By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
At the Refuge House – Madison Outreach Event, Sheila Combs, Kaomi Ghent and others stressed the importance of awareness and education. Knowing how to help victims and where to turn for help if one becomes a victim is important, but perhaps most important is how to avoid becoming a victim.
Many times, women find themselves in violent relationships because they didn’t know about the red flags that often accompany a violent personality – the warning signs that this particular person may end up abusing them.
Refuge House and other domestic violence agencies list these eight common predictors of domestic violence:
• Grew up in a violent family
• Tends to use force or violence to “solve” problems
• Abuses drugs or alcohol
• Has poor self esteem
• Has strong, traditional ideas about gender roles
• Is jealous of you and your relationships with friends and family (may later escalate to forbidding you to spend any time with anyone except him)
• Plays with guns, knives or other lethal weapons
• Expects you to follow his/her orders
If women are attuned to these eight common predictors, often they can learn to spot the abuser in time. However, if they do end up in a dangerous or even a potentially deadly relationship, there is help and a place of safety.
For more information about the help that is available, or to find out how you can help end the societal conditions that foster abuse, or to set up counseling sessions, contact Refuge House – Madison Outreach, at 973-4144. For the 24-hours crisis hotline, call 1-800-500-1119. For any emergency where you need immediate assistance, call 911.