Off the bat I will say that I can’t understand the dynamics and psychology of an abusive marriage. I leave that to those who are still trying to figure it out and haven’t been able to come up with a solution since the Homo Sapiens began roaming this planet.
But what we need to break is the idea that an abusive partner needs to be given “chances” for whatever reason: He did not mean it, he loves me/us, he is the father of my children,” etc. Once the partner has crossed the line and inflicted damage on the “loved one” he surrenders any consideration and must be kept as far as possible from the intended victims.
Ron Haskell seemed had a history of getting violent and yet nothing congealed into final legal action other than the divorce proceedings. And when somebody kidnaps, ties down & tries to choke his own mother, we are seeing somebody who is way past anger and hopping down the path of uncontrollable rage. The mother sought a restraining order but there was a breakdown somewhere because Haskell was not arrested. Would having Haskell arrested changed the outcome? maybe, maybe not but we will never know. Somebody who is determined to inflict death and then kill himself (not in this case but we have seen it prior and will see it again) is obviously not afraid of spending some time behind bars.
If anything, our society need to take cases like this very seriously. Unfortunately, it is now the norm in many divorce cases to preempt a husband legal actions and hobble him with a bogus restraining order. This is a despicable tactic by divorce lawyers and has undermined the value and respect people have for those things. Still, if a woman is being abused, she needs to have the husband arrested and a restraining order put in place if for nothing else that stating a firm legal paper trail. You should also have a lawyer or some sort of advocate keeping an eye on your case. Keep track of any attempts of contact by your Ex and notify anybody that needs to be notified. Violations of the order are not a thing to dismiss and it may dampen the efforts your Ex may have, but do not bet on that.
Next and as much as possible, change your routines. You lived with a person that by that time knows you better than your own mother. He knows your likes, dislikes, where you go shopping, times you wake up and go to sleep, where do you gas your vehicle, at what time yo go to work, etc. Choose different stores, go out of your way if necessary to get your everyday items, try to throw his timing off as much as possible. On those location that you cannot change, increase your lever of awareness to Paranoid Level if necessary.
It is silly, but many forget to change locks and secure windows. If you cannot move to a secure location, at least make sure he does not have easy access to your domicile. Surveillance systems these days can be found for a very reasonable prices and being able to see who is outside without exposing yourself can prove invaluable .
I don’t have kids so I don’t have any good advice to give you on how to deal with that very delicate matter. You are gonna have to find others with that knowledge.
And yes, arm yourself, take a class or two, make yourself proficient with your firearm. Many firearm instructors will waive fees to women who are victims of abuse and put them in front of the line for training. Get your concealed permit and carry the gun with you at all times. You may not need it, but f you do, it will do you no good locked away in some drawer. If it on you, it can be reached instantly and it is under your control.
Let me get back to the restraining order and keeping track of violations of the same. Besides helping your case during the divorce proceedings, they may be used to prove a history of violence against you should you be forced to use deadly force to defend you life. Although many prosecutors know better than bring a case against a battered woman, some have no problems with getting a notch carved if they smell they can get an easy conviction with your case. Full documentation of prior abuse, threats, violations of the restraining order may help a bad prosecutor rethink if it is a good electoral idea to go after a woman for murder or manslaughter after she was attacked by an Ex. Police reports, affidavits from witnesses, medical reports, any paperwork that can be presented by your lawyer in that worst case scenario will avoid you being victimized twice.
This is not a comprehensive list of things to do nor a 100% guarantee that you shall not have problems if you follow the above advice. but simply some tips to increase your percentage points of avoiding and surviving bad times. Nobody can guarantee you a perfect plan. The latest slogan of Not One More is just that and slogans don’t stop determined killers.