sister, nor any child to have their mother do this to their children.

Both him and I say -- “Christopher doesn’t want his mother to hit him any more. Daniel doesn’t want his mother to hit him any more. We are more frightened every day.”]

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