Gabby Petito Case Showed All The Warning Signs of Domestic Violence--Why Do We Keep Missing Them?

Dr. Noelle Nelson says that the warning signs that lead up to the violence are there in almost every violent relationship, long before the violence begins.
CAMARILLO, Calif. - Oct. 26, 2021 - PRLog -- The interaction between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie showed all the warning signs of a violent ending, says Dr. Noelle Nelson, psychologist and author of  Dangerous Relationships:  How To Identify And Respond To The Seven Warning Signs Of A Troubled Relationship (Amazon).

"Domestic violence rarely erupts out of a void. It is almost invariably preceded by a series of identifiable behaviors which, because they are not seen initially as detrimental, are not recognized for the abuse they truly are," says Nelson.

Nelson says that the warning signs that lead up to the violence are there in almost every violent relationship, long before the violence begins. "It starts with a passionate whirlwind early on--situations where the batterer seeks to control and dominate the victim," she explains. "A pattern of blaming the victim for everything and verbal abuse follows. Finally, the violence starts."

If women (and men) are aware of these warning signs, Nelson says they can get out of potentially violent relationships before the violence escalates.

Seven Warning Signs of a Dangerous Relationship
  1. A passionate whirlwind beginning that knocks you off your feet
  2. Possessiveness--the kind that seeks to control and dominate you
  3. Quick and sudden personality changes by the abuser--from Mr./Ms. Wonderful into Mr./Ms. Hyde--a monster you wish you had never met
  4. The blame game begins--you're wrong about everything, while the abuser is always right
  5. You're subjected to verbal abuse--words that criticize, demean and cut you to the quick
  6. The abuser shows a cruel and insensitive attitude toward others. The stage is set for violence.
  7. The physical violence begins.

"Whether you're shoved, hit or beaten, you don't want to believe what's happening," says Nelson. "You minimize, deny or make it your fault, only to be shoved, hit or beaten again and again."

These warning signs are just that, warning signs. "A warning label on a medicine bottle doesn't mean you will suffer the side effects, just as the presence of a warning sign in a relationship doesn't mean it will develop into a violent domestic relationship," says Nelson. "However, a warning does mean to pay attention. The more warning signs present in the relationship, the more aware you should be of the possibility that you are at risk. The more intense the warning signs, even if they are few, the more alert you must become."

Diane Rumbaugh
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Tags:Domestic Violence Prevention
Location:Camarillo - California - United States
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