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Pat Brown, Criminal Profiler Weighs In On Susan Murphy-Milano’s “Time’s Up”

April 26, 2010 Comments off

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: TIME’S UP for Domestic Abuse

Pat Brown, The Daily Profiler

April 26, 2010

We hear the term, “Domestic Abuse,” thrown around quite a bit and it is worth taking a look at what it really means in our own lives. Is it physical, mental, or both? When does one spouse’s treatment of the other cross the line from just imperfect humans struggling in a relationship to one partner mistreating the other? After all, we know that marriage can be “work” and issues have to be dealt with and ironed out. We are going to disagree, even argue and be mad at each other, and, sometimes, we are not going to actually be able to kiss and make-up before bedtime. When should one start to worry that there is something really wrong with our marriage partnership?

I would say it is when the “partnership” becomes a boss and employee relationship and the boss is someone we would like to fire. While everyone wants power and control in life, a spouse must be willing to share that power and control with their partner, work together to achieve a balance where both parties are satisfied with the equation. Doing so is not a problem for those who love their spouse and want to see their spouse happy and want to achieve a positive and pleasing family life. Working together is an expectation for a committed couple and being good role models for the children is a natural desire for caring parents.

When one spouse becomes the master, putting his or her needs and desires above the spouse’s, doesn’t care how his/her mate feels, ignores the impact of this imbalance on the children, this is abuse – whether it is in the form of emotional manipulation of physical domination.

Ideally, one should wait a reasonable period of time before having children to see if one’s mate is one’s best friend, that you work out fair solutions to problems, that your beloved really loves you, and you are happy together. You need a couple of years, if not more, to find out whether you have just signed up for a partnership or a prison term. If your marriage sucks, having children in it will make it suck more and, worse, it will trap you for years and years as now you have a family you don’t want to destroy.

But, let’s suppose you have already blown it and you are stuck in a nightmare; you are being mentally or physically tortured with regularity and you fear your mate instead of feeling safe in their company. It’s time to make the decision to leave. Susan Milano-Murphy, one of my fellow bloggers at Women in Crime Ink knows well when someone should make a break for it and titles her new book on escaping abuse, TIME’S UP: A Guide on How to Leave an Abusive and Stalking Relationship.

If you are not frightened of your mate, you can simply state you want a separation, make plans to live in different residences, and, if you feel there is any hope through counseling, give your spouse a chance to make a change if he/she really wants to do so. If you think past behavior is pretty much a predictor of future behavior, then you are probably right (because it usually is), and you need to make the best choices you can for the well-being of the children.

But, if you are in a physically dangerous situation, if your spouse has been violent or threatening or coldly psychopathologically scary, you will want to get Susan’s book, TIME’S UP! This book doesn’t merely discuss when you should leave or why you should leave, it tells you HOW you should leave. The book has step-by-step instructions how to covertly make a plan, set-up a safe escape, deal with financial issues, and the paperwork. Susan even takes you line-by-line through the process, the forms, the legal issues…she takes you by the hand, and, believe me, when you are being terrorized and you are an basket case, you don’t need vague ideas, you need specific instructions. TIME’S UP can save your life and your sanity. If you need to get out, get this book before you make a mistake that could be fatal. It is money well spent.

Resources:
Order “Time’s Up!”
Order “Moving out, moving on”
Order “Defending our Lives”
Overview of Susan’s work
Abuse document and video

Susan Murphy-Milano’s website

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Constantly Looking Over Your Shoulder ~ January, Stalking Awareness Month

January 14, 2010 Comments off

STALKING IS A CRIME


What kind of stalking behaviors do victims experience?

Female stalking victims most commonly report being followed, spied on, or watched at home, at work or at places of recreation.  Many also report receiving unwanted phone calls, letters, or gifts, and having restraining or protective orders violated.  Battered women stalked by their current/former abusive partners report: being harmed, having mail stolen, being watched, receiving unwanted calls at home, being following, and receiving unwanted visits from their current or former abusive partners.  Battered women experience multiple, serial forms of violent and harassing stalking behaviors perpetrated against them, sometimes as often as every day.

While many stalkers don’t attack, the threat of violence is usually inferred. Which means that even those victims who aren’t physically harmed suffer tremendously in terms of fear, anxiety and the disruption of their daily lives.

Unfortunately, victims simply don’t know what to do when confronted with being stalked. Neither does law enforcement nor the judicial system. Why? Because in many cases, stalkers successfully terrorize their victims without ever breaking the law.

While there are different kinds of stalking, invariably the stalker tries to establish a cult dynamic of one. It’s a power and control trip through which the stalker tries to distort the victim’s sense of reality. In many ways, stalking is like a rape that goes on and on.

The following list of the most common mistakes that stalking victims make has been culled from Surviving a Stalker: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Yourself Safe, a ground-breaking book by Linden Gross that teaches you how to avoid those life-threatening errors that too many other victims have made.  (No reference is being made to “victim blaming” or “victim precipitation”.)

  1. Not listening to your intuition. As countless stories reveal, you need to keep your internal radar tuned to pick up signals that something might be wrong.

  2. Letting someone down easy, instead of saying a definitive NO if you’re not interested in a relationship. Trying to be nice can lead a potentially obsessive suitor to hear what he or she wants instead of the message that you’re not interested.

  3. Ignoring the early warning signs that annoying attention might escalate into dangerous harassment and pursuit.

  4. Responding to a stalker in any way, shape, or form. That means not acceding to your stalkers demands even once he or she has introduced threats. Linden’s book explains the dynamics behind a threat, and what to do when and if your stalking escalates to this point.

  5. Trying to reason or bargain with a stalker. Stalking is like a long rape. Find out how your natural reactions almost automatically put you at a disadvantage, and what you can do about it.

  6. Seeking a restraining or protective order. All too often, this one act propels stalkers to act violently. It is imperative to way all of your options, pros and cons.  Will or does a piece of paper stop an assailant?  Only if he/she is a law abiding citizen.

  7. Expecting police to solve your problem and make it go away.

  8. Taking inadequate privacy and safety precautions.

  9. Neglecting to enlist the support of family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, therapists and other victims. It may be tough to admit that you’re being stalked, but it’s not your fault. Learn how to gather the people who will constitute your first line of defense.

  10. Ignoring emotional needs during and after a stalking. Do you know how to get the support you need? Learn how to keep yourself sane.

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