2. Think about what could happen.
It wasn't until the police arrived at my house that I realized I was doing anything wrong. Handling stolen goods was the crime they could have charged me with, but luckily they didn't because I really did not suspect that they were stolen. If someone had told me what trouble I could have been getting myself into back then, I would have ran a mile. Often people are so ignorant of the law; they assume that if they are not taking part in the actual crime they are doing nothing wrong.
3. Know that I can't change him.
I have seen a lot of partners of criminals in my time and one thing they all have in common is that they believe they can turn their bad boy around. In my experience, while not impossible, this is extremely difficult. For a criminal to change, firstly they must want to and secondly, they need support from someone who knows what they are doing. Criminals offend for all kinds of reasons and most of these are way too complicated for a partner to solve. Letting them know that may just be the wakeup call they need.
4. It's not going to end well.
Most partners of criminals believe the fairy tale. They believe that it is all going to end well and turn out for the best and in my experience, it doesn't. There is only one way this is going to go; someone will end up hurt, in jail or dead.
5. Staying with him is approving this behaviour.
This is the one that would have really helped me. Making it OK for him to be a criminal, I was giving him no reason to change and if we give no one a reason to change, they won't. If I truly loved him, I should have given him a chance to change. And if he truly loved me, then surely he would not have put me in the position he put me in and would have changed for me. This is not love and shouldn't really be called love. If someone had told me that, it would have certainly made me think twice.
If you are currently dating a criminal or your daughter is, then my heart goes out to you. Criminals aren't necessarily bad people, they have just made bad choices and they can be the funniest most charming men to be around. Leaving one is never easy and you will need lots of support.
For me it was about self respect. I respected myself too much to be a part of such violent and destructive behaviour and that is my hope for those reading this, that you too can find the respect to leave or that you can instil enough in your daughter that she knows leaving is the right thing for her to do.