A 32-year-old Kingston man is facing more than a dozen domestic violence-related charges following an arrest on March 18. According to police, the victim and accused met on an online dating website in June 2017.
Police say not long into the relationship the accused started to display signs of controlling behaviour, and by August 2017, the abuse became physical and continued until March 2018, when the victim alerted Kingston Police.
It’s alleged that during arguments the accused choked, slapped and kneed the victim, threatened her and her family, damaged her property and harassed her over the phone and at her workplace.
Kingston police arrested the 32-year-old man, who is now facing 17 charges. They include: eight counts of assault, attempt to choke, four counts of utter threats, three counts of mischief and criminal harassment.
The names of the accused and victim have not been released, but police are sharing the story to help people spot the warning signs of domestic violence.
Resolve Counselling Services Canada is just one of several agencies in the Kingston area that provides support for victims of sexual or domestic violence. The not-for-profit agency says it hears about incidents like this all the time and adds when it comes to online dating, it isn’t until you actually meet the person when red flags could start to appear.
“What happens with abuse, it starts off very, very subtly and it grows, and grows, and grows,” said Kim Irvine-Albano, the clinical director for the agency. She adds, “some of the symptoms people might want to look for are those subtle ways of controlling, controlling where you’re going, who you’re going to be with, controlling what you’re wearing, those are really the beginning markers.”
Irvine-Albano also has tips on ways to stay safe when dating online. They include: meeting people in a public place, letting others know where you are and also talking to friends and family about the new person in your life.
She adds whether you met a person online or otherwise, if you start to feel unsafe to contact a support service agency for help.
“We can help you process through all these items and really help you to see what are the red flags of a violent relationship,” said Irvine-Albano. “The violence that happens in a relationship is 100 per cent the perpetrators’ responsibility.”