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One year my colleagues David and Carole were preparing a skit on abuse for a conference, and they decided to perform a rehearsal for their abuser group. Afterward, the group members rapid-fired their suggestions for improving the skit, directing them mostly at David: “No, no, you don’t make excuses for why you’re home late, that puts you on the defensive, you’ve got to turn it around on her, tell her you know she’s cheating on you….. You’re staying too far away from her, David. Take a couple of steps toward her, so she’ll know that you mean business…. You’re letting her say too much. You’ve got to cut her off and stick to your points.” The counselors were struck by how aware the clients were of the kinds of tactics they use, and why they use them: In the excitement of giving feedback on the skit, the men let down their facade as “out-of-control abuser who doesn’t realize what he’s doing.

“Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft (via bajo-el-mar)

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When [an abusive man] tells me that he became abusive because he lost control of himself, I ask him why he didn’t do something even worse. For example, I might say, “You called her a fucking whore, you grabbed the phone out of her hand and whipped it across the room, and then you gave her a shove and she fell down. There she was at your feet where it would have been easy to kick her in the head. Now, you have just finished telling me that you were ‘totally out of control’ at that time, but you didn’t kick her. What stopped you?” And the client can always give me a reason. Here are some common explanations:

"I wouldn’t want to cause her a serious injury."
“I realized one of the children was watching.”
“I was afraid someone would call the police.”
“I could kill her if I did that.”
“The fight was getting loud, and I was afraid the neighbors would hear.”

And the most frequent response of all:

"Jesus, I wouldn’t do that. I would never do something like that to her.”

The response that I almost never heard — I remember hearing it twice in the fifteen years — was: “I don’t know.”

These ready answers strip the cover off of my clients’ loss of control excuse. While a man is on an abusive rampage, verbally or physically, his mind maintains awareness of a number of questions: “Am I doing something that other people could find out about, so it could make me look bad? Am I doing anything that could get me in legal trouble? Could I get hurt myself? Am I doing anything that I myself consider too cruel, gross, or violent?”

A critical insight seeped into me from working with my first few dozen clients: An abuser almost never does anything that he himself considers morally unacceptable. He may hide what he does because he thinks other people would disagree with it, but he feels justified inside. I can’t remember a client ever having said to me: “There’s no way I can defend what I did. It was just totally wrong.” He invariably has a reason that he considers good enough. In short, an abuser’s core problem is that he has a distorted sense of right and wrong.

I sometimes ask my clients the following question: “How many of you have ever felt angry enough at youer mother to get the urge to call her a bitch?” Typically half or more of the group members raise their hands. Then I ask, “How many of you have ever acted on that urge?” All the hands fly down, and the men cast appalled gazes on me, as if I had just asked whether they sell drugs outside elementary schools. So then I ask, “Well, why haven’t you?” The same answer shoots out from the men each time I do this exercise: “But you can’t treat your mother like that, no matter how angry you are! You just don’t do that!”

The unspoken remainder of this statement, which we can fill in for my clients, is: “But you can treat your wife or girlfriend like that, as long as you have a good enough reason. That’s different.” In other words, the abuser’s problem lies above all in his belief that controlling or abusing his female partner is justifiable….

Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (via seebster)

THIS BOOK SAVED MY LIFE AND I CANNOT RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH
EVERYONE ON EARTH SHOULD READ THIS *except abusers

(via unorthodoxhesychasm)

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But so often, “creating drama” is a phrase that people use when they want someone who has been a victim of something to shut up. It allows them to blame the victim for bringing the problem to their attention and making them feel bad while glossing over the fact that the drama was really created by the victimizER back when they did bad things. The friend group gets all caught up in issues of “fairness” and “logic” and “It was so long ago, why are you dredging it all up now?” and treating the victim’s feelings (or, again, quite rational & reasonable request to not have to sit next to one’s rapist at dinner) as illogical and unreasonable.

Someone who accuses you of “creating drama” in this case is basically saying that abusing & raping one’s partner might be bad, but making people feel weird about it at parties is worse.

#393: My friends keep inviting my abusive ex and me to the same parties, despite being asked directly not to. (via slