Healthy Family | Home Safety | Health and Wealth | Relationship Issues | Career Advice | Growing Family
Get the SixWise e-Newsletter FREE!
Google Web
Free Newsletter Subscription
Get the Web's Most trusted & Informative Health, Wealth, Safety & More Newsletter -- FREE!


Share Email to a Friend Print This

Do You Know Someone Who
Might be in an Abusive Relationship?
This Threat Assessment System Might Save Their Life


Abusive relationships are extremely common in the United States, and domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to U.S. women, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

One in four U.S. women may be assaulted or raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Take this self-assessment questionnaire to find out if you’re as aware as you can be to avoid becoming a rape victim.

In all it’s estimated that between 2 million and 4 million women, and 835,000 men, are assaulted by their partners each year in the United States and, according to IDPH, “about one out of every four women in America will be physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.”

In 2007 alone, for instance, over 266,000 people fell victim to a violent crime at the hands of their spouse or ex-spouse, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Although policies are in place to protect victims of intimate partner violence from repeated retaliation, often the programs do not go far enough. According to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ):

“ … A study of domestic violence policies in 48 large U.S. cities found that policies designed to reduce a woman's exposure to an abusive partner sometimes have contradictory results. For example, although warrantless arrest, firearm confiscation, prosecutions, and increases in Aid to Families with Dependent Children benefit levels were associated with lower rates of domestic violence, interventions were sometimes followed by retaliation from an abusive partner.

… Researchers also have found that a minority of suspects identified as “chronically aggressive intimate partners ” continue to abuse their partners regardless of the intervention received (whether arrested, counseled, or temporarily separated from their partners).”

The MOSAIC Threat Assessment System

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship (with either an abusive male or female partner), the MOSAIC Threat Assessment System can help you find out for sure. Likewise, if you know you’re in an abusive relationship, the System can help to determine how likely your situation is to escalate into physical violence or murder.

According to

“The enhanced MOSAIC method is used by the U.S. Supreme Court Police to assess threats to the Justices, by the U.S. Marshals Service for screening threats to judicial officials, by the U.S. Capitol Police for threats against Members of Congress, by police agencies protecting the governors of eleven states, by many large corporations, and by thirty top universities …

Unlike a checklist, MOSAIC facilitates an in-depth exploration of a situation, bringing attention to factors and combinations of factors that might otherwise go unnoticed …

The MOSAIC method works by breaking a situation down factor-by-factor, like pieces of a puzzle, and then seeing what picture emerges when you put them together.

MOSAIC helps the assessor weigh the present situation in light of expert opinion and research, and instantly compare the present situation to past cases where the outcomes are known.”

To take advantage of this potentially life-saving system now, visit

Connecticut Taking a Stand to Protect Victims of Domestic Abuse

Up to 50 percent of murders of women in the United States are committed by an intimate partner, according to NIJ. Sadly, many women attempt to get protective orders or have their partners arrested, only to later fall victim to an assault or murder.

For instance, 70-year-old William "Gerry" Seidl was recently found guilty of murdering his wife Dorene in Kentucky. She has tried to get a protective order, but the judge denied it. Unfortunately, stories like this are all too common:

  • 43-year-old Daniel Stuckey of Florida was recently convicted to 7 years in prison for attacking his wife with a hatchet

  • Daniel K. Cleary of Illinois was recently charged with killing his wife, who was found “bludgeoned to death,” shortly after she told him she wanted a divorce.

  • James Larry of Wisconsin recently confessed to shooting and killing his pregnant wife, infant son and two nieces while they were sleeping.

Sadly, cases like this go on and on, which is why the state of Connecticut has launched a $140,000 pilot program that will use GPS monitors to track domestic violence offenders. At least 21 high-risk offenders will be required to wear the GPS ankle bracelet, which will alert both victims and police if they come too close to a victim or tamper with the device.

Any offenders who violate restrictions will be charged with additional penalties in court, and victims will have peace of mind that they will be alerted and able to flee if an offender comes too close.

8 Signs of an Abusive Relationship

Domestic abuse can be psychological, physical or sexual, and often partners are reluctant to believe there is a problem. In fact, a recent study co-authored by Patricia O'Campo, a social epidemiologist and director of the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, found that 54 percent of women in abusive relationships still viewed their partners as highly dependable, while 21 percent said they possessed significant positive traits, such as being affectionate.

