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Abuse usually comes gradually, with plenty of opportunities to manipulate, forgive, and justify warming the waters. This is why many stay in abusive relationships much longer than they should.

A domestic violence counselor suggests a simple test to help identify potential abusers early in a relationship.

Rob Andrews is a domestic violence counselor in Australia. He told ABC News he advises people to use what he calls the “No Test” to identify potential red flags early in a relationship.

“The No Test is basically monitoring how your partner reacts the first time you change your mind or say no,” Andrews said.

“While it’s okay to express disappointment, it’s not the same as being annoyed. Annoyed is ‘how dare you,’ a sign of ownership or entitlement.”

Ownership, right, control – these are red flags that often lead to increasingly abusive behavior. And while women can certainly be abusers, the reality is that women are far more likely to be victims of domestic violence, and abusive men tend to be more dangerous to their partners.

“A lot of women who come to services will see themselves as part of the problem,” Andrews said. “They’ll wonder why they’re always attracted to violent men, blame themselves for not being assertive enough, blame themselves for pushing their partner’s buttons, provoking their anger.”

“With the No Test, we’re not trying to give women knowledge they didn’t already know,” he said, “but when they see it black and white in front of them like that, they realize that they of course have the right to say no, that they are not guilty.”

Andrews describes our patriarchal history as “the nut of the problem.”

Andrews said some people mistakenly tell women they should just be more assertive with their partners, letting them know they won’t tolerate controlling or abusive behavior, but that’s not always the best approach to take. adopt.

“Being assertive with a man who threatens to hit you is not a very good idea,” he said. “It almost comes from what I would call ‘deficit thinking’, that somehow these women need to be trained so people don’t abuse them. The only person who can stop the Abuse is the person who abuses.

Andrews works with men who struggle with their own behavior and want to change. He gets them thinking about the kind of man they really want to be and works with them to align their behavior with that vision.

“I hear a lot of people say how hard it is for men now, everything is so confusing,” he said. “It’s very easy to be a man. Just be polite and respectful to people, it’s really not that difficult.”

“But in saying that,” he added, “we are to some extent dealing with 2,000 years of history of female second-class citizens. That is the heart of the problem and we need to continue to reduce it. “

Abuse usually comes gradually, with plenty of opportunities to manipulate, forgive, and justify warming the waters. This is why many stay in abusive relationships much longer than they should.

A domestic violence counselor suggests a simple test to help identify potential abusers early in a relationship.

Rob Andrews is a domestic violence counselor in Australia. He told ABC News he advises people to use what he calls the “No Test” to identify potential red flags early in a relationship.

“The No Test is basically monitoring how your partner reacts the first time you change your mind or say no,” Andrews said.

“While it’s okay to express disappointment, it’s not the same as being annoyed. Annoyed is ‘how dare you,’ a sign of ownership or entitlement.”

Ownership, right, control – these are red flags that often lead to increasingly abusive behavior. And while women can certainly be abusers, the reality is that women are far more likely to be victims of domestic violence, and abusive men tend to be more dangerous to their partners.

“A lot of women who come to services will see themselves as part of the problem,” Andrews said. “They’ll wonder why they’re always attracted to violent men, blame themselves for not being assertive enough, blame themselves for pushing their partner’s buttons, provoking their anger.”

“With the No Test, we’re not trying to give women knowledge they didn’t already know,” he said, “but when they see it black and white in front of them like that, they realize that they of course have the right to say no, that they are not guilty.”

Andrews describes our patriarchal history as “the nut of the problem.”

Andrews said some people mistakenly tell women they should just be more assertive with their partners, letting them know they won’t tolerate controlling or abusive behavior, but that’s not always the best approach to take. adopt.

“Being assertive with a man who threatens to hit you is not a very good idea,” he said. “It almost comes from what I would call ‘deficit thinking’, that somehow these women need to be trained so people don’t abuse them. The only person who can stop the Abuse is the person who abuses.

Andrews works with men who struggle with their own behavior and want to change. He gets them thinking about the kind of man they really want to be and works with them to align their behavior with that vision.

“I hear a lot of people say how hard it is for men now, everything is so confusing,” he said. “It’s very easy to be a man. Just be polite and respectful to people, it’s really not that difficult.”

“But in saying that,” he added, “we are to some extent dealing with 2,000 years of history of female second-class citizens. That is the heart of the problem and we need to continue to reduce it. “

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