Early Warning Signs
This page is taken from the NSW Governments Police Force Website. I will write my comments about the provided information blue, and allow the reader to form their own views if there is some level of gender discrimination or bias happening within our government.
Typical offender behaviours that can indicate the ‘Early Warning Signs’ of an abusive and violent partner, as shown in the ’POWER and CONTROL’ Wheel. (Portrays the typical patterns of domestic abuse together with the primary tactics and behaviours that perpetrators use in intimate relationships to maintain power and control over their partners. Adapted from the ‘Power and Control’ Wheel, Minnesota Program Development, Duluth, 1980).
Many of the uncomfortable feelings and signs that some women experience in relationships may actually be the ‘Early Warning Signs’ for future and escalating abusive and violent behaviour, which may include:
Immediately this public document causes the reader to assume that the abusive and violent partner is a man. These feelings and signs are the same ones for men who are victimised through abuse… it’s starting to get recognised in research that 40% of abused victims are men and even perhaps more because of the lack of support and help for abused men limits the reporting of such abuse.
INTIMIDATION – Glaring looks, raising the voice and shouting, offensive gestures, smashing personal and joint property, displaying and threatening to use weapons and firearms, demonstrations of extreme anger when things don’t go the perpetrator’s way, furious and reckless driving to frighten the victim, and abusing or threatening to harm or kill family pets.
The only part of the above paragraph that may be more male specific is the use of firearms, though it’s common for females to use firearms also. Verbal abuse is abuse no matter who speaks it
THREATS / COERCION – Threats to harm victim or children, threats to take children away, threats to leave or remove financial support, threats to make victim drop criminal charges and withdraw protection orders (AVO), threats to do illegal acts and threaten through acts amounting to ‘personal blackmail’.
There are different types of threats and coercion that are perhaps gender specific. There is much documented court evidence that shows many women falsify AVO reports or threaten to do so if the man doesn’t bend to their wishes.
HUMILIATION / EMOTIONAL ABUSE– In the presence of others, do acts that amount to ‘name calling’, put-downs’, ‘making fun’, ‘mind games’, inferring the victim is ‘crazy’, ‘a bad mother’, inappropriate touching or grabbing, displaying obvious interest in others members of the opposite or same sex in the presence of the victim.
It is mentioned in this paragraph about a woman being called a bad mother….yet how many women will call their husbands or partners a bad father…again this paragraph needs to be gender inclusive.
MINIMISING, DENYING AND BLAME – Making ‘light’ of the abuse, minimising victim’s concerns of situation, by denying that abuse occurred, shifting responsibility for abusive behaviour and blaming the victim for perpetrator’s behaviour.
My ex wife used to tell people …I only hit him a couple of times and it wasn’t that bad..she was also told by many others that it was ok for a female to slap a man…
ISOLATION – Controls or limits contact with family and friends, ‘them or me’ ultimatums, controls victim’s time, communicates with the victim through the children.
Women abusers also do the same thing
LIMITING INDEPENDENCE – Controls the type of clothing, make-up and hairstyles that are worn, limiting access to money, limiting recreation, limiting access to activities outside of the home, access to transport, car and other activities and includes, repeated acts of jealousy.
There certainly are cultural / religious groups that will place these limits on women. However again there are many reported cases of women abusers doing the same thing.
VIOLATION OF PERSONAL BOUNDARIES – Unwanted intimacy or sexual acts (sexual assault), listening to phone calls, going through personal items, wallet, purse, diary in an attempt to ‘dig up dirt’.
I had personal journals torn up, some pages from my journal shown to others,
USING ‘MALE’ PRIVILEGE – Acts as though he is the ‘king of the castle’, treats victims like servants, as personal possessions, makes all the decisions, must have his permission first before victim can do something, defines ‘role’ of men and women, little respect for women and makes constant offensive remarks about women.
Again this can be a female dominant trait also having their husbands hand over the pay packet at the end of the week.
I would like to see this document changed to be either gender inclusive or gender neutral which would help all abuse victims to acknowledge they are being or in danger of being abused no matter what gender. The secondary issue of this is that female abusers in reading through public documents such as this may not recognise their actions as being abusive, or believe they can continue to abuse as there is no record of women being abusers.