Yes, Threats are Abusive Too...
“He said it, but he didn’t really mean it.”
“She was just playing.”
“We just joke around like that.”
We have so many excuses for the unhealthy behaviors we see in our relationships, including things like threats. Sometimes, it’s easier to dismiss the red flags we see than to confront the unhealthy behaviors in the moment.
Threats are insidious. Though they may not leave a mark on you physically (yet), they absolutely impact you mentally and emotionally. They diminish your sense of safety and security in your relationship. And they should not be tolerated.
DeMarcus Cousins, former player for the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, is in the news recently following a threat he made to his ex-girlfriend. During a phone conversation that was recorded and turned over to the Mobile police department, Cousins stated that he would “put a bullet in your [expletive] head” if his ex didn’t allow their son to attend his upcoming wedding. The Mobile police department has issued a warrant for his arrest.
Cousins’ ex-girlfriend took the threats seriously and took appropriate action. But so many others let threats slide, which can have horrific consequences. In an article posted in the Washington Post website entitled “U.N. finds the deadliest place for women is their home”, Jean-Luc Lemahieu, director of policy analysis and public information at the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime is quoted as saying “When a female loses her life, it is not without predictions — you see incidences of verbal and other forms of violence. The pattern is established long before the homicide.”
Let’s not continue to ignore the threats. They are red flags; they are warning signs. Take them seriously, get out, and get help if necessary.