As mentioned in last week’s column, October has been designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a national problem that knows no boundaries. Domestic violence can happen to anyone in any community regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.
The Grafton Police Department would like to do its part in helping to end domestic violence by providing 15 clues that a mate is possibly an abuser. The following information was provided by Safe Alternatives to Violent Environments (S.A.V.E) at www.save-dv.org.
Red Flags: 15 Signs of an Abuser
Extreme Jealousy - Calls constantly, visits unexpectedly, is always checking up on you; says things like "if I ever catch you looking at someone else" and/or frequently accuses you of having affairs, sleeping with friends, spending too much time with your friends or family; interrogates you.
Possessive - Act like they "own" you; believes that you should consult with and get permission from them before going anywhere, doing anything, buying anything; won’t let you out of their sight.
Isolation - Tries to cut your ties with your friends, family and extracurricular activities; accuses people who are your supporters of "causing trouble;" refuses to let you have other friends; controls who, when and where you hang out with people.
Blames Others - For their problems, feelings, or behaviors; always someone else’s fault if something goes wrong; rarely takes responsibility for making a mistake; says things like "if you weren’t so stupid…" or "you provoked me, pressed my buttons, made me do it, led me on."
Uses Verbal Put-Downs - Verbally criticizes and belittles you, calls you inappropriate names, swears at you; puts-down what you wear, do and say, "you’d look good if…," tries to embarrass you and make you feel stupid, so that your self-esteem and confidence will diminish.
Unpredictable Behavior - Has extreme mood swings; switches from sweet to violent in a short period of time; has a quick temper.
Hypersensitivity - Hypersensitive to criticism or perceived criticism; is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings.
Close-Minded - Believes in stereotypical gender roles; shows little respect for the opposite sex; believes that their way is the only way, that you should be obedient, not disagree, not question, and never act independently.
Unrealistic Expectations - Of you or the relationship; expects you to meet their every need; gets too serious too fast.
Violent Tendencies - Threats of violence towards you, others or pets; has a history of fighting or unhealthy relationships; grew up in a violent home; breaks or strikes objects; owns or uses weapons or displays them to back up threats.
Denial - Has difficulty identifying feelings & communicating them; refuses or is unable to discuss, negotiate and compromise; refuses to accept breaking up.
Plays On Your Guilt - Says manipulative things like "if you really loved me, you would have sex with me" or "I can’t live without you" or "if you leave I’ll kill myself," trying to make you feel guilty about your choices, so that they can maintain control over what you choose to do.
Uses Intimidation - Pressures you to use/abuse alcohol or drugs; pressures you for sex; scares you or is forceful with you.
Blames Circumstances - Always has an excuse for their behavior; believe they can’t control their anger; asks for a second chance and promises to change, says things like "I’m sorry, if only I hadn’t been drinking, I wouldn’t have hit you."
ALWAYS HAS TO BE IN CONTROL
Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Grafton Police Department, 28 Providence Road, Grafton, MA 01519. You may also email your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.
Normand A. Crepeau, Jr.
Chief of Police