FACT: In 2005, 329 men and 1,181 women were killed by their partners in the United States alone.
Yes, that is true. And it is a sad fact. Violence has become more and more common in society today. People attribute this to different causes. But one thing remains, lives have been destroyed and numerous persons have died because of violence.
Violence is always harmful in whatever form, whether the perpetrator abuses his victim physically, emotionally or psychologically. And almost always, the attacker is a trusted person of the object of the abuse.
Violence can occur potentially anywhere and in any environment. The most common places are the home and the workplace. And in the past two decades, violence has become increasingly palpable in schools. Kids as young as seven and eight become victims. Violence has become so ubiquitous that just about anybody could be a victim. In order for you to avoid being at the receiving end, here are some things to watch out for when dealing with a person whom you think is potentially violent.
Signs to watch out for:
- Mood swings. If someone has very obvious mood swings and cannot seem to control it, you should be wary. Although most people who have mood swings are not violent, this should be a sign to watch out for.
- Mental health of the person. Depression is not something to be afraid of but extreme depression and anxiety should be obvious pointers.
- History. A person’s history is very important. When you need to deal with someone, make sure that you know a little about his or her background. Although this should not mean that you run a file and background check on everyone you meet, make sure that before you give your full trust to someone, you know enough of his friends who can vouch for him.
- Anti- social behavior. This should set the warning bells in your mind. Anti-social behavior couples with any of the above should send you packing. Or if not, at least, on your toes.
- Excessive cussing or the use of verbal threats. This does not mean that you should be wary of people who let out expletives occasionally. What’s important here is that you can identify the fine line that separates simply cussing and verbal abuse.
Now that you know some of the more obvious signs, here’s how you deal with a potentially violent person:
- Remain calm. Do not show that you are intimidated because often times, violence is a product of the abuser’s need to feel in control. Always think clearly and do not let fear cloud your judgment.
- If you need to be in a room together, make sure that someone you can call to help you is nearby. In worst case scenarios, sit or stay near the exit or the door. This would give you a way out in case you are attacked.
- If the potentially violent person is someone dear to you, seek professional help. Counseling may be a good start.
- If you are already a victim, get out of the abusive relationship and go to the proper authorities. You will realize that there are so many people willing to help you.
- Learn to value your life and stand up to a potential abuser. Do not allow yourself to be a victim. Know your own value.
As dire as it may seem, situations will right themselves if you are willing to take part in the solution and not allow yourself to be abused. There are numerous organizations out there willing to extend their help and support.