In Kiss Kill, my latest young adult novel, the character Mat, triumphs over his abusive relationship with his narcissistic girlfriend, Elle. The following advice is taken from the web site http://www.womenabusingmen.org/whatcanido.html
A WARNING TO MEN WHO FEEL LIKE THEY ARE BEING ABUSED.
Assess your level of danger
• On a scale of 1 to 10:
(1) Everything is changed now from when things were really good between you. She is very controlling and manipulative toward you and things seem to have taken a negative turn.
(2) She is often angry with you, saying mean and painful things. She denies it, but it seems like she is sneaking around behind you, trying to catch you in lies, waiting for you to fail her.
(3) No matter what you do, if it’s not her idea, it’s wrong and causes a fight. You are seeing how angry she can get, and her reactions seem extreme.
(4) She is behaving badly, perhaps even in public now. She is falsely accusing you of bad behaviour, and some of the accusations are the very things she is actually doing to you.
(5) She is likely to throw things at the wall during a fight and be physically destructive to make her point.
(6) She is likely to throw things at you during a fight, and she has physically struck you at this point.
(7) Even during the cooling off period following a fight, she doesn’t seem to cool off. She can fly back into a rage easily and can’t let it go. Things are getting progressively worse now.
(8) When she is angry, you sleep separately with the door locked, just in case, to avoid a physical ambush while you sleep.
(9) Fights are almost always include physical attacks. She says she wishes you were dead or has threatened to kill you.
(10) She has threatened to kill you before but this time she’s acting differently; strangely quiet, smug or secretive. She may make a strange attempt to reconcile suddenly, but it doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t feel right.
These are examples of how abuse can escalate over time, bearing in mind that every relationship is unique. However, there is danger at the lowest end of the scale, and the ultimate danger at the high end. Both require a serious change of circumstances. Listen to your inner voice – what do your instincts tell you? If you find yourself at the high end of the scale, act quickly to put safety measures in place. Don’t just wait to see how it goes.
Kiss Kill is a digital only book published by Really Blue Books