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Old 01.12.2018, 07:30
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Threatened by family member

Last night after an argument between me and my father in-law, my son heard my brother in-law vaguely threaten to harm me. Iíve personally heard him make similar threats before, even toward his own family. During a land dispute with his uncle several years ago he told me he was thinking of having him killed. I didnít think he was serious, but now Iím not so sure. He often refers to himself as ďthe boss of the familyĒ and heís a big fan of The Godfather films, no joke.

Iím wondering what my legal recourse is. I have no proof, so I suppose notifying the police is useless. My first thought was to tell a few friends what my son heard, and tell my brother in-law that Iíve informed a few people of his threat, and if anything were to happen to me, the police would come to him first. Is there anything legally wrong with my doing that?

Iím trying to not be paranoid here, but this person seriously has a screw loose and Iíd rather not end up dead.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 01.12.2018, 12:04
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Re: Threatened by family member

Here is the Victims' Support Centre in Lucerne.
https://disg.lu.ch/themen/opferberat...chsberechtigte

They are professionals offering advice (I think it is free, you'd have to check that) to people who have been victims of crimes. And yes, "threatening" is not allowed.
Unfortunately, they're not open over the weekend.
Montag bis Freitag
08.30 - 12.00 Uhr
13.30 - 16.00 Uhr.

The Police are, in fact, often a good place to start, especially as you don't sound as if you'd be going there with your own guns ablazing, demanding things from them. Just go and ask them for advice. They know that many types of odd or dangerous behaviours don't just suddenly happen out of the blue, but have been hinted at before they happen. Fortunately, at least the main Police Stations are open 24-hours.

You do not sound paranoid, to me, from this one post, but that's besides the point. The general rule with regard to potential violence is that it is better to err on the side of caution, better to approach the police or another professional one time too many, than one time to too few, once too early, than once too late.

I wish you courage, and if you can, take someone with you to the police station. Most especially do this if you cannnot speak/understand enough German. Take your son (who heard the threat) if he is older than 18, or any other adult witness, or otherwise another stable adult you can trust to stay calm.
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Old 01.12.2018, 12:40
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Re: Threatened by family member

If he's a Godfather's fan.....go to the mattresses..

Confront him when you have a couple of friends around? He might be stupid enough to lose it....the bullies usually lash out if their huge ego is hurt.
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Old 01.12.2018, 12:54
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Re: Threatened by family member

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If he's a Godfather's fan.....go to the mattresses..

Confront him when you have a couple of friends around? He might be stupid enough to lose it....the bullies usually lash out if their huge ego is hurt.
This isn't a movie. There are kids involved.


NEVER take action in your own hands, especially as right now it's just words. Inform the police first, leave a written report back. Then inform him through friends or relatives and not directly that it's unacceptable to hint at violence and the authorities are notified.


Then de-escalate this. Avoid him and his family like the plague.
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Old 01.12.2018, 16:24
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Re: Threatened by family member

Thanks doropfiz and troublawesome for your thoughtful replies. Iím really grateful for such supportive advice.

Greenmount, that was my initial knee jerk reaction too. But I really want to handle this in a way in which unlike the movies, we donít all get hurt in the end. I do appreciate your perspective, though. If I were in his situation, single with no responsibility but himself, I might go toe to toe with him. Iím afraid that would be giving him exactly what he wants. I have to think about my familyís wellbeing. I have too much to lose.
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Old 01.12.2018, 16:39
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Re: Threatened by family member

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Last night after an argument between me and my father in-law, my son heard my brother in-law vaguely threaten to harm me. I’ve personally heard him make similar threats before, even toward his own family. During a land dispute with his uncle several years ago he told me he was thinking of having him killed.
Given the background, agree completely with Doropfiz: Get professional advice from the Victims Support Line. Then, at least, you have documented proof if push comes to shove.
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Old 01.12.2018, 18:03
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Re: Threatened by family member

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Any advice is appreciated.
Take him for short walk of a long cliff?
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Old 01.12.2018, 18:16
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Re: Threatened by family member

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Take him for short walk of a long cliff?
Would you like to elaborate?
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Old 01.12.2018, 18:25
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Re: Threatened by family member

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Take him for short walk of a long cliff?
You've got it backwards, it's "a long walk off a short pier".

Meanwhile, should you decide to challenge him to play the knife game, I have several high-quality French switch-blades that you could borrow.

Tom
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Old 01.12.2018, 18:28
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Re: Threatened by family member

Does he have any beloved horses by any chance?
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Old 01.12.2018, 18:43
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Re: Threatened by family member

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Does he have any beloved horses by any chance?
Alas, it's tomorrow's lunch!

