Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Spotting Red Flags in Established Relationships

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In response to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, IdeaMarketers.com experts held a panel discussion about abusive relationships. They discussed how to spot abusive behavior before it escalates in a relationship as well as ways to safely exit an abusive relationship should the time come to do so.

In response to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, IdeaMarketers.com experts held a panel discussion about abusive relationships. In the second half of the call, they discussed how to spot abusive behavior before it escalates in a relationship as well as ways to safely exit an abusive relationship should the time come to do so. A recording of the panel discussion is available for free at http://ideamarketers.com/experts/calls/domesticviolence.cfm

Marriage and family therapist Dr. Neill Neill neillneill.com listed early signs of abuse as "put-downs, something that makes the partner feel inferior or incompetent, or an insistence that this is the right way. It degrades the other person. The other person, if they're feeling degraded and put down, that's the warning. Something's not right here. The person gets uncomfortable and withdraws, and there are 101 subjects that can't be discussed, like money. He gets uncomfortable. Somehow, that gets projected onto the partner. It's her responsibility to not make him feel uncomfortable, but he won't take responsibility for getting some help."

Some marriages that start out relatively normal can escalate into abuse. Dr. Jeanne King, founder of Partners in Prevention preventabusiverelationships.com said, "Pregnancy is the number one thing I see. The thinking here is that most domestic abuse is fundamentally about control. When there's a new pregnancy, there is a shift of attention from the perpetrator to this new fetus. That perpetrator will experience that as a 'leaving' of the relationship. When the perpetrator feels he's losing his grip, violence will escalate."

Dr. Neill, who specializes in alcoholism recovery, added that substance abuse is often a contributing factor in domestic abuse, "Many people escalate their drinking around stressful situations but don't become addicted. They gradually ease off. What happens in an abusive relationship is that when they are intoxicated or even just drinking a little bit, they don't have the restraints. They don't hold back. They can get extremely abusive. It's a fairly high percentage of physical violence that involves alcohol or drugs. Also, many of them use the fact that they were drinking as the excuse. If it gets into verbal violence, it's a fairly short hop to physical violence. I think many women who are verbally abused do not accept the fact that they are in physical danger. If he turns violent and he is intoxicated, four policemen might not be enough to stop him. Nevertheless, they wait until they are hurt, and then they start dealing with the fact that they really shouldn't be there."

Stephany Alexander, founder of WomanSavers.com, added, "WomanSavers is the number one most popular abused woman forum on the Internet. It gets hundreds of thousands of postings. I have read everything, and women are not even clear on the definition of abuse sometimes--especially the older generation. Some of them accept the fact that they're being talked down to because they're so used to it and their self-esteem is so low. Most stay for 3 reasons: 1) They are co-dependent or have low self-esteem, 2) finances, and 3) children."

If a woman plans to leave, all panelists agreed that this is the most dangerous point. Dr. Neill warned, "She needs to get her ducks in order if she's going to leave. It may mean talking to a lawyer. Have an exit plan. The way not to do it is, 'I think I'm going to leave you.' That escalates it very quickly. Do it in secrecy. Have a place to go that he doesn't know about, whether it's a temporary shelter or a relative who lives in a different state." Stephany Alexander adds, "Make copies of all important documents and save some money on the side." Dr. King sums it up with, "Two magic words: quickly and quietly. Violence will escalate when she leaves. That's one of the things that keeps her in it."

You may listen to a recording of the panel discussion at http://ideamarketers.com/experts/calls/domesticviolence.cfm. IdeaMarketers.com has been helping talented professionals deliver their message to the online world since 1998. The site is a venue for getting the word out about your product, service or message via article marketing, press releases, book/ebook promotion and establishing

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MARNIE PEHRSON
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