Victims of domestic violence need to be aware of the warning signs that they could be victims of a possible “murder-suicide” scenario. This is when an offender kills their intimate partner and then kills themselves. According to the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), the signs shown in an offender are:
- Prior history of family violence (most significant sign)
- Prior history of poor mental health
- Substance abuse, especially alcohol
- Access to firearms Increased specific threats
- Note: Incidents of murder-suicide occur more often with firearms than any other weapon.
- The time immediately after a woman actually leaves an abusive partner is the most dangerous.
PHYSICAL ABUSE – When someone is physically abused the obvious signs are: slapping, kicking, choking, pushing. Basically, anytime someone violates your physical body in a threatening manner – this is abuse. The victim is often left with scratches, broken bones, bruises, abrasions and burns. Physical abuse also can result in homicide or familicide. Familicide is when the offender kills the entire family. In most cases, the offender then commits suicide.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE – The central themes in emotional abuse is manipulation and control. It causes fear, humiliation and verbal assaults. The victim cannot ever please the offender. It is a form of brainwashing which kills the victims self-worth and their self-identity becomes distorted and confused. The level of insults and humiliation is unbearable. The victim can feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Emotional abuse can cause mood disorders, anxiety, post traumatic stress, destructive thoughts of suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, increased smoking resulting in heart problems and cancer.
- Name calling, belittle and undermining
- Refusing to communicate
- The silent treatment
- Accusing and blaming
- Distorting the victim’s perception of reality
- The victim is treated like a child or an animal
- Offender screams and throws temper-tantrums
SEXUAL ABUSE – The offender knows no boundaries and has to have complete control. Victims are manipulated into sexual acts they are not comfortable with performing. If it is not consensual sex, then it is abuse. This includes: oral and anal sex, the use of strange objects and sex toys. Once again, if it is not consensual, then it is abuse. A good example is a woman will comply to “group” sexual acts to “so-called please” her man and he will still cheat on her away. This is completely degrading.