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Do you have experience with acquaintance or intimate violence?
Yes, it has happened to me and I'm lucky to be alive. 13%  13%  [ 18 ]
Yes, it has happened to someone I know. 35%  35%  [ 49 ]
Yes, I was involved in a professional (LEO, etc.) capacity. 20%  20%  [ 28 ]
No. 32%  32%  [ 44 ]
Total votes : 139
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:32 pm 
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While thinking about the recent tragic death of a ZS member, Pathfinder, and reading his poignant post about when he would be the most vulnerable in this thread (he kept a gun in the bathroom under towels, because he thought the bathroom would be where he would be the most vulnerable) I sought some statistics. According to The Bureau of Justice Statistics, "[m]ost homicides with known victim/offender relationships involved people who knew each other." In about a third of all homicides, the victims and killers knew each other. About eleven percent were spouses or significant others, called "intimates". In both intimate and acquaintance homicides, guns are used more often.

We here at ZS are generally firearm enthusiasts. We own and use guns for recreation and self-defense. We encourage our friends and families to acquire and learn to use firearms. But the statistics show that these are among the people most likely to use these weapons on us.

In the thread linked above, we are asked when we are the most vulnerable. Is the answer, "When we are with the people we know"? How do we defend against this contingency? Most of our self-defense centers on disarming/disabling/neutralizing attackers. This is a situation that seems to call for different tactics. But what?

The best answer I can come up with is "Be careful who you associate with and how you interact with them." This seems like a pretty lame, unhelpful answer. I know that I am convinced that none of my friends or loved ones will shoot me, but do most people feel the same level of comfort, or is it complacency or blind trust?

Surely many of these situations come about due to to conflict in troubled relationships. In cases of divorces/breakups, especially if there are custody or assets involved, it's best to let the lawyers do the talking. If it is necessary to meet with the partner, it's best to do it in a public place or with witnesses present.

Since this is a preparedness forum, we discuss many different contingencies and scenarios, from the likely to the improbable. Unfortunately, intimate and acquaintance homicides are high in the category of likelihood.

I'd like to know your thoughts on this. I would like to hear from social workers, therapists, attorneys, LEOs, and especially any of you who are willing to talk about personal experiences with intimates or acquaintances who you feel were a danger to you or someone you love.

Thanks, and thanks to the mod who okayed this thread.

Disclosure: a childhood friend of my mother's disappeared after marrying a man who has since been convicted of murdering his first wife.

Re: the poll, you can choose up to three answers.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:06 pm 
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Yes I had an employee robbed and murdered in a parking lot walking from my office to the parking lot about 20 years ago. She was 22 and the scum were 18 years old. They walked up, shot her and took her car and purse and drove off.

We were all working late and the guard would normally "walk the ladies to their cars". This employee was new and since she missed the first trip and would have to wait a few minutes for the guard to come back. She decided she could take care of herself and walked to the car alone.

We posted a $10,000 reward with the local Crime Stoppers and within 24 the guilty parties were arrested (turned in by their own mother for the reward) and they confessed. They received a life sentence and are still in Angola some 20 years later.

We no longer allow our employees to park anyplace but inside our garage which is under 24 hour guard. If they work late will pay for a taxi ride home.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:21 pm 
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My ex-wife came at me with a knife from behind. I had no idea but my dog somehow knew what her intentions where because he attacked. So get a dog !

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:29 pm 
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When I was in Jr High, there was this girl names Wan San Han. She was super nice and shy and voted most likely to succeed. Her parents were also very nice and involved with the school. One day her dad beat her mom to death in front of her with a kitchen chair, and we never saw her again.

Also, there was a murder in my house a few years ago. There's a thread about it somewhere. The guy living here at the time was screwing his best friends wife. His friend wasn't happy about it and came over here with a wrench and a knife and killed him.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:30 pm 
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A very good friend is going through a messy divorce ( his wife is batshit crazy) on my advice , he is keeping all of his firearms at his father's house until it is done with . This is done for two reasons , one is to guarantee that is things got completely out of hand , well - no one will get shot . Secondly , if things go sideways and an argument gets out of hand and the authorities get involved , the fact that he has guns in the house cannot be used against him .

From personal experience , I have one friend that is currently in prison , because he caught his meth head step son trying to get in his locked gun-room . The ensuing argument led to the police being called and my friend being charged with Domestic . Note - only words were exchanged . Thing is , my friend was carrying a pistol at the time of the incident ( he always did ,and also of note , he was a firearms instructor for the local PD) , so , he got the "firearms enhancer" to his charge . In the end due to some bad decisions on his part , bad counsel , and a tough judge - he got 7 years in the pokey .

