I´m scared of you sometimes, of how you snap at me. You have picked on me incessantly. You do everything to throw tantrums. I’m certainly very unhappy and sad. ~ Reeva Steenkamp
These are the haunting words of Reeva Steenkamp recovered by the investigators from one of her long chats with Oscar Pistorius. It´s an international knowledge how brutally Reeva was killed by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius. Whether her killer would be found guilty or not, that remains to be seen. But clearly there are vital lessons women could learn from her sad story.
If only she listened to her instincts, if only she knew the signs of an abusive man, she could have saved herself. She could have gotten out of that abusive relationship early. How sad that her budding career and bright future were cut abruptly.
But Reeva was just one of the many women who fell victims to an abusive man. And this is one of the most pressing problems in our society today.
If you want to have a peek on how abusive men think, read Lundy Bancroft´s Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.
Examine This List and Check to See if They´re Present in Your Partner
1. He drinks alcohol regularly. According the article, Alcohol Alert, alcohol may encourage aggression or violence by disrupting normal brain function. Alcohol weakens brain mechanisms that normally restrain impulsive behaviors, including inappropriate aggression. The person who misuses alcohol has an impaired information processing. The element also leads him to misjudge social cues which leads to overreacting to any perceived threat.
Published studies suggest that 86 percent of homicide offenders, 37 percent of assault offenders, 60 percent of sexual offenders, up to 57 percent of men and 27 percent of women involved in marital violence, and 13 percent of child abusers were drinking at the time of the offense.
2. He is insensitive towards animal or children. Did you ever witness your partner abusing a dog, a cat, or any pet? Do you see him bully children, secretly hurting them, or flat out cold towards them?
3. He says hurtful or humiliating things to you. Reeva Steenkamp, in her recovered text messages, said that she´s being criticized by her boyfriend with the way she did things, she was told her accent was annoying. At one social event they attended together, Oscar Pistorius criticized her loudly so that others could hear. “I regard myself as a lady and I didn’t feel like one after we left.” Reeva wrote about the humiliating incident.
4. He wants to control what you do, say, buy and so on. If he´s controlling the way you dress, speak or do things, then he´s definitely an abusive man.
“I get snapped at and told my accents and voices are annoying. I touch your neck to show u I care and you tell me to stop. Stop chewing gum. Do this don’t do that.” Reeva Steenkamp to Oscar Pistorius.
5. He wants to separate you from your family, friends or work companions. The number one tool an abusive man uses for an abusive relationship is isolation.
6. He has very marked mood swings. Reeva Steenkamp´s long message which gave window to their abusive relationship appears like she´s witnessing against her killer from the grave. All of the emotional abuse that she endured points to Oscar Pistorius´ eratic mood swings as the trigger. He throws tantrums, he´s mad, and then he´d lash out to his girlfriend with verbal abuse.
7. He has behaved violently in the past although always with excuses. Did he hit a former girlfriend? Did he ever display violence in front of some friends or people? Was he quick in defending his violence with excuses?
Well, Reeva knew that Oscar pulled and fired a gun in public twice in the past. The third time he pulled a gun, it was used on her.
8. When you disagree he grabs and shakes you. He´ll shake you now, but it´s only a matter of time before things escalate to physical abuse.
9. When angry he throws or breaks things or bangs his fists down on the table.
10. He blames other people for his problem. An abusive man feels entitled to his behavior. He thinks he has the right to be angry because of his disability or with how things look unfair to him. He never sees himself at fault, never accepts his mistakes. Or if he does, he´ll swiftly justify them with excuses.
Do you want to know what goes on in a man´s mind? How to Read a Man .
If you witness any of these signs of an abusive man, you run the risk of being a victim of domestic violence should you stay in the relationship and eventually live with him. But worst, you could end up like Reeva Steenkamp. It´s important that you identify an abusive man early in your relationship so you can break free. The longer you stay in an abusive relationship, the more difficult it is to break the cycle.