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From the very first I saw Kennedy she came across to me as a female version of Parker Abrams, plus someone I knew who was a victim of abuse said that Kennedy's personality reminded her of the abuser. So before starting my story "The Key Unlocking a Broken Heart" I did some research into warning signs of abusive behavior. I wanted to make sure I wasn't letting my dislike of Kennedy's character make me see her in a worst way then she already was. Well I found out though she does exhibit some abusive warning signs, when it came to the warning signs of a sexual predator she's got 9 out of 13.
Here’s what I found out from my research…
"Grooming" refers to actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with the intended victim, in order to lower the victim's inhibitions in preparation for sexual activity, or exploitation.
Warning Signs of Grooming:
Giving compliments - excessive
Being affectionate with the victim – hugging, holding hands, rubbing back, kissing then starts becoming more forceful with intended victim. Rushes victim into sexual intercourse.
Seeking vulnerable victims that are needy emotionally. This last fits Willow's character in season 7 to a "T".
In the first two episodes Kennedy exhibits 9 sexual predator traits. Someone showing 4 traits is considered very high risk!
Episode 10, "Bring On the Night"
Start about 16 minutes in, K makes her first hit on Willow, going so far to manipulate Willow into letting her make the sleeping arrangements and then letting Willow know she expects Willow to sleep with her in a offhanded way. You can tell Willow is very unnerved by it.
Episode 11, "Showtime"
3:00 minutes in K trying to get Willow in bed and it's very obvious Willow doesn’t like the attention. K also "Accidentally" lets drops she comes from a very well to do family. This scenes once again shows how manipulative K is, she using Willow being uncomfortable sleeping to get her into bed with her, this in itself isn't bad but takes on a more sinister aspect when you take into account that K manipulative Willow into letting her make the sleeping arrangements thus showing that she plans to force Willow into bed.
25:00 minutes in K shows that she has an interest in Willow's powers and beginning to try to build a wall between Willow and friends by first acting supportive of Willow using magic and then “at first” being supportive of Buffy then instantly putting Buffy on the spot thus trying to create tension between Buffy and the rest.
Warning Signs Exhibited in these scenes…
- Need for power and control (See below “Good manipulators”)
- Good manipulators (This is shown how Kennedy manipulated Willow over who made up the sleeping arrangements)
- Often offend where they won’t get caught — when they have misdirected people’s attention (By being in control of the sleeping arrangements Kennedy was able to get Willow alone)
- Offend when the victim is handy (A grieving and very insecure Willow living in the same house)
- Arrogant (Kennedy reeks of arrogances throughout this scenes and most of the season)
- Sexualize, objectify women (See below)
- Overly self-indulgent (The scene with Kennedy trying to get Willow in bed, most likely not for sex but more so she could indulge in having an attractive women sleeping with her, making Willow an object of lust)
- Typically known as rationalizers, intellectualizers, justifiers (This Kennedy shows more in later episodes)
- Great helpers — are there to lend a helping hand — prey on people in need, when they can insinuate themselves in your life. (This was shown in the final scene in “Showtime” with Kennedy trying to be helpful/supportive of Willow while at the same time separating her from Buffy thus insinuating herself between Willow/Buffy’s friendship.
- Use stressful and vulnerable situations to get in — they find a need they can fill and they use that to get next to the victim (And this is exactly what Kennedy did in thses scenes and throughout the rest of the season)
The rest of the season continues along the same vein, even in the season 8 comics Kennedy still shows the same behavior patterns.
After researching that and finding what I found needless to say I didn't feel like I was "bashing" Kennedy in my "Key" story.
I highly recommend reading this article. I hope it will help people to learn what to watch out for so they can both protect themselves and loves one. Also perhaps it will change some people’s minds that there is no justification for sexual predation... Emotional & Sexual Predators by O. M. Grey... http://omgrey.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/emotional-sexual-predators
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