Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and the American tradition is to send a card, give your special someone a beautiful bouquet of flowers and maybe even some fine chocolates. Think all things pink/red. Unfortunately for some, all things red/pink aren’t delivered neatly wrapped in a box with a pretty bow. Some are delivered at the hands of an angry spouse or significant other. Domestic violence is easy to spot when the signs are physical, but would you know what other signs to look for when the clues aren’t visible? Would you be able to help yourself or a loved one without those specific clues? Hiring a private investigator could be instrumental in the fight against abuse.

Private investigators are trained in detecting spyware possibly placed on a victim’s phone, collect valuable evidence and help either locate the abuser in stalking cases or find if an abuser is stalking a victim. They can also run background checks to spot potential abusers in the making.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, on average 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. Females ages 18-24 and 25-34 generally experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence. It doesn’t discriminate either. Domestic violence affects all races, genders, ages, sexual orientations and economic backgrounds.

Domestic violence and abuse is an issue about power. How to gain it and how to keep it. The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project created the Power and Control Wheel which highlights the many way an abuser gains, maintains and manipulates their victims. It ranges from financial control, manipulation of kids up to threats which can lead to physical assault. It comes in many forms and if you are questioning whether you are in an abusive relationship or someone you love is, here are a few clues:

  1. Communicates in a way that is hurtful, threatening or demeaning.
  2. Mistreats the partner by not respecting their feelings, thoughts, decisions, opinions or physical safety of the other.
  3. Accuses the other of having an affair when it isn’t true.
  4. Denies abuse is actual abuse.
  5. Controls the other so there is no equality in the relationship.
  6. Isolates the partner by controlling where they go & who the speak to.
  7. Forces sexual activity/pregnancy.
  8. Exerts economic control/controls the money & access to resources.
  9. Engages in manipulative parenting, using children to gain power & control over their partner.

This list is definitely not all inclusive nor does the exhibition of one of these clues deem you are in an abusive relationship. A private investigator will be able to assist a victim in assessing some of the clues listed above. Your safety is of the utmost importance, so make sure your Valentine is one who delivers nothing but love and the good kind of pink/red. As always, if you are in immediate physical danger, dial 911.


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