Are You in Danger?
battering is dangerous; one push or shove could result in death.
Battering increases in frequency and severity over time. Certain
behaviors, actions and words by an abuser, however, indicate particular
danger for you. If you see any of these in your abuser, you should know
that your relationship could become deadly.
Signs to look
Lethality risk factors by Barbara Kidd,
Threatens suicide or homicide. If he
says he will kill himself, understand that this likely means he will
kill you as well.
- Fantasizes of homicide or suicide.
If he sees this as a "solution" to his problems, he may attempt it.
Beware of your abuser threatening to kill himself. Usually, it means he
plans to kill you first.
- Possesses weapons. If your
abuser owns weapons and has used them or threatened to use them in the
past, he has a potential for lethal assault. The use of guns is a
strong predictor of homicide.
- Ownership issues. If your
abuser believes you "belong" to him," or "death before divorce," he is
more likely to be life endangering.
- Idolizes you. If your
abuser idolizes you, or depends heavily on you to sustain him, and has
isolated himself from others, it is likely he will retaliate against
you if you decide to end the relationship.
- Separation violence. If
your abuser believes you will leave him, and he can't imagine life
without you, he may try to kill you. Many homicides occur when a woman
is leaving her abusive partner. Please understand how dangerous this
time is. Seventy-five percent of women are seriously injured when they
leave or try to leave an abusive relationship.
- Escalating danger. When
your batterer begins to act more and more as if he has no regard for
the consequences of his actions--legal or otherwise--you are at
extremely increased risk of danger.
National Domestic Violence Prevention Trainer