My preteen stepson yelled, ”Maybe I’ll break Jane‘s head!” (Not my real name) a little over a week ago. Complicating matters, I work for the state, in law enforcement. Therefore, I immediately assessed the threat level, noted complicating factors, and knew that the wellbeing of our entire family is in danger. Because of the scant security measures I take whenever he is present, our life has radically changed. I stay in my room except for at meal times or important social events like trick-or-treat and going to weekly religious services. I’ve informed my husband that I will not supervise the child, though I do love him. I’m sure that if he lashes out I don’t want to be alone. I would not use force on him unless he was attacking another person with potentially deadly force, or hurting himself. Because he’s my stepson and not my son, I would never want to have to put my hands on him even if he was attacking me. My husband left the house to run an errand yesterday, and didn’t take the boy. As soon as I realized I ran to my bedroom, shut the door, locked it, locked the top (secret) lock that I insisted be installed immediately after the threat, call my husband, and demanded that he return immediately. My husband just doesn’t think the little dude’ll follow through on the threat so I stay in my room. Today I looked up the matter, and saw that my threat assessment was correct and all the following are indications that the threat is serious: He has a history of hitting his mom, and his brother, attempting to choke his brother, kicking and pushing smaller children. He threatened to kill him self four or five years ago. He has threatened to burn down another family member’s house, and stated his plan of how to do so, and it was a plan which may well have worked. He has been stealing for years from stores and multiple family members, and the stolen items were all discovered recently in his room with a note hidden in the middle of them all, “I HATE JANE” was scratched angrily in two colors of ink, one over the other. Everywhere I go I always have one eye on him if he’s with us. My hands are ready to block an attack. I am not safe, and all his dad has done is make a consultation for Dad and Mom where they will presumably get a referral for the child. In the interim, if you’re out there and can send some words of advice or encouragement, I’d really appreciate it.