I notice that Stan asked for an update on my little dilemma-let, or rather the poor lady in question. I have only spoken to her a couple of times since the incident, but things are not too shiny in her world. Since the incident in question, the violence has been less physical and more mental. The chap hid her mobile phone in the garage, stopped all money (he insists that she have her wages paid into his account and is the sole card-holder for the account) and has generally been a control-freak.
The phone disappeared just after the police did a follow-up call and the social services had been around to interview the children. It reappeared last weekend, which is why I know of all this.
She has packed and unpacked several times. He has threatened to move back to his hometown. They, between them, have decided that they will tolerate this mutual pathos until Christmas is over and then address the problems head on, with a view to either ironing out the creases or going their different ways.
Having been through a divorce myself, I would hate to go through one again. I'm glad I did it though; any other path would have led to madness, and I would never have been able to marry the brightest, prettiest and most incredibly vibrant lady in the world. Shame she's 4000 miles away in Arsesville IL.
Anyway, the upshot is that relations are strained and my friend's time is spent avoiding her spouse or plotting how to avoid her spouse. I'm glad I have never met the chap in question and am unlikely to since he is now aware that it was I that called the fuzz in the first place.
Update to update: I received a frantic text at 6:30 this morning saying that she doesn't think she can make it until Christmas. I have agreed to meet her tonight for a chat. You can call me Aunt, that would be Agony Aunt or Mr Aunt to you.