The Celebrity Therapist

deadlySherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1 and is the author of The Law of Sobriety which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. You can download free E books at or contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio. Struggling with your own love junkie dramas? You’re not alone. Join my free newsletter community to get the support you need to stop the madness before it affects your next relationship or the one you are in now.  – Get the Love You Truly Deserve!

With the ongoing Jodie Arias trial the correlation between obsessive love, domestic violence and homicide is again in the news. In this case the murderer, Jodie Arias, is the alleged victim of domestic violence. However, in the vast majority of domestic violence homicides it is the perpetrator, the abuser, who ends up killing the abused partner.

Just how common murder is in domestic violence situations is open for debate. In many situations the violence may be largely emotional, psychological or financial until the victim actually leaves the relationship. The abusive partner, feeling their control over the relationship slipping, may actually escalate in their abuse and move to physical attacks in an attempt to restore their control.

According to the American Bureau of Justice Statistics the vast majority of victims of domestic violence are women. Women are the victims in 4 out of 5 reports, which may partially be a result of the social stigma attached to a man reporting abuse by a female partner. Single females with children tend to have the highest risk for being victims of domestic violence. In addition women that are age 20 to 34, have alcohol or drug addictions or women that live in poverty are at increasing risk for experiencing domestic violence.

In homicides including intimate partners the numbers reflect a downward trend overall. From 1976 to 2004 a key study, The Silent Witness National Initiative, shows the number of women murdered by an intimate partner is always higher than the number of men. The total number of murders for the years of the study was 23,506 men and 40,823 women.  This number, when compared against all female murders, indicates that about one third of all women that are murdered are killed by their intimate partner.

If you are in a situation where you are abused, fearful or concerned about your intimate partner’s behavior or emotional control there are some things that you can do. It is important to:

1.     Report the abuse to the authorities as well as to friends, support people and safe people in your life.  Do not assume it will get better if you remain silent and with the person.

2.     Get away from the abuser as avoid returning to the abusive situation because of guilty, remorse, or  love. If they are not going to change the situation is going to escalate over time and the risk of serious harm or death becomes greater.

3.     Seek counseling and support to understand the relationship and how love addiction may be putting you in negative relationships that are more likely to result in abuse.