In my wayward youth , another friend was nearly stabbed to death by an "acquaintance" .

In December a good friend in Chicago , was mugged , beaten and nearly raped . Turns out the guy lived across the street .
Yes , I often prepare myself for random violence from strangers (which I have also experienced) , but very often it strikes close to home . I do not know that my approach to the issue is really any different .

Now , I'm a bit bummed out . :(

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:04 pm 
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The thing is that the term 'acquaintance' can mean a few different things.

This person could be someone that you've known off an on your whole life (but were never really friends with) or it could mean someone that you met at a friends backyard barbecue for 5 minutes and just said 'What's up?' to. So to me the term acquaintance would really have to be defined.

As far as having really close friends, my wife, former girlfriends or family members try and kill me or become violent to the point where I thought that someone might get seriously injured as a result I've never had that happen (I'm pretty selective about who I let in my circle of friends), but I have known a few people that it's happened to and with my job (I'm an EMT) I've seen it quite a bit with other people.

Usually it seems like there are quite a few warning signs before it gets to that level where your gut instinct should be kicking in and telling you to break contact with this person. From what I've seen this level of violence doesn't usually just come out of the blue. Most husbands and wives don't go from being Ward or June Cleaver to Lorena Bobbitt or John List overnight.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'll give an example of what I mean. Several years ago around 5 or 6PM we ended up responding to an aggravated assault call. We staged around the corner, PD cleared the scene and we went in. The woman/wife in the house had some lacerations to her right hand and a black eye and the man/husband had some lacerations to the face, a goose egg bump on his forehead and he's been shot through the hand with a .22 LR pistol (it looked like a junky Walther PP clone, you know you're a gun nut when the first thing you're curious about at a shooting scene is what they got shot with).

After treating him and taking him to the local trauma center we returned to quarters and then shortly after we got a call from PD (which is right next door and attached to the fire station) who asked if we could come over and bandage the womans hand while she was in the interrogation room (at the scene they didn't want the wound cleaned or bandaged before they performed a gunshot residue test on her hands and besides the cuts on her hand had already stopped bleeding on their own).

While we bandaged her hand, took her vitals and gave her an icepack for her black eye she was telling the police her side of the story. It turned out that while her husband was at work she had done the last of the cocaine in the house and when he returned home after work he became very angry that he wasn't going to be able to get high. After an argument he cornered her in the bathroom and started punching her and she responded by smashing a bottle into his face. Deciding that he needed to one up her since his pride was hurt he went to the bedroom, got his .22 pistol and came back to the bathroom where she proceeded to whoop his ass and took his own gun away from him, she aimed it as his head and then shot him in the hand when he threw it up at the last second to protect his face. He ran out of the house, went next door to a neighbors house to get a towel to wrap his hand in and to have the neighbor call 911. She was all very matter of fact about the whole thing when retelling it to the detectives.

My point in telling this story is that all the warning signs that something bad was going to happen were all there long before she shot him. They were both drug addicts living in a gang infested neighborhhod known for drug dealing, they both had very long criminal records, we'd been out to the house several times before this happened for domestic arguments that had turned ugly and they both immediately turned to intimidation or violence in order to solve their problems when something didn't immediately go their way. In short you didn't really have to be a psychic to tell that something like this was eventually going to happen.

When someone's in a relationship where one of the parties are like this then it's best to follow your gut instinct and to not get into a relationship or establish a friendship with someone like that in the first place or to get out of the relationship once they start showing their true colors.

I guess there have been cases where a spouse or family member just snapped out of the blue and murdered a friend or family member for very little reason with no previous history of conflict, but that seems like it's really, really, really unusual and to me it seems like it's more the exception than the rule.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:19 pm 
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I've never had anything like this happen to me personally, but I knew Paul (Pathfinder) and saw him at a chapter meeting a few days before he died. He told me a story about some shit his wife had been doing. He seemed so sad about it. Months earlier, we went shooting with him and a bunch of people from his wife's store. I guess the guy that she was (allegedly) cheating on Paul with was there too. Such a fucked up situation.

I don't know how I could possibly end up in the same situation, but I think that if I had reason to associate with someone who hated me, I would make sure I did it in public.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Browning 35 wrote:
So to me the term acquaintance would really have to be defined.


An acquaintance is defined as anyone who is not a stranger. The numbers are skewed a bit because most gang killings are considered acquaintance murders.

Like you all, to me, the best prevention is to be careful who you let into your life. Unfortunately, I've known people who have married or dated psychos, so I know that many people get themselves into dangerous relationships, especially when they are young.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:49 pm 
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dogbane wrote:
Browning 35 wrote:
So to me the term acquaintance would really have to be defined.


