10 Intimate Partner Homicide Red Flags
If you would rather watch/listen than read, you can find the video to this article HERE.
If you start to pay attention, you'll notice that reporters, when they're reporting on intimate partner homicide or murder by somebody's partner or ex, they talk about how senseless it was and what a tragedy it was and how nobody saw this coming. They like to interview people that knew the the killer very little or saw them around town and those people are always like, "They were such a nice person. I can't believe that that happened." It gives people the false idea that the murder just came out of nowhere. In reality, you can see most intimate partner homicide coming.
Keep reading, it might save your life!
Last week I did a tribute to women that have been killed so far by intimate partners in 2020. Intimate partner homicide is a significant problem. It's not just a significant problem because of the pandemic. Covid-19 might have made it worse, but it's something that I've been researching for a while. It's a topic that has been very near and dear to my heart.
If you aren't aware, I wrote a book called In Case I Murdered. I titled it that because the whole time I was writing it, I was aware of the possibility of myself being murdered by intimate partners and not even just one of them (two actually). This is real. It is a problem. It's a much bigger problem than people are aware of. So I wanted to pay tribute to women who were alive at the beginning of 2020 and are not now. They're people. They had dreams and goals and hopes and futures and jobs and children. They were no different than you and I.
What we're talking about in this article are 10 clear signs that indicate murder is coming, if you know what to look for.
1. The #1 sign *big flashing lights*red flags*indicators*caution tape* that your life is in danger is that you feel like your life is in danger. Ok? If that's on your radar at all, you're in danger.
If you've considered that this person might kill you, you're in danger.
If they have joked about killing you, you're in danger.
If they have talked about killing you, you're definitely in danger.
If they've done physical things that made you fear for your life, you're in danger.
If you have had thoughts like, "This is what I'm gonna do with my kids when I die," or "Who would take care of my kids if I wasn't here anymore?" or anything that indicates that somewhere on your radar (it may not even be conscious yet) there's a possibility of you dying, that is a huge red flag! That is the #1 indicator that you're in danger.
2. He doesn't believe that rules or laws apply to him. This has been very common with guys that I've been involved with. They all think that they're smarter than the law and the law doesn't apply to them. Yes, it might be for those stupid, feeble, normal human beings, but not them. No, they're above that.
3. Does he have a criminal record of destruction of property or violence against anyone? If they have been violent before, and that includes to property (destruction of property is still violence) then they're likely to be violent again.
I always feel like i need to like caveat everything: "except for," "but sometimes,". The reality is that yes, there's always exceptions to the rule, but in general, if they have abused, if they have been violent, if they have destroyed... they're likely to do it again. I'm going to use male terms for this article. It does not mean that females can't and don't murder people. They definitely can and they do, but in terms of intimate partner homicide... historically, statistically, this is almost always a male perpetrated criminal act against a female. I do want to do more research because it's possible that the tide is changing a little bit, but for right now those are the pronouns that we're going to use. "He did it. She died."
4. Does he use alcohol or drugs to excuse violent behavior?
"I'm sorry baby! I was drunk. I didn't mean to hurt you. I didn't mean to squeeze that hard. I never should have punched a hole in the wall, but I was drunk and I was being stupid."
Nah bro. Nah! If alcohol makes you that way or drugs make you that way, you should stop using them. It doesn't get to be an excuse. What they're doing is they're taking away their responsibility and they're putting it somewhere else. You can't help somebody who isn't willing to accept responsibility for what they do. You can't work with somebody like that. They're not in a position or a state right now where they're gonna get better. Does that mean they're never gonna get better? No, but that doesn't mean that it's gonna happen with you, because right now they're not there.
5. Is he controlling? People who have not been in domestic violence relationships do not understand this aspect of relationships. If he's controlling you, he's dangerous. If he controls what you wear, who you talk to, what to do, whether or not you work, whether or not you go to school, or anything else, that's a red flag.
6. Does he minimize his behavior? That means, does he physically abuse you in any way and then tell you it wasn't that bad? Does he act psychotic and destroy things in the house and then really downplay it?
"It wasn't that big of a thing. I mean, people break things when they get angry sometimes. It's not the end of the world!"
Even it's just verbal - they called you names or they made you promises and then later they say things like "It wasn't a big deal," "I was just joking," or "You're too sensitive," - anything like that at all. That's downplaying what they are doing. Again, not taking responsibility for their actions and again, a red flag.