(50% off at Coop today)

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Old 01.12.2018, 19:18
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Re: Threatened by family member

Shouldn't your wife know best, how serious this situation really is? I guess this kind of talk is not new to her?
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Old 01.12.2018, 19:26
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Re: Threatened by family member

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Shouldn't your wife know best, how serious this situation really is? I guess this kind of talk is not new to her?
No, she's actually quite shocked by it and equally unsure of how to handle it. She doubted me when he made the threats toward his uncle years ago. Now that my son is involved she's much more motivated.
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Old 01.12.2018, 21:44
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Re: Threatened by family member

Shouldn't your father-in-law be considered the Head of the Family?

Has anyone asked what does he thinks about this, or is he not aware of his son's behaviour?
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Old 02.12.2018, 00:56
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Re: Threatened by family member

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No, she's actually quite shocked by it and equally unsure of how to handle it. She doubted me when he made the threats toward his uncle years ago. Now that my son is involved she's much more motivated.
I don't know how to say it, but I find it a bit strange that your own wife doubted you. It will be very difficult for you to avoid her family...it seems.
Police won't be able to do anything as long as you don't have any witnesses, and my tongue-in-cheek comment was more like a hint to get some witnesses to his threats...of course, it's a fantasy.
But seriously, don't get over defensive and fatalistic. All the best to you, I hope you'll find a solution.
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Old 02.12.2018, 06:28
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Re: Threatened by family member

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Shouldn't your father-in-law be considered the Head of the Family?
Not that itís relevant, since the point is that the brother in law sees himself as the head... but anyway, itís not some kind of inherited title, itís a question of dominant (alpha male) behavior.

OP, document it with a discussion with the police (or this victims support line, I donít know it). If they feel itís serious enough to warrant a follow up with the BIL, then that might bring him in line. If they donít, then they probably will if it happens again (or, should things escalate, they know where to start looking).
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Old 03.12.2018, 14:01
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Re: Threatened by family member

Thanks a lot for all the sincere responses.

My wife merely found it difficult to believe that her brother could say such a thing, as you could imagine. She was sure I misunderstood or that, like I also suspected, he was joking. That's all changed now.

I don't really subscribe to the whole "head of the family" thing. My wife and I are the heads of our family, and it pretty much stops there as far as we're concerned. That's the whole problem for her brother, who views everything through the lens of control and influence. He sees himself as next in line to inherit the throne, never mind that there is no kingdom to speak of. He's delusional, and suffers from an extreme closed-feedback loop in his own life.

I'll contact the victim's helpline as suggested. I'm not yet sure if I want to directly involve the police, as that could exacerbate the situation.

Thanks again. You're all golden.
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Old 03.01.2019, 11:10
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Re: Threatened by family member

Dear EFers
Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I'd keep relevant topics together.

In our case it's a father who is threatening and very aggressive with words, emotions and actions.

I am no longer with him (he moved in with his most recent affair that he had while still married to me.)
The kids are with him 50% as I agreed at the time with his promise he loves the kids and wants to take care of them.

Meanwhile he still
, according to the kids, yells and screams at them for anything and everything. The kids are constantly on eggshells. He locks them in their rooms and threatens them with being locked in there all day. He tells the kids I'm crazy and mean to him, and e writes me A++ mail to tell me I'm psycho and am to blame for everything

It leaves the kids feeling scared, lonely, unloved and confused because they know I am a good mum to them and never bad-mouth their dad to them. The kids in fact draw their own conclusions about their father. When talk about it, I do so with professionals in a calm solution oriented way.

I've applied officially to have the kids sleep and have their stability with me and visit their father every day if they want. It just takes a long time

Would it be OTT do you think to go with them to the Frauen Haus? The kids and I are really suffering and I'm otherwise on my own here.

Thanks for the help guys and happy New year

Flying fox
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Old 03.01.2019, 14:47
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Re: Threatened by family member

Yes, I would recommend you speak either to the Frauenhaus or to the Child protection team at the Kinderspital (assuming you're in zurich).


I am sure they can advise you with what options you have - I would suggest making an appointment first on your own, and then getting their advice in how to include the children.



It goes without saying that you should be recording all abusive behaviour, saving emails or text messages in a safe place, and certainly inform the police if you feel like this man is a possible threat. If you do try to make additional restrictions on his access to the kids, then that is likely to trigger worse behaviour, so I would say that you need to speak to the Frauenhaus about how you can protect yourself and your children.
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Old 07.01.2019, 23:09
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Re: Threatened by family member

What exactly can the police do, other than escalate the situation?

I know it's a knee-jerk reaction many people have, but police cannot really prevent crimes from happening, they can only show up after the fact and take pictures.
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