An acquaintance is defined as anyone who is not a stranger. The numbers are skewed a bit because most gang killings are considered acquaintance murders.

Like you all, to me, the best prevention is to be careful who you let into your life. Unfortunately, I've known people who have married or dated psychos, so I know that many people get themselves into dangerous relationships, especially when they are young.


I just meant that the term kind of covers a really broad category of relationships.

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Evan the Diplomat wrote:
Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?

It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:07 pm 
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Browning 35 wrote:
dogbane wrote:
Browning 35 wrote:
So to me the term acquaintance would really have to be defined.


An acquaintance is defined as anyone who is not a stranger. The numbers are skewed a bit because most gang killings are considered acquaintance murders.

Like you all, to me, the best prevention is to be careful who you let into your life. Unfortunately, I've known people who have married or dated psychos, so I know that many people get themselves into dangerous relationships, especially when they are young.


I just meant that the term kind of covers a really broad category of relationships.


It does indeed.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:12 pm 
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It's hard to give a blanket answer on this, because different scenarios call for different strategies.

For true "acquaintance" (defined as people you kind of know but don't really have much of a relationship with) violence, I think a successful strategy is to not be alone with those folks, and to avoid high risk situations (heavy drinking, drug use) until you know someone better.

For domestic or family violence...It's real easy to for outsiders to armchair quarterback. And certainly there are some things that probably would be good to adhere to (like not going to the house of someone who has threatened you and who has a restraining order against you--whatever it is, have a friend do it or meet in a neutral location, though even then you are not out of danger). But it's often more complicated than that. The police may be less than helpful, the courts may not take it seriously (I had a police officer chuckle at me about "You girls always change your mind about your boyfriends, you don't want to do this because it'll be a headache when you change your mind" when I was trying to file a report against a former fiance who was stalking me). Sometimes people involved in DV/FV situations are still reeling or are kind of naive and faced with scorn back down (thankfully, I'm a bitch so I filed the report despite being mocked...which came in handy when he broke into my apartment and I had to jump out of a second story window to get away--a got a different officer and they took it more seriously with a paper trail). Sometimes people in those situations don't get even the most basic of security instruction (change desks, change offices, change habitual routes, ect.)

A friend of mine's mom bundled her and her brother into the car (they were packing up and leaving her mother's husband), went into the house for one last time, and came out with blood spray over her and drove them to the neighbors to call the police and tell them she'd just shot and killed her husband when he came at her with another firearm and said that he was going to kill her children. She ended up getting off for self-defense, but still spent time in prison (and her kids spent time in foster care) while awaiting trial. I think a lot of people are afraid of things like that, especially if they've been isolated from family and friends, so they may stay 'for the children' until it's too late. Or they may not choose to get out at the most opportune time (like when the partner is not at home) and the children pay the heaviest price.

Also, if there's a child involved, it can be compounded because handing off kids, even if you do everything "right" can be very very dangerous. (A few years ago, a local police chief murdered his wife by shooting her in the head, in front of their two preschool-age children, at a custody handoff in a parking lot and then shooting himself in the head as well, leaving their kids strapped into their carseats with two dead parents in the car.)

I'm not sure there's anything that one can do in true "s/he snapped" situations. However, as others have mentioned, that so very rarely happens especially in intimate situations. People don't go from great to monstrous overnight. My advice, as a survivor of domestic violence, as well as someone who made a career out of trying to help children and women in particular break that cycle, would be to never NOT take seriously a substance abuse problem or violent tendancies, and no matter how much pressure you get from family, friends, or the authorities, or how embarrassing, humiliating, or pain in the ass it is--to behave as conservatively as possible in regards to interacting with that person.

I would also say, that if you find yourself constantly "happening" to end up in relationships with "psychos" that it's really time to take a really long look at yourself and why you may be making the choices you do. Whether it's you getting off on "rescuing" or "caretaking", the need to snap up the first person who makes eyes at you so you don't have to be alone, not being interested in people who can participate in an equal and mature relationship with you, ect....anyone can make an honest mistake, but if it's a constant then it's really good to perhaps think that the root of the problems might be something internal that you need to resolve before it escalates.

But this is all hard to do. People can brag about how they'd "never" be caught in a situation, or how they'd do everything right--but I've seen too many smart, decent people really caught up in some sick situations. When you're betrayed so thoroughly (by domestic violence) it can really cause you to stumble and not make the best decisions for your safety.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Excellent post, Chantrea. That's what I'm talking about.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:01 pm 
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bonanacrom wrote:
My ex-wife came at me with a knife from behind. I had no idea but my dog somehow knew what her intentions where because he attacked. So get a dog !


so why am i the only one that voted for "im lucky to be alive?"

