In The Gift of Fear, DeBecker said “If I told of all the other women killed in America this year by a husband or boyfriend, the book you are holding would be four thousand pages long—and the stories would be stunningly similar.  Only the names and a few details would change.” 

 

Before we go on to information and statistics in this chapter I want to discuss one other story.  In Alexandria, Virginia, 30-year-old Dasheria Barksdale was stabbed to death by the boyfriend she had tried to break up with. He came to the apartment where she and several other people were and ended her life.  He also critically injured a male friend of hers who first attempted to save her but then had to jump out of a second story window to save his own life.  The friend of hers who spoke to the media said that she had tried to pull Dasheria out of the room, but every time she pulled the boyfriend stabbed Dasheria.  She was forced to leave her friend in the room to try to prevent her suffering further.  What a truly horrific experience!   

 

The reason I wanted to highlight Dasheria’s story is that the witnesses present were able to present a picture of what often goes on inside of the murderer—which usually doesn’t make it to the media and is seldom witnessed by anyone.  Her friends said she had “been trying” to leave him.  Not only did he refuse to let her leave him, but he actually said, “I told you, it’s ‘til death do us part, it’s ‘til death do us part.  I told you I’m gonna kill you,’ a second friend, Shakiylah Edwards, told News4 about the horrific attack she also tried to stop.”   

Another perspective of IPH perpetrators is, “If I can’t have you, no one will”.  It happens because the abuser has tied their identity to the victim, and to him, losing her is often worse than death.  That idea leads to murder suicides. 

It is my most sincere hope that you do not recognize your story within the pages of this chapter, but if you do, PLEASE take it seriously.  The following are reliable pre-incident indicators of Intimate Partner Violence and Homicide.  Pay attention to them! 

Here are some facts about IPH from the National Center for Victims of Crime: 

* 76% of female IPH victims were stalked by their intimate partner  

* 54% of victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers

* 67% had been physically abused by their intimate partner 

* 89% of those that had been physically assaulted had also been stalked within 12 months of their murder  

* 79% of abused female IPH victims reported being stalked during the same period that they were abused  

 

Do you suspect that you are being stalked (maybe you know you are)?  If so, you should consider that a substantial warning sign!  If you’re not sure, contact a crisis center or domestic violence shelter for information and document, document, document your life!  Also, develop a safety plan!  (Templates are available in the Resources section at the back of this book.) 

24 Red Flags
Is My Life in Danger Quiz
Staying with My Abuser Safety Plan
Leaving in a Hurry Safety Plan
Leaving with Preparation Safety Plan

Danger! Secrets Every Woman Who Is Afraid Of Her Partner Needs To Know