Yan (defendant) and Karina (plaintiff) Schechter married and had one child. Yan was emotionally abusive, controlling, and threatened Karina with violence on more than one occasion. Once when Karina and the child were visiting a friend, Yan had Karina’s car towed then put some of her belongings in the oven and turned it on. After Karina filed for divorce, Yan threatened “I’m coming with an axe to chop you up” when Karina refused to let the child have a sleepover with him. The judge entered a preliminary abuse-prevention order and appointed a guardian ad litem who reported that Yan dominated both Karina and the child and disparaged Karina in front of the child. After documenting numerous instances wherein Yan threatened to kill Karina or inflict serious bodily harm, the judge made the abuse-prevention order permanent, granted Karina sole custody, and ordered that Yan would have no contact with the child for one year. Yan appealed.