On a rather more serious note ….
I have received a lot of correspondence of late encouraging me to look out for the welfare of others. I am not always good at doing this.
I know that this day is mostly about mental health and I that is something that I take very seriously …… but what I have to say is not, strictly speaking, about mental health.
But RUOK? means RUOK?
And an article that I read this morning struck a chord and seemed worth repeating (in part).
I do have a lot of friends (don’t act all shocked please) and a lot of them are female and some of them find themselves in and out of relationships that are not always healthy.
The writer of this article points out the real dangers of these relationships without sugar coating them.
She has one key tip……..
If your new boyfriend is super-attentive and tells you about his previous “psycho” girlfriend, that’s a warning to get out as soon as possible. It’s a sign he doesn’t take responsibility for his actions when difficulties arise in a relationship.
She also lists a potential sequence of events …
- The perpetrator had a history of stalking or abuse in previous relationships. That holds true except for those in the dataset in first-time relationships.
- The relationship develops very quickly. He is looking for commitment and that really means, in his eyes, forever. God forbid you should want forever to end.
- He starts to exert controlling behaviours. Where are you? What are you doing? Who did you speak to today? Who are those text messages from?
- An event or discussion challenges his control. The woman may decide she wants to end the relationship or he experiences personal difficulties such as losing his job, causing an abrupt change in his circumstances.
- Escalation – he tries to reassert control by increasing the intensity or frequency of contact, stalking, or threatening suicide. It’s about getting “his woman” back and diminishing any challenge to his status.
- By now, the relationship is dangerous. If the woman is lucky, he leaves and she will then be his most recent “psycho” girlfriend. Or he might attempt to exact revenge. In the worst case, he starts considering murder as an option.
- Planning homicide – buying weapons, making opportunities to get the victim on her own.
- Homicide – which may not be limited to the woman but also her children.