Content warning: This post contains an account of domestic violence that may be triggering for some readers.
“Where are you?”
“Where did you go for lunch?”
“We need to talk.”
So begins a tirade of text messages from “Adam”, the ex-husband of an early-twenties American woman who shared their troubling exchange online.
It is one of a number of conversations allegedly between the former couple from their three-year relationship that were posted on Imgur under the woman’s username krissykross.
The six screenshots track the escalation from small abusive behaviours towards outright physical violence and, while they have not been verified, reveal a pattern of abuse all-to-familiar to many women.
We can’t know the history of the pair’s relationship from the small snippet revealed online (though we are told it ended with several charges being laid against Adam and a divorce), but it still provides several clear examples of the most insidious forms of intimate partner violence.
"The thing that jumps out at me is that it’s quite text book coercive and controlling behaviour," says Alison Macdonald, the Policy and Program Manager at Domestic Violence Victoria.
"What you’re seeing in those text messages is quite typical of the pattern of in abuse in many domestically violent relationships."
From frantically keeping tabs on his partner's whereabouts to blaming her for issues he is having with the relationship, MacDonald says Adam has all the tell-tale signs of an abuser.