Dear Sue Ellen,
My ex-husband tried to choke me to death and only got sent to prison for 18 months. He is getting out next month and I am terrified that he will come after me. How can I protect myself and my child? Everybody thinks he is such a nice guy, but he is a monster. Nobody will believe me.
If I were you, I would take my child and start a new life somewhere else, and you may even have to get a new identity so he can’t track you. But before you move, consider this. It is possible that he will move on and find a new girlfriend (victim). There are some things I wish everybody knew about predators, and yes…your ex-husband is a predator.
Predators are courteous, thoughtful and charming. They are very attentive and almost too nice and good to be true (that’s because they are grooming their victim to trust him). Predator’s need to control their victim so they can carry out their sick fantasies or rage without getting caught. Predators may be child molesters or they may be someone with a need to control their wife, husband, partner or significant other.
Some predators are simply angry people looking to take their rage out on someone else, so they look for a vulnerable partner to abuse. Abuse can be rape, emotional and psychological abuse, isolation, mind control, money control, physical abuse and threats to harm others if the victim doesn’t comply and stalking. There is little they won’t do to fulfill their need to abuse, but they are always careful to convince everyone they are not monsters in disguise.
Predators and abusers are both men or women. It is harder for men to make a call to the police about a domestic situation, so there are less reports of women being the abuser. Sometimes women fight back in defense, and their abuser calls the police so the victim is the one that gets arrested. They are devious like that.
For anyone in a new relationship, please don’t ignore the warning signs, such as him/her being overly charming and attentive; controlling; showing anger quickly; monitoring your coming and going; questioning you when you talk to others; trying to keep you to himself/herself; blaming or criticizing you for little things. Also, your friends may not like him/her. If you are considering being in a relationship with someone like that, you need to end it immediately before it is too late.
One more thing. Statistically, the third choke ends in death. There are resources and services that will help you decide the direction you need to take. Please contact me at 254-899-5848 for more information and support. Be safe!
Please email your parenting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Parent’s Corner on the subject line.
Dear Sue Ellen,