This post is in the way of being a PSA. I just heard about yet another mother who was murdered by her husband, leaving their two children essentially orphaned. Domestic abuse, danger, is nothing to laugh at (think Punch and Judy) or minimize. I used to volunteer on a crisis phone line and I cannot tell you how important it is for everyone to know the signals of domestic danger. Please, please read and share and be aware!
The following is from a book by Gavin De Becker called “The Gift of Fear.” De Becker’s website also has invaluable advice on child safety, true fear vs worry, and much more. This is his list of useful resources for many situations, give it a look.
These thirty indicators are what he calls “reliable pre-incident indicators associated with spousal violence and murder.” He says, “They won’t all be present in every case, but if a situation has several of these signals, there is reason for concern.” If you find yourself in a situation where you can say yes to some of these, please seek help! Women’s shelters always have good information. Please don’t ignore your intuition. Also, while written in the masculine, spousal abuse by women is also something to be aware of. Also, this is the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
1) [IMPORTANT] The woman has intuitive feelings that she is at risk.
2) At the inception of the relationship, the man accelerated the pace, prematurely placing on the agenda such things as commitment, living together, and marriage.
3) He resolves conflict with intimidation, bullying, and violence.
4) He is verbally abusive.
5) He uses threats and intimidation as instruments of control or abuse. This includes threats to harm physically, to defame, to embarrass, to restrict freedom, to disclose secrets, to cut off support, to abandon, and to commit suicide.
6) He breaks or strikes things in anger. He uses symbolic violence (tearing a wedding photo, marring a face in a photo, etc).
7) He has battered in prior relationships.
8) He uses alcohol or drugs with adverse affects (memory loss, hostility, cruelty).
9) He cites alcohol or drugs as an excuse or explanations for hostile or violent conduct (“That was the booze talking, not me; I got so drunk I was crazy.”).
10) His history includes police encounters for behavioural offenses (threats, stalking, assault, battery).
11) There has been more than one incident of violent behaviour (including vandalism, breaking things, throwing things).
12) He uses money to control the activities, purchases, and behaviour of his wife/partner.
13) He becomes jealous of anyone or anything that takes her time away from the relationship; he keeps her on a “tight leash,” requires her to account for her time.
14) He refuses to accept rejection.
15) He expects the relationship to go on forever, perhaps using phrases like “together for life,” “always” and “no matter what.”
16) He projects extreme emotions onto others (hate, love jealousy, commitment) even when there is no evidence that would lead a reasonable person to perceive them.
17) He minimizes incidents of abuse.
18) He spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about his wife/partner and derives much of his identity from being her husband, lover, etc.
19) He tries to enlist his wife’s friends or relatives in a campaign to keep or recover the relationship.
20) He has inappropriately surveilled or followed his wife/partner.
21) He believes others are out to get him. He believes that those around his wife/partner dislike him and encourage her to leave.
22) He resists change and is described as inflexible, unwilling to compromise.
23) He identifies with or compares himself to violent people in films, news stories, fiction or history. He characterizes the violence of others as justified.
24) He suffers mood swings or is sullen, angry or depressed.
25) He consistently blames others for problems of his own making; he refuses to take responsibility for the results of his actions.
26) He refers to weapons as instruments of power, control, or revenge.
27) Weapons are a substantial part of his persona; he has a gun or he talks about, jokes about, reads about, or collects weapons.
28) He uses “male privilege” as a justification for his conduct (treats her like a servant, makes all the big decisions, acts like the “master of the house”).
29) He experienced or witnessed violence as a child.
30) His wife/partner fears he will injure or kill her. She has discussed this with others or has made plans to be carried out in the event of her death (e.g., designating someone to care for children).
Here is a link to the very interesting book:
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