Criminologist Kim Ramsay is urging women to check for the warning signs that their partner may have a mean streak that leaves them prone to domestic violence.
“Prior history of abusive relationships is the most common sign, prone to outburst of anger, physical acts such as minor assaults such as pushing, grabbing, slapping, kicking,” Ramsay said are just some of the warning signs.
“Verbal abuse such as cursing, name calling, belittling, pulling them down, using reverse psychology to make them look like the victim and harassment,” she added are also traits to look out for in partners.
Ramsay was speaking to Barbados TODAY following the news of the fatal stabbing of Zanaba Moore of Fere Pilgrim, Christ Church. A man, Patrick Nathaniel Leacock has since been charged with the murder.
The criminologist who works at the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit said in some cases the perpetrator has done violent acts to their partner without punishment, thus they repeat the offence. However, she noted in some circumstances acts of domestic violence are a learned behavior.
“Sometimes persons are raised in abusive environments and learn that abuse is an accepted form of behavior in response to conflict whether real or perceived,” she said.
Ramsay warned women who are in an abusive relationship that the first thing they must do is to get out of the situation.
“Terminate the relationship, practice self-love, talk to a close friend, build a support group. It is not easy, but one must think about oneself and the best for oneself. Therapy and counseling also work. Some people have been in abusive relationships for so long that they do not see a way out, but the longest journey begins with the first step,” she said.
The criminologist said the stigma associated with domestic violence can be broken through education from the kindergarten stage by empowering women and men in areas that address social skills.