30 Jul Book Review: The Gift Of Fear By Gavin De Becker
Being violently attacked is a fear that lurks in the back of every woman’s mind.
…As for every woman who hasn’t personally experienced violence,
someone she is close to has…
And the worst part is:
The messages women receive about violence leave them feeling powerless to prevent it happening to them.
The Gift Of Fear – A Book That Can, Has & Will Continue To Save Many Lives
In total contrast to the media’s portrayal of violence that seemingly happens out of nowhere, De Becker challenges these myths:
- From the risk factors for intimate partner homicide,
- To the early warning signs that increase the likelihood of an intimate relationship becoming violent.
- From the predictable warning signs of high school shootings,
- To validating the credibility of a death threat from a disgruntled ex employee,
- To the nanny who may harm your children,
- To the celebrity stalker who is ‘lovesick’ vs one with homicidal intent…
Name the violent scenario that the media reported as ‘unpredictable’, and De Becker will walk you step by step through how predictable each of these scenarios actually were, and continue to be.
Whilst every chapter of his book offers incredible insight into predicting and therefore avoiding violence, this review aims to specifically cover two chapters that educate women on the warning signs:
Chapter 5: Imperfect Strangers – How women are manipulated and lured into being violently attacked or murdered by strangers.
Chapter 10: Intimate Enemies – How intimate partner violence and intimate partner homicide both have many reliable predictable warning signs.
Warning Signs To Alert You When You’re Being Lured By A Predator
Imperfect strangers starts with the story of Kelly, a rape victim who survived, despite her perpetrator having murdered his previous victim.
As a part of her healing after surviving her horrendous 3 hour ordeal, she wants De Becker to help her understand every strategy the predator used to lure her.
And more importantly…
…What saved her life.
And that’s exactly what the author does.
He walks her through every manipulative strategy her attacker used, and the moment she unintentionally gave him the ‘green light’ that she had fallen under his control.
The rest of this chapter walks women through countless examples, of how trusting their internal warning signals can save their life. Just as Kelly’s true fear signal – saved hers.
Warning Signs For Intimate Partner Violence & Homicide
Intimate enemies starts with the highly controversial Nicole J Simpson case. And proves without a doubt, that being murdered by her spouse O.J. Simpson, was predictable.
As her defense team stated:
O.J. had been killing Nicole for years…
De Becker leaves no stone unturned, when it comes to spelling out the warning signs of which intimate relationships have a high risk of becoming violent. And provides a clear checklist on predicting the likelihood of a violent relationship ending in homicide.
Busting The Myth That “He Was So Sweet” & The Violence Came Out Of Nowhere
He references how a woman called in on a television interview to say:
“You’re wrong, there is no way you can tell when a man will turn out to be violent. It just happens out of nowhere.”
And how the woman went on to describe many of the predictable warning signs for intimate partner violence! All of which are detailed in The Gift Of Fear.
As De Becker mentions:
Spousal abuse is committed by people who are with remarkable frequency described by their victims as having been ” the sweetest, the gentlest, the kindest, the most attentive,” etc.
Indeed, many were all of these things during the selection process and often still are – between violent incidences…
With over 3 decades of advising government agencies and the FBI on predicting violence, The Gift Of Fear is a must read for women.
The practical, easy to understand violence warning signs in this book, could save the life of someone you know.
It may even be yours…
Contrary to the book’s title, the Gift Of Fear has nothing to do with being fearful. It empowers women to pay attention to their intuition – when it comes to danger.
If every woman who reads this was to send this book as a gift to her closest friends, the amount of lives saved would be incredible.
Over to you.. If you’ve read the book, what were your biggest take aways?
We’d love to hear how the Gift Of Fear impacted your life, or that of someone close to you in the comments below.
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