Monday, April 26, 2010

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

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 psychopathologicaly 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.


Anonymous said...

Once again, an excellent post. I am relieved that I don't have anyone that I need to give this information to right now but I am saving a copy because I probably will want to share it with a friend at some point. Thank you.

TigressPen said...

I couldn't agree more, Pat. You said it marvelously when you showed the difference between normal marital discord and abusive. A marriage is not I, my or mine - it's we, us and our- it's understanding, sharing, compromise, togetherness and love.

Susan's book 'Time's Up' can save lives.

Cate said...

It discourages me to see only two comments here, three counting this one. Of all people, I understand the allure of catchy and intriguing subjects like missing children and murdered spouses. But get real, folks. Read THIS STUFF and think about it and discuss it because this is what will most likely apply to you and your friends.

babybird said...

I came back to this article hoping to see more comments as well. It's a subject I'd like to know more about. I have a friend who was in an abusive marriage, and now has a new marriage but still having to deal with her ex because of custody of their daughter.

I'd love to be able to see Oprah's show with Gavin de Becker on this, but it's not available online and I don't have TV where I can watch it. So count me as one more vote for more coverage and information about issues like these.

TigressPen said...

Domestic Violence is what Susan Murphy Milano's blog talk radio show covers almost every Wednesday. Her show comes on at 3PM central 4 eastern.

Anonymous said...

This is posted as anonymous because it has to be.

sorry but when you are in an abusive marriage there IS NO COVERTLY! he knows EVERYTHING! every key stroke on the pc. every call you make on your cell the land line is tapped he chases away all your family and all of your friends and brain washes your kids. he does not allow you to have access to ANY money! (or healthcare/dental etc) and before you know it you dont even own clothes anymore! (or VERY few)OHHHH but HE HAS ALL THE money he wants cause MOMMY and DADDY pay ALL of his bills! go ahead and call the cops... he'll bust his nose before they get there and say you did it. then you end up looking like the psycho! one wrong move and Time Is up! You mind! you pray! you walk on eggshells and you stay awake ALOT.I have read some of these books, but by simply buying/possessing them you are taking a risk. Sure it seems SOOOOOO easy to people who don't have to deal with psychopaths but they are smart...sly and evil. Sometimes trying to get out is the EXACT thing that gets you DEAD! For those of you with great husbands... tell them one more time today how much you love them! Cause some of us said it today because we had to! NOT because we wanted do!
Honestly I like living...(however pathetic you feel that my life is)but it's ALL I've got! and I wanna live MORE than I wanna die! I've made it 20 years. might not make it to 25 or 30 but it is what it is be glad you are not me!

Seamus O Riley said...

"Times Up" needs national exposure.

It wasn't written to impress the professionals. It was written to save lives.

It found a close kin in PB's blog.

Peter Hyatt