Spotting a narcissist before entering a relationship can save you from unnecessary emotional pain and distress. Understanding the signs of narcissistic behavior can help you make more informed decisions about your romantic partners. Trust your intuition, observe their actions. Healthy relationships are built on mutual respect, empathy, and genuine care for each other's well-being.
Holidays are traditionally a time for joy, festivities, and creating memories with family and loved ones. However, for those in abusive relationships, the holiday season can become a harrowing and dangerous period. Domestic violence doesn’t take a holiday and studies reveal an alarming spike in domestic abuse and violence during major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.
There are various reasons behind this surge. Winter weather and its associated mood changes as well as stress stemming from financial burdens, create an unstable environment. Substance abuse increases the situation as abusers may indulge more frequently in alcohol or drugs. The increased proximity of abusers to their victims during holidays intensifies the risk of violence.
Police interventions related to domestic violence surge by approximately 20% nationwide during December. On New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, intimate partners face a doubled likelihood of experiencing domestic violence. These unsettling trends highlight the urgent need for individuals trapped in abusive relationships to have a well-thought-out escape and safety plan.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline offers a comprehensive safety plan outlining valuable tips for victims. However, escaping a domestic violence situation is far more challenging than outsiders may understand. The psychological and emotional ties that bind victims to their abusers as well as logistical and financial challenges, make breaking free difficult.
Friends, family, and community members play an important role in providing a safety net for those seeking refuge. If you need to talk and you don’t have a safety net, you are not alone. There are several 24-hour support lines available: National Domestic Violence Hotline 1 (800) 799-SAFE or Text “START” to 88788; Haven 1 (603) 994-SAFE; Safe Horizon 1 (800) 621-HOPE; Domestic Violence Resource Center
1 (775) 329-4150 OR Text DVHELP or DVSAFE to 839863 (9 AM -5 PM).
If you are in immediate danger dial 911.
Domestic violence is a serious issue in the United States, particularly among law enforcement families, where studies indicate a higher frequency of incidents compared to the general population. Although current comprehensive studies are lacking, existing research is quoted frequently and highlights the severity of this problem.
Studies reveal that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence, with older, more experienced officers showing a 24% occurrence rate. This data highlights the heightened risk of domestic violence within police families.
Johnson, L.B. (1991). On the front lines: Police stress and family well-being. Hearing before the Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families House of Representatives: 102 Congress First Session May 20 (p. 32-48). Washington DC: US Government Printing Office.
Neidig, P.H., Russell, H.E. & Seng, A.F. (1992). Interspousal aggression in law enforcement families: A preliminary investigation. Police Studies, Vol. 15 (1), p. 30-38.
Even more concerning, more recently, there have been instances where police departments faced accusations of covering up or downplaying domestic violence cases involving their officers:
'Shielded' (2023) exposed differential treatment of a metro Atlanta police officer in an alleged domestic dispute, revealing a pattern of leniency towards officers accused of domestic violence. This leniency often results in officers retaining their jobs, certifications, and guns, even leading to tragic outcomes. In this four-part series by Atlanta News First Chief Investigative Reporter Brendan Keefe, He looks at two cases in which officers who were given their guns back, killed their wives with those same guns.
A 2019 collaborative investigation by various news organizations in California uncovered the routine reduction of domestic violence charges to nonviolent misdemeanors for abusive officers. This allowed them to keep their firearms and continue enforcing the law.
As you can guess, collecting accurate data on police domestic violence remains challenging because of a culture of silence and intimidation.
It's also troubling that police departments with officers involved in domestic violence may not effectively protect domestic violence victims within their communities. Some evidence suggests that officers from such departments may not take domestic violence calls seriously, potentially viewing them as minor offenses. This can lead to victim-blaming and the minimization of abuse severity.
In "Domestic Violence Under the Color of Authority," Sherry Fenn recounts her harrowing experience with a high-ranking Stanislaus County Sheriff Sergeant. Starting as a vulnerable teenager, she fell prey to an older, married police officer who manipulated her into marriage through a process of grooming. Her attempts to escape his abuse only led to further control and violence. After a near-fatal beating, she realized that law enforcement offered no protection; instead, their priority was shielding the abusive officer. The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department concealed his crimes, suppressed evidence, and violated her civil rights, thanks to the protective shield of his badge. This book exposes the hidden epidemic of police domestic violence.
