29 Aug 2010

How to spot a dangerous man

This is such good advice, I wanted to share it, after having seen many abusive relationships in the course of my jobs/personal life (friends).

Abusers and predators hide behind a smoke-screen of charm and sensuality, so it may take several dates to catch on to the danger signs. According to the American Psychological Association, the chinks in your knight’s shining armour can take several forms.

If you’re dating a man, think seriously if he displays any of these behaviours:

• Jealousy—of the time you spend or feelings you have for family and friends, and especially your children.

• Control—he decides where you go, what you wear.

• Superiority—he’s smarter and better than you. He hates to lose, even if it’s just a game.

• Manipulation—he makes you think everything’s your fault. If you suspect something’s wrong with your relationship, obviously you’re crazy.

• Mood swings—one minute he’s Mr Smooth; the next he’s Mr Hyde. This keeps you off balance…and vulnerable.

• Disrespect for women—if he’s mean to the waitress, eventually he’ll be just as nasty to you.

• Lying and broken promises—another way to keep you off-balance.

• Addiction—alcoholism or drug abuse is a clear signal that he’s out of control.

• A history of violence—against animals or other people. If he’s quick to get into a brawl, or boasts about the time he ‘had to slap’ an ex-girlfriend, get out.

Get out now!

What to do if you think you’re in danger

The T&T Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a good online source of advice, and can be found at www.ttcadv.net. Among their many useful tips to prevent abuse against yourself or your children are:

• Don’t allow a man to cut you off from your family

• Don’t become financially dependent on him

• Tell someone if you feel threatened

• Contact an agency such as the police (In Trinidad, this is a risk in itself, since dunceys can be more predatory!), 800-SAVE (7283), or the Coalition itself

• Get help from your family or support system

• Maintain your self-esteem; it’s not your fault

• Seek counselling or therapy