R = Red Flags

As part of the Acronym for R.E.S.P.E.C.T let’s start at R = Red Flags

At the core of family violence is power and control. There may not be violence present and the perpetrator may present as charming, affable and on the surface “a really nice guy” (or gal). There are no threats, no verbal abuse but under the surface, there is this sinister controlling behaviour at work. Behaviour that is not immediately obvious but the Red Flags are there.

Here is an example from a couple we know. The wife is away with a friend for a weekend end away. On the day they are to return, he uses the smart phone “Find my Phone” feature to track her journey and make sure she is home on time. He calls it “caring”, we call it a “Red Flag”. When my wife is away somewhere I might get a call to say she’s arrived safe or when she is leaving and when she expects to be home. I wouldn’t think about trying to track her journey. After all she is a smart, intelligent and self sufficient woman and a good driver in a safe car.

Here are some more “Red Flags” to think about.

The “Red Flag” of social isolation. Where the controlling partner decides who their partner can see and when.

The “Red Flag” of financial control. Where the controlling partner controls all of the finances.

The “Red Flag” of fear. I will have to ask “Bill” if that’s all right. “Bill” may not like that.

The “Red Flag” of guilt. “It’s your fault”. “You are such an idiot”. “Why do you do that all the time” and so it goes on.

What are some of the “Red Flags” that you have witnessed?

Have you called them out?


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