Threatening suicide when things go wrong is an age-old manipulation move by abusive men
It’s the only threat abusers have left
With accusations against Harvey Weinstein mounting, following celebrities’ first-hand alleged accounts of abusive encounters with the Hollywood giant in the New York Times and the New Yorker, I’m not surprised to hear reports of suicidal threats on his end — and I also don’t feel bad.
The history of abusers threatening to harm themselves following something “suddenly” going wrong on their end is long, tumultuous and tired.
According to reports by TMZ, yesterday, Weinstein, 65, begged a stranger for a ride while fleeing his daughter’s home after she called the police following what she described as suicide threats on her father’s end.
She reportedly convinced her father to go back in the house, and shortly thereafter, the LAPD arrived.
But this kind of response is typical when it comes to abusers — boyfriends who are broken up with threatening to kill themselves, partners threatening physical harm for the exchange of love or even sex.
It’s an incredibly common manipulation ‘tactic’
Meagan 23, told babe every time she and her last boyfriend had any kind of fight, he’d “start crying” and “threaten to kill himself” if she threatened to leave him.
She says it wasn’t until years later, in counseling, she realized his behavior was emotionally abusive, and decided to leave the relationship immediately.
Karen, 22, had a similar tale of abusive and emotionally manipulative behavior when she told us a guy she was dating told her he was going to drive home drunk and “get in an accident” if she didn’t let him sleep over.
“We’d had a huge argument right before,” she said, “so I wasn’t comfortable letting him in my apartment.”
It isn’t until abusers have lost a fight that they pull out the biggest guns — metaphorically speaking — threatening not only to do something to you, but to do something to themselves so you’ll be the one who has to live with the guilt. And if that’s not the highest form of manipulation, I don’t know what is.
It’s a tactic more often used by men, because women are taught to be more sympathetic in emotionally charged settings — likely to urge someone to understand them through words rather than the threat of actions — and so we’re left at odds when handling it.
Here’s how to deal if it actually happens to you
If this, or something like this, ever happens to you, the first order of business is keeping yourself safe — let someone know where you are if you can, and let them know what’s going on. After, you can worry about the other person; call their parent, if you have the number, or call their friends or the police.
If you’re in a space with them, do what you can to leave, and then call 911.
They think if they could only only make it clear to you how much anguish they’re in, you’ll have no choice but to change your mind, but that’s not a choice at all.
The only thing worse than threatening to physically abuse someone is threatening to both physically and emotionally abuse them, and that’s what Harvey Weinstein has allegedly just done.
Anything an abuser does to themselves is not on the hands of the abused, it’s on theirs.
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