Domestic abuse is not uncommon. According to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey almost one-third of American women have reported being physically abused by a husband or boyfriend sometime in their lives. 30% of Americans claim to know a woman who has been a victim of domestic abuse. All races are equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate.
In 2001 more than half a million women were victims of non-fatal violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Three or more women are killed from domestic violence every hour in America. This is said to be America’s most predictable murder.
Let me list some of the warning signs- red flags, if you will- so that you too may be equipped to predict this crime before it happens to you or someone you love.
A woman has intuitive feelings she is at risk
At the beginning of the relationship he speeds the pace toward commitment
He is verbally abusive
He resolves disagreements with intimidation, bullying, threats
He hits and breaks things in anger
He controls all the money
Jealousy
He keeps partner on “tight leash”
He doesn’t accept rejection- or the work “no”
Paranoia
Inflexibility
He has mood swings
He shows off weapons
He uses drugs and/or alcohol, gets nasty, then blames them
He was abused or witnessed abuse as a child
He uses surveillance on his partner
He has been arrested for behavioral offences
He has a history of domestic abuse
Some of these are no brainers, like the last one. I won’t get near a guy who has beat other women. If I was already in a relationship and found that out I would be breaking it off ASAP- although, it may be too late to do it neatly, because these guys can’t let go.
Why don’t women leave? Good question. Some of them aren’t even sure of the answer. Women in abusive relationships become addicted to the feeling of relief when the beating ends. Do they believe he’ll change? Yes. They believe every beating is their last.
Some don’t believe that they have a choice. But staying is a choice. Let’s face it, the first time a woman is hit she’s a victim, the second time- and every time after that- she is a volunteer.
Staying for the sake of the children? Oh, please! When a daughter witnesses her mother except a beating, she learns to do the same. When a son sees a father deliver a beating, he also learns to do the same. And the cycle continues….
These women frequently describe their abusing partners as sweet, gentle, kind and attentive. When we fall in love we sometimes fail to see the faults of our partners. Perhaps this is why we should wait a while before make important commitments. Perhaps this is why abusers like to rush into commitment.
Domestic abuse is not a crime of passion. 75% of spousal murder happens after a woman leaves. The legal system would recommend that a woman obtain a temporary restraining order or protection order. These methods are helpful when there is no history of violence in the relationship. Otherwise it may escalate it.
A woman must not assume that a piece of paper will protect her. She should only get one if she believes he will honor it. It will not stop him from committing murder. Many abusers have killed their wives right before or after she was awarded the TRO. Remember he cannot accept rejection. Some of these men have subsequently committed suicide, also.
If a woman wants out of a violently abusive relationship the best thing to do would be to contact a battered woman’s shelter. These organizations know exactly how to help protect these women and their children. They understand the legalities involved with finances, also- as many of these women have no access to money.
To read more please visit: SelfDefense-4-Women.com/Domestic Abuse

Author's Bio: 

Su Ericksen is a first degree TaeKwonDo black belt and has taught self defense workshops. She lives in the Midwest with her family and works at a large medical center in the cardiology clinic.
You may contact her through her website: Self Defense-4-Women.com