7. Is he physically abusive towards you? There's a long ways between smacking you or grabbing your hand too hard and murder, but if they don't respect you as a human being to the point where they're gonna do something that's going to physically harm you, it's really not that far of a stretch to go from that mental place to murder. It really isn't. If they don't respect you as a human being at this point, why would they respect you as a human being enough to not take your life?
8. This is one that I was completely unaware of when I was younger. So this is a note for younger people especially, but older people too if you haven't figured this out yet. Did he want to move in, get married, or have babies really fast? Anytime that somebody wants to progress that much that fast in a relationship it's a red flag. It's a manipulation and control tactic. They want control over you. If they live with you, they can control you. If they are married to you, they can control you. If you have their child, they have a hook in you for the rest of your life. These are all control. This does not mean that if somebody wants to marry you they are going to be abusive and kill you. That's not what I'm saying. But if you start dating somebody and they want to get really serious in one of those ways after a month or two, if they're talking about marriage in the first month, that's a red flag.
9. Does he say things like till death do us part or ride or die when he's talking about your relationship? It sounds really nice in theory, unless you research intimate partner homicide like I have and you hear these phrases over and over.
"Til death do us part. I told you till death do us part! If I can't have you, no one can. Til death do us part!"
First of all, until death do us part is a marriage thing, so if they're saying that before you're married... They don't have any business saying it. And when we say it when we get married, we are meaning until death as in some type of health issue, old age, or a car accident - something like that - we're not talking about death at the hands of the other person. That was never part of the deal!
10. He has stalked you, in any way. He may have stalked you physically. He may have stalked you through digital stuff - through social media, apps on your phone, apps on your computer, etc. He might stalk you through other people too. Any of those is stalking and it's serious.
Stalking is something that we make light of culturally with things like FaceBook stalking.
"I facebook stalked my ex. Hahaha!"
"I just wanted to see whether or not they were with somebody."
That's not the kind of stalking that we're talking about. This is significant. It's serious. I'm going to share a couple of statistics that I put in my book:
76% of female intimate partner homicide victims were stalked by their intimate partner (and that's 76 percent that they are aware of).
54% of victims reported stalking to police before they were killed by their stalkers. Over half of these people asked for help about stalker who ended up taking their lives!
89% of those who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked within 12 months of their murder.
I told you that i was going to do 10, the title of this video is 10 Intimate Partner Homicide Red Flags, but I want to include two more. It's kind of a bonus if you want to call it that but, really there are two more that, when I was looking back at this list, I decided that I really want you to know as well.
11. Does he refuse to accept rejection? Some people refuse to handle being told no. This can be rejection of your ideas, rejection of your thoughts and opinions, or rejection of him as your partner. My most recent stalker was fine when we were together. Like not perfect, but he treated me well for the most part, until I broke up with him and then that rejection changed everything because he wasn't wanting to deal with the fact that he was being told no.
12. Does he seem to get a lot of his identity from you? Some people will say that this doesn't seem to apply to them if, for example, he's beating them. They might think, "Oh he doesn't get much of his identity from me at all because he thinks that I'm nothing." But in that case, maybe he's getting his identity from you because he feels like he's able to be in control. That's an identity thing.
On the other hand, other guys will not be abusive in that way at all. They come off as more suffocating. They're like, "This is my girlfriend (or this is my wife). This is my love, the mother of my children. I want to be around her all the time. I want to do everything that she wants to do. I want to make her so happy. She makes me so happy!" And they lose their identity as an individual. Alternatively, they never had it in the first place and they were looking for somebody just to latch onto. They need you to complete them.
The reason that those people are dangerous is because if they don't have you, they don't feel like they're anything and that's when you get the murder-suicides. It's dangerous too. I had to put it out here because it doesn't present like physical abuse, angry aggression, or even necessarily creepy. It presents totally different, but it is still dangerous.
Thank you for reading this article and for supporting me as I try to educate people about these important topics!
Until next time, stay safe!
Before I go, I want to recommend a book to you. It's called the No Bullshit Guide to Women's Self Defense. I did a review of it on YouTube. You can watch that HERE. This book was the first self-defense book that I bought when I was seriously afraid for mine and my kids' lives. It's a fantastic book! It's short. It's a very easy read because it reads like he's having a conversation with you. There is humor and there's a lot of great information. I highly recommend it! That's why I'm proud to be an affiliate for it.