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:14 pm 
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A friend of my folks was murdered by her brother who had just come back from Vietnam. This was in the early '70's. I guess I was about 8 or 9. Mama found the body. She left behind a husband and infant son. The husband was navy same, as my pop so the boy ended up with her parents raising him.

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1st, my best wishes goes out to pathfinder's daughter, and immediate family.

2nd, i was married to a psycho nut, who love to fight and argue. she has a violent history (and so does the rest of her family), and at the time i wasn't mature enough to handle or leave the situation. it tooks some serious advice from my uncle to leave that situation, and basically start my life all over. domestic violence is a serious thing for both sides. there are many WOMEN who know the law, and will use this to their full advantage. if you get a whiff of a crazy person, do not attempt to have any type of relationship with them because it can cost you big time, and i'm not just referring to your clean background.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:16 pm 
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Excellent thread, dogbane. Great job!

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I suppose you prevent being murdered by never letting your guard down and never fully trusting somebody. Yeah it sounds like a shitty life, but you will be alive, which I think is the point of the entire thing anyway. For example, I would never tell my gf the lock code for the safe. If she wanted to get into it I would get into it for her. That's just me though.

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you can ready my story here....

viewtopic.php?f=32&t=34458


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Chantrea wrote:
I was trying to file a report against a former fiance who was stalking me
One of my sister's ex-BFs pulled that stalking crap. Despite her taking out a restraining order and several confrontations with the police, he just kept up the harassment and vandalism. I was very concerned that it was going to escalate into violence. I finally had to go have a man-to-man "chat" with him to convince him it was in his best interest to knock it off. I'm not proud of it, but I honestly believe that was the only way he was going to get the message.

So, I suppose it's "happened to someone I know" for me.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:51 am 
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Clear Cut: Thanks, Brother.

Space Jockey: I think that's really what it boils down to, but I personally trust my instincts and intelligence to help me know to to trust. For example I trust my wife of nearly 23 years.

brandy: I strongly recommend that people read your thread. Thank you for linking it.

rhi: You done good.

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My cousin was once married to a psycho-hosebeast. She also thought she could use the domestic violence law to her advantage. Only she wasn't living in Florida anymore, she was in South Alabama. In our particular hometown, both parties involved in DV are arrested. The law made to protect the cops who often became targets during domestic calls. So, one day she jumped on him, he smacked her to get her off and she called the cops to haul him away. (Mike has a few undesirable personality flaws but was never a wife beater. Or at least the other three he's had said he wasn't.) He told her if she did, they would both be arrested and go in front of the judge. She didn't believe it until she was booked and in the slam. Next thing she knows, they are standinig in front of the judge. They eventually got divorced but she took off with the kids back to Florida, where he was not allowed to set foot due to the DV laws and the trouble they had down there. She has since disappered (probably to Utah as she was a Mormon) and he has no idea where the two boys of his are and hasn't for about 15 years.

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rhi wrote:
Chantrea wrote:
I was trying to file a report against a former fiance who was stalking me
One of my sister's ex-BFs pulled that stalking crap. Despite her taking out a restraining order and several confrontations with the police, he just kept up the harassment and vandalism. I was very concerned that it was going to escalate into violence. I finally had to go have a man-to-man "chat" with him to convince him it was in his best interest to knock it off. I'm not proud of it, but I honestly believe that was the only way he was going to get the message.

So, I suppose it's "happened to someone I know" for me.


good on ya man. I feel like most people wouldn't voluntarily have that little chat, at least not without some serious persuasion. As long as the point was driven home and all is well now, you dont your job well.

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I do volunteer work as a Victims Advocate for the District Attorneys Office in the Fast Track Domestic Violence Office.

Intimate violence is complicated to say the least.

Check out the power and control wheel. This gives you an idea of the dynamics of domestic violence.
http://www.ncdsv.org/images/PowerContro ... HADING.pdf

We also tell victims that any threat of violence should be taken seriously, but that the more details the aggressor includes in the threat the more likely it is they will carry it out. More details equates to more planning and that equates increased chances of action. Always have an escape plan, make sure your important papers are out of reach of someone who might destroy them to get back at you. If you witnessed domestic violence as a child you are more likely to perpetrate or become involved in a relationship with an abuser. Make sure you take care of yourself if you feel you are falling into patterns you recognize from your childhood.

"The Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker is a good read.

Make yourself aware of local domestic violence shelters and their programs.

my 2 cents

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:21 pm 
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Bump, because I had to look up the stats I cited, and I thought this was a worthwhile topic.

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