THERE are women in Trinidad and Tobago who are looking for love and romance. And in their search, some of these women have fallen victims to the hands of predator on social media and other dating websites.
Psychiatrist Dr Varma Deyalsingh said that in many situations these men who hide behind fake profiles turn out to be abusers and in other cases murderers.
In the most recent example, Tehilla St Clair, 27, was chopped to death by the hands of a 32-year-old man whom she met on Facebook. After the two exchanged numbers on Facebook, St Clair found out the man whom she had an interest in was serving time in prison. After his release from prison she and the man started a relationship which lasted six months.
On Monday night St Clair was killed by the man who also chopped her five-year-old son.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday Deyalsingh who is also secretary of the Association of Psychiatrists of Trinidad and Tobago (APTT) said online dating is new avenue apart from the traditional way of meeting someone. He said many men were now creating fake profiles and luring women.
“ Online dating sites and social media gives them an opportunity to create a false persona and then they begin to woo her in. They see it as an opportunity. I urge women to be very careful when meeting someone online.”
Deyalsingh said these men may lack patience but they find by creating fake profiles is an easier way to meet women. “They could try to date someone else but this is an easier way to do it to meet women from their bedrooms or any place. They could trick a woman easily. And some women are looking for romance and love and fall victims.”
He urged women to look out for signs when they meet potential abusers or killers on dating sites and social media. “Once you are able to point out red flags, get out immediately. And do not pursue any further. Women must know that they could be murdered by men who they meet online.”
Deyalsingh said women need to look out for signs of control, abusive language, threats made towards them and more. “If a man has now met you and he is saying he is in love with you or threats to kill you or themself if you decide to stop talking to him, these are red flags.”
He said women in their search for love fall victims to abusive men and end up in a physiological chain. “We need to save some of these women from themselves in such situations and relatives need to get involve.”
He said that some women believe that they can change these men but that is not the case.
Deyalsingh said that if the proper measures are not taken now more women would continue to die in domestic situations. He suggested that once a report is made against a man at any police station, that man must be arrested immediately and a danger assessment conducted. This evaluation would determine if this man is a possible murderer. “We can try to prevent some of these murders. The ones who are going to kill their spouses we need to get them before they kill and that is the challenge to get them. So the strategy is once the victim comes to the police to report any act of violence or threat the offender must once arrested must be evaluated.”