The finding explains why some women stay in abusive relationships despite warning signs. Others stay out of plain fear of retaliation if they attempt to leave.

Still others may feel a sense of fear but ignore these instincts and stay in a relationship until it is too late to get out. A highly recommended book for anyone who suspects their partner may be abusive is The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence.

This book can help you recognize warning signs of a potential abuser and gives you strategies that can save your life if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. This book is essential reading for anyone who has questioned whether their partner would cause them harm, as well as for those who are in the dating scene, as this book can help you to spot red flags early on.

What are some signs that you or a loved one is in an abusive relationship?

  1. Acts of violence, including pushing, hitting, slapping, choking, kicking or biting

  2. Making threats to you, your children, other family members or pets

  3. Threatening to commit suicide if you leave or do not listen

  4. Putting you down, making you feel bad or humiliating you

  5. Controlling your access to money, the car or the phone

  6. Forcing you to have sex or preventing you from using contraception

  7. Restricting your access to friends and family, or keeping you from going to school, leaving the house, etc.

  8. Showing excessive jealousy and possessiveness

A typical abusive relationship may also go through a cycle of abuse, guilt and apologies, followed by a period of normal behavior, and then continued abuse. The Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Service offers the following scenario as an example of the full cycle of domestic violence:

Depression, anxiety and personality changes are all signs that a loved one may be stuck in an abusive relationship.

“A man abuses his partner. After he hits her, he experiences self-directed guilt. He says, "I'm sorry for hurting you." What he does not say is, "Because I might get caught." He then rationalizes his behavior by saying that his partner is having an affair with someone. He tells her "If you weren't such a worthless whore I wouldn't have to hit you."

He then acts contrite, reassuring her that he will not hurt her again. He then fantasizes and reflects on past abuse and how he will hurt her again. He plans on telling her to go to the store to get some groceries.

What he withholds from her is that she has a certain amount of time to do the shopping. When she is held up in traffic and is a few minutes late, he feels completely justified in assaulting her because "you're having an affair with the store clerk." He has just set her up.”

If you believe a loved one may be suffering in silence at the hands of an abusive partner, the following are warning signs to watch out for … the person may:

  • Always agree with their partner, or act afraid or anxious to please them

  • Receive frequent harassing phone calls from their partner, or check in with them often

  • Have frequent injuries that are explained away as “accidents”

  • Show personality changes or become depressed

  • Have low-self esteem (even if they used to be confident)

What to do if You’re in an Abusive Relationship

Domestic violence can not only lead to physical injuries and possibly murder, but it is also linked to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and suicide attempts. So leaving an abusive relationship is often crucial for your mental and physical health and safety.

Before leaving, however, you should make a plan as, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, “The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave.”

You should first decide when the best time to leave is, then pack a bag with essential items ahead of time. Decide exactly where you will go, including how you will get there. An offender can trace your phone calls and Internet activities, so be careful about discussing your plans with others.

If you’re caught in an emergency situation, call 911 for help. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE for crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals to agencies that can help you. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

We also highly recommend you take these five self-assessment tools to gauge your level of savvy self empowerment, and get life-saving tips of what to do in a crisis situation:

  1. Do You Know How To Avoid Being Raped or What To Do If You Are Raped?

  1. How Well Do You REALLY Cope In A Crisis?

  1. Would You Know What To Do If You Were Attacked?

  1. How Well Do You Manage Your Anger?

  1. What is Your Level of Self-Reliance?

After getting your results, be sure to pass these important tests on to your friends and family using the spaces provided at the end so they can take these important tests, too. These free, educational, and possibly life-saving tests will then automatically be sent to them.

Recommended Reading

Emotional Abuse in Teen Dating Relationships: What Every Parent Needs to Know

Excessively Controlling Behavior In Love Relationships: What To Do When Only One Partner Sets All The Parameters

Sources April 13, 2010

Hartford Courant April 3, 2010 April 12, 2010 April 17, 2010 April 17, 2010 April 17, 2010

Bureau of Justice Statistics March 2, 2010

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Institute of Justice

Illinois Department of Public Health

To get more information about this and other highly important topics, sign up for your free subscription to our weekly "Be Safe, Live Long & Prosper" e-newsletter.

With every issue of the free newsletter, you’ll get access to the insights, products, services, and more that can truly improve your well-being, peace of mind, and therefore your life!

Share Email to a Friend Print This