In other books these authors discuss the causes of police domestic violence, the challenges faced by victims, and potential solutions:
"Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Police Domestic Violence" by Alex Roslin
"Police Personality and Domestic Violence: A Forensic Psychological Approach" by Victoria Hargan
"The Blue Wall of Silence: Secrets Revealed Behind Police Abuse and Corruption" by Alex Quinn
Considering the prevalence of domestic violence within police families and the troubling instances of cover-ups, it rightfully raises important questions about our trust in law enforcement officers when responding to domestic violence calls.
Domestic violence is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for both people and pets. Abusers often use pets to control and intimidate their partners, and pets can also be physically harmed or killed.
Pets who live in homes where there is domestic violence can suffer a variety of physical and emotional problems. They are often forced to witness violence against their human companions, threatened with harm, neglected, and physically abused.
The emotional effects of domestic violence on pets can be just as devastating as the physical effects. Pets may become fearful, anxious, or aggressive; they may suffer depression become unpredictable or withdrawn; and they often suffer loss of appetite or interest in food/treats.
Pets are innocent victims of domestic violence. You don't have to leave them behind or surrender them. There are resources available to help you stay safe with your pet such as pet friendly shelters, financial assistance, pet foster care, and legal assistance.
Safe Havens Mapping Project: is a searchable directory of sheltering services available in an area that assist individuals experiencing domestic violence with placing their companion animals out of harm's way so that they may seek safety for themselves as well as their animals. The safe havens directory was established by the Animal Welfare Institute in 2011 to help victims and advocates find these facilities. https://safehavensforpets.org/
Red Rover: is a national animal welfare organization that offers a variety of programs to help victims of domestic violence and their pets. https://redrover.org/
Here are some additional resources available to victims of domestic violence with pets:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) https://www.thehotline.org/plan-for-safety/pet-safety-during-domestic-violence/
The ASPCA's National Animal Abuse Hotline: 1-888-426-4435
The National Sheriffs' Association's Pets and Domestic Violence website: https://www.sheriffs.org/publications/NCADV-Pets-DV.pdf
Rebekah went to great lengths to ensure safety for Cerberus as well as herself. I know she was rejected rental properties because Cerberus was very protective of Rebekah, which concerned potential landlords. The extreme protectiveness may have been a manifestation of the emotional effect of exposure to the domestic violence Rebekah fled.
It is important to remember that pets are not just property. They are living beings who deserve to be safe and loved. Providing support to victims of domestic violence and their pets, is important in helping them to rebuild their lives and create a safe and loving home for their families.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and you need help, please reach out to one of the resources listed above. You are not alone.
In Rebekah's case, the Slayer Statute has been brought up multiple times, and it was expected to offer protection to her. However, like many other systems in Montana designed to safeguard missing persons, domestic violence victims, and the deceased, it has failed miserably. It appears that legal terms such as statutes, PMFA's (no-contact orders or similar), and chains of custody, which are meant to offer protection, often end up being merely words on paper, in books, and instruments of intimidation.
The Slayer Statute is intended to be a crucial legal safeguard, ensuring that innocent beneficiaries are protected from individuals who caused the death of the benefactor. Its purpose is to prevent wrongdoers from financially benefiting from their heinous actions, such as murder. In essence, if someone unlawfully takes the life of a person designated as their beneficiary in a will or life insurance policy, they forfeit their right to receive any inheritance or insurance proceeds. Instead, these assets will be passed on to alternate beneficiaries or treated as if the wrongdoer had predeceased the deceased person.
The objective of the Slayer Statute is to uphold justice and deter potential offenders from committing murder for financial gain. It serves to ensure that their criminal acts do not lead to any financial benefits. However, the application of the statute can vary across jurisdictions and can be complex in some cases.
In Rebekah's situation, Montana's Slayer Statute and inheritance laws, along with provisions for personal representatives, should be relevant. However, as Angela, Rebekah's mother, mentioned in Episode 5 of The Twisted podcast, even some legal professionals were not aware of this statute.
An article titled "Murder and Inheritance" by Christopher Reinhart sheds light on the matter. It discusses whether courts can consider evidence other than a criminal conviction to establish someone as the murderer for the purpose of the statute. According to the Uniform Probate Code, in certain states, including Montana, circumstantial evidence might be sufficient to prevent a person from inheriting if it leads to a strong presumption of guilt. The burden of proof in such cases might be lower than the standard used in criminal trials, relying on a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that the evidence is more likely to be true than not. The other states that follow this rule are Alabama, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, and South Dakota. You can read the full article “Murder and Inheritance here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-R-0086.htm
MCA 72-2-813 (7) explicitly states that a judgment of conviction for financial exploitation or felonious and intentional killing of the decedent conclusively establishes the convicted individual as the abuser or killer under the Slayer Statute. In the absence of a conviction, the court can determine, upon petition, whether the individual would be found criminally accountable based on the preponderance of evidence standard. This determination conclusively establishes the individual as the decedent's abuser or killer for the purpose of the statute. You can read the full statute here: https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0720/chapter_0020/part_0080/section_0130/0720-0020-0080-0130.html
In Rebekah's case, there are numerous legal documents indicating a consistent pattern of domestic violence during her marriage to David. In fact, Rebekah had an Order of No Contact in place when she went missing. There is also documented evidence of his violent behavior in his previous marriage as well as statements by others regarding his history of abuse. Angela has shared personal documents suggesting that David was attempting to gain financially from Rebekah, such as his insistence “The house is mine” and his persistence for Rebekah to sign a Quit Claim Deed for their marital property shortly before she went missing. Rebekah refused. Additionally, there was an accidental life insurance policy and a text message from Rebekah to Angela, stating that David had threatened her, specifically saying: “he has threatened to beat me, kill me, kill my dog, burn the house down and drive my truck into the river”.
Furthermore, a recorded conversation between David and Nathan reveals disturbing statements, including David hiring Nathan to harm Rebekah's parents and saying that Rebekah "had to go" because she "crossed the line."
All these pieces of evidence underscore the importance of applying the Slayer Statute correctly in Rebekah's case and ensuring that justice prevails.
Domestic violence and financial abuse is a form of control and manipulation where an abuser exploits the financial resources of their partner to gain power and maintain dominance within the relationship. It involves tactics such as restricting access to money, withholding financial information, and sabotaging employment or educational opportunities. By limiting the victim's financial independence, the abuser traps them in a cycle of dependency, making it difficult for them to escape the abusive situation.
Without a doubt, the absence of financial resources held Rebekah hostage in the marriage for longer than she desired to be. Leaving an abusive relationship is a courageous step. Financial abuse creates frightening obstacles that can make escape seem impossible. Victims find themselves trapped, facing a distressing reality where leaving is a luxury they simply cannot afford. The lack of financial resources, combined with the emotional trauma inflicted by their abusers, creates a perfect storm of vulnerability and dependency. Inadequate financial resources act as invisible shackles making it incredibly difficult for victims to break free and rebuild their lives.
This is an informative video exposing financial abuse.
Written by: Elizabeth Shaw - Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse https://www.facebook.com/coachelizabethshaw
The term "flying monkeys" originates from the iconic movie, The Wizard of Oz, in which the wicked witch employed these creatures to carry out her wicked deeds. In real-life scenarios, flying monkeys are individuals who act on behalf of a narcissist, carrying out their manipulative agenda. This phenomenon can be described as abuse by proxy. It occurs when a narcissist loses control over someone, feels envious or threatened by them, fears exposure or being overshadowed, and thus seeks to manipulate how others perceive them.
A narcissist can recruit various people to become their flying monkeys, including friends, family members, colleagues, or authorities. They often assume a victim role, deceiving others under the guise of seeking support or assistance. However, their true intent is to tarnish the reputation of their targets. Individuals with compassion and empathy would find it difficult to engage in such behaviour, as they would understand the pain it can cause. Unfortunately, narcissists display a complete disregard for others' emotions, as long as they can maintain their position of power.
Flying monkeys are often naive individuals who lack a comprehensive understanding of the situation they are entering. Alternatively, they have been manipulated, brainwashed, or love-bombed by the narcissist, who convinces them that their actions are morally justifiable. Some flying monkeys feel indebted to the narcissist due to past favours or believe the illusion created by the narcissist, perceiving the targeted individual as the toxic one. There are also those who comply with the narcissist's demands out of fear, fearing the potential consequences if they do not obey. Lastly, some flying monkeys are merely individuals prone to gossip, and the narcissist can easily identify those most likely to spread rumors.
Overall, flying monkeys are tools used by narcissists to further their destructive agendas. It is essential to understand the dynamics of such manipulative tactics and to stand against them, cultivating a society that values empathy and compassion.
Never Go Back to a Narcissistic Partner. Recognize their schemes and break free. Narcissists possess an insatiable need for admiration and control, they will manipulate you and exploit you.
ONCE YOU'VE MUSTERED THE COURAGE TO LEAVE, IT'S CRUCIAL TO STAY VIGILANT AND RESIST THE SEDUCTIVE SCHEMES THE NARCISSIT EMPLOYS TO LURE YOU BACK!
Beware of false affection. A narcissist will use calculated ploys to reel you back. Maybe at first with charm or offers to somehow “help” you as you embark on your path to freedom. Trust Your Own Reality. Narcissists will twist the truth, deny previous actions, and make you feel insane. Narcissists will manipulate your emotions. They are skilled at charming others and presenting a likable image. They may use their charisma and manipulative tactics to win over a friend or family member who has influence in your life. They might go to great lengths to paint themselves as the victim, exaggerating or distorting the truth to gain sympathy and support from not only people in his circle but your circle too. By winning over a friend or family member, narcissists aim to isolate you from your support network. Once the narcissist realizes that you're determined to leave for good, they may resort to extreme covert plans using others to achieve power over you, even if it's solely for your personal belongings. This was the last scheme David used that led to Rebekah going missing and possibly murdered. But I would be remiss if I only blamed David for the way things are now. Two caretakers getting more involved in the situation than their job description entailed, Montana’s Boys with Badges, a county attorney in bed with one of those boys, an apathetic Attorney General, a callous Governor…all possible narcissists themselves…are all responsible. However, remember it all started with the charming, charismatic, manipulative narcissist.
In a novel I read a few years ago, a character suggested to her friend that was going through a breakup to keep a journal of why she left, reminding her when things get tough (and they would), she might forget. For some reason, I have always remembered that. If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, or a bad relationship in general, let Rebekah’s Legacy be a reminder, it rarely changes. If you break free…keep a journal. And remember, never go back…material possessions can be replaced, but your emotional/mental well-being and your life are priceless.
The purpose of Rebekah’s Legacy is to bring awareness to domestic violence and missing persons as well as promote justice for Rebekah. I don’t know if Rebekah considered David a narcissist, but I do. I write this to hopefully save the next victim. Either David’s victim or another narcissist’s victim. Rebekah’s Justice will come in time.
Don't You Wish Narcissists Came with a Warning Label?
Their charm, charisma, and confidence can draw us into their world but as time goes on their true nature escapes, leaving us grappling with the emotional turmoil caused by their self-centeredness and manipulation. They gaslight, distort reality, use guilt, blame, and shame to maintain control over others, leaving the victim questioning their own sanity. They lie and have a bigger sense of self than they deserve. The narcissist will drain you, confuse you, and leave you feeling broken. Physical, verbal, and emotional domestic violence is real. Narcissism is real.
Speaking about domestic violence and narcissistic red flags is crucial for the safety of future generations. When survivors courageously share their stories, they are raising awareness and public awareness is a potent tool in combating this issue.
The narcissist rarely changes. People knew…and we wish someone would have warned Rebekah about the devastating twister she was being sucked into before it became catastrophic. Be a catalyst for change. Share your stories, educate society, be the change! YOU are the warning label!