If you’ve seen the news recently, you’ve probably been struck by the deeply saddening headlines of domestic violence fatalities in Manatee County and neighboring communities. Our hearts and condolences go out to those affected by these tragedies.
Knowledge is powerful – and in this case, it could be life-saving. It’s important to be informed and aware in high-risk situations. Author and Speaker Lundy Bancroft provides a powerful list of factors that should be taken seriously in identifying dangerous men.
Abuse can come in many different forms, from both men and women, but the following risk factors for fatality are focused on the most common form of death as a result of domestic violence, perpetrated by a man to his, intimate female partner.
Risk Factors for Domestic Lethality
- She is taking steps to end the relationship or has already done so.
- He is depressed, suicidal, or shows signs of not caring what happens to him. He has, for example, threatened to kill himself if she leaves him.
- He has killed or in other ways been violent to pets, or has used other terror tactics.
- There are stepchildren or non-biological children involved.
- He has access to weapons and/or he is familiar with their use.
- He has threatened to kill her or to hurt her severely, has strangled her, or has threatened her with a weapon (including making verbal reference to using a weapon, even if he did not actually brandish it)
- He was violence during her pregnancy.
- He is unemployed.
- The woman has a strong “gut” sense that the man could kill her or her children, or could carry out a serious and dangerous assault against any of them or against himself.
- He is extremely jealous and possessive. This characteristic becomes even more worrisome when he appears to be obsessive, constantly keeping her at the center of his thoughts and appearing to be unable to conceive of life without her. He has, for example, made statements such as, “If I can’t have you, nobody will.”
- He has a history of severe or very frequent violence toward her, or toward other individuals such as past partners.
- He follows her, monitors her whereabouts, uses high-tech means to keep tabs on her, or stalks her in other ways. He knows where she lives and works, knows the names and addresses of her friend or relatives, or is in very familiar with her daily routines.
- He has threatened to kill the children or the whole family.
- He isn’t close to anyone, and no current relationships with friends or relatives are important to him.
- He has a significant criminal history and/or he has a history of using violence or threatening violence against other people.
- He abuses alcohol or drugs heavily, especially if his habits involve daily or nearly daily intoxication.
- He has been violent to children.
- He uses pornography heavily and/or has a history or perpetrating sexual violence or degradation against his partner or others.
- He has exhibited extreme behaviors when his current partner or past partners have made attempts to leave him.
While these predictive factors of dangerous abusers are important to understand, there are documented instances where men didn’t exhibit these risk factors prior to killing. It’s important to trust your intuition and consult with a trained professional if you’re experiencing any kind of coercive control. HOPE offers qualified advocates to assess and build strategic safety plans for you to take control of your life. We’ve created a safety plan and encourage you to check it out.
If you, or someone you know, has experienced ANY of these behaviors or ANY signs of abuse from an intimate partner, please reach out to us to keep you–and your children–safe. Our services are completely free and confidential–designed to bring you empowerment and HOPE.
Whether you need to talk, need counseling for you or your children, need to escape to our Emergency Safe Shelter; we’re only a phone call away and ready to serve you and anyone affected by domestic violence in Manatee County.