How Proper Screening Can Save Your Life

Recently, I received an email from a desperate client

Tragically, her story goes like many before her. Because of what happened, she was broken and humiliated, retreating into herself, deciding to end her career as a professional model. The situation went down like this: an initial query developed into a series of flirty emails. Finally, a date was set. Christine completed her due diligence – at least that’s what she thought.

Christine’s first mistake was inviting this person into her home

The man in question was Tom. She greeted Tom at the door with a huge smile, a hug and soft peck on the lips. They settled into the sofa where she offered him a glass of his favorite beverage as light conversation ensued. What Christine did not know is that not only was Tom an alcoholic but was on the verge of losing his job as a corporate executive. Somehow, the conversation took a turn and Tom became belligerent. With not the most astute reaction, Christine tried to calm him but his aggressive behavior only escalated. Forcefully, he grabbed her and tried to kiss her. As she resisted and tried to fight back, he manhandled her onto the floor as her head hit the corner of the table. No one outside answered to her screams.

Finally, Tom came to his senses and fled her apartment

But only after he bloodied her lip and blackened her eye. Christine’s head throbbed as blood trickled down her neck. Tom ran to the door slamming it behind him. Heavy silence thick with betrayal fell over Christine as she curled up in the corner of the room shivering and crying like an abused little girl. The next morning, humiliated and frightened that this monster might return, she sent me the email. She never called 911 out of fear for her livelihood. She is lucky to be alive.

This scenario represents an outrage for two reasons

  1. What gave this slime bag the right to violate this woman?
  2. Why on earth didn’t Christine complete a background check before ever communicating with this person?

Human rights are inherent to all and should never, ever be defiled. With a penchant for violence, Tom was a disturbed man disguised in a designer suit. At the expense of Christine’s dignity, he shamed her with psychological wrath and harmed her with physical abuse.

Turns out this man had a track record of assault, battery and broken restraining orders. Had Christine completed a background check prior to this horrific experience, she could have avoided the encounter. Broken and ashamed, she went to the extreme and chose to end her profession as a professional entertainer. But this precipitous decision came at a cost. No longer could she fund her college education in pursuit of a law degree. No longer could she adequately support her small son for Christine was also a single mother.

The long road back

I have been consulting with Christine. She is learning that by taking proper measures to uphold her safety, she might be able to continue her modeling business with a completely different approach. Though her spirit was broken, she is healing. She is implementing a stealthy screening process that includes mandatory background checks and employment verification. She is re-branding and building a new website with content that speaks only to dignified clients.

This situation will never again happen to Christine.