LET’S LOOK AT THIS SCENARIO!
Where are the signs here that we’re taught to look for when trying to spot EA or EEA?
A mature woman in her 60’s belongs to a social club where new members are always welcome. There is someone who has planted themselves inside the social circle and is looking around for potential victims. They have already made contact with one person, inviting them out for coffee, going over to their house and telling them their life story: they’re new to the city, they don’t make a lot of money, they wouldn’t mind being given used clothing etc. Pretty soon, this person is calling the woman “mom” and endearing themselves to the elder. The elder is touched. They don’t see any harm in befriending this person. The elder has a daughter but her warnings are not being heard. She’s pleading for her mother not to let the person into her home. Her mother merely shrugs off these warnings and tells her not to worry. It may not be long before the perpetrator has worked their way into the elder’s home and taken over the management of the elder and their home. What will the daughter be able to do once the perpetrator is in the home? Not much if the elder still can’t see what’s happening to them and is under another’s influence.
SO, WHAT ARE THE SIGNS?
The problem is that, if you are able to see signs of an abusive relationship or the victim can see the signs that indicate they’re caught up in an abusive relationship, then, in either case, the victim is likely in a spot where they can’t or they won’t be able to fight back. If you see the signs, then that means that the situation is well past the initial stages and probably bordering on dangerous.
Helping victims and families of the emotionally abused will depend on things other than blatant, obvious signs of abuse. It’ll be more about:
- understanding the general nature and traits of an unhealthy relationship, especially the beginning stages of one, that can lead to an abusive relationship;
- understanding how perpetrators of EA and EEA lure their victims into abusive relationships.
In essence, the key to stopping EA or EEA is about being able to identify the perpetrator before they get a foot near their victim or a foot inside their home. This means understanding their strategy and knowing how they use certain control tactics to accomplish this. In other words, being aware of how they gain control and how they apply “disguised pressure” on their victims to reprogram them and disable them completely before anyone is aware this is happening is vital in detecting both the perpetrator and the crime.
It cannot be overstressed that what everyone seems to be overlooking is a very simple fact: If a robber is planning to rob a bank, they won’t be advertising this fact. In fact, the bank will be the last one to know. Same goes for EA or EEA. The victim and anyone around them will be the last ones to know what a perpetrator is doing and no one will be aware that they have been targeted and are being set-up to be violated.
SO, HOW DOES ANYONE PROTECT THEMSELVES?
First of all, understand that the moment you let your guard down when you sense something is “off” or “too good to be true” in your relationship with another will be your first mistake. What is important here is to be aware of what is healthy and what is not when we’re dealing with all types of relationships.
Second of all, are you being made to feel uncomfortable or being influenced to believe otherwise if you even doubt the sincerity of another person’s actions or attentions? This should be another strong clue.
IN BOTH CASES, YOU HAVE TO STEP BACK,
DETACH YOURSELF AND ASK YOURSELF: “WHY”?
In healthy relationships, generally both parties will take their time and pace around each other for quite a while before they start pulling out all stops and handing over their trust to the other person. In an abusive relationship, the perpetrator of EA or EEA is targeting the “trust factor” in the relationship. What they want to do is, by playing with the vulnerable spots in a person, they want to hurry up this phase in a relationship, and when they get the trust, that’s when they know they have control of their victim.
Asking yourself the question “Why?” means being very honest with yourself. You’re actually stepping step back from the relationship to look at it very objectively, without emotion. When we’re lonely, or something is missing from our lives or we’re simply looking for a relationship to fulfill our lives, this question is very hard to answer honestly. When you step back a little, you might not like what you see when you ask yourself “What is it that they want from me?” However, to ignore the question means you may be putting yourself at risk.
Also, in healthy relationships, both parties will be careful not to get hurt. For that reason they move towards each other in the relationship with great caution. In an abusive relationship, one party will be moving faster than the other. They won’t be concerned about getting hurt because they don’t plan on getting hurt. Nor do they plan on being vested in the relationship. They just want to get something out of it. And in order to get what they want, they know they’re going to do what it takes to get it.
KNOWING THE SIGNS OF EA OR EEA WON’T HELP ANYONE.
THAT’S TOO LATE.
Knowing how to identify the perpetrator and how they operate will stop them in their tracks and protect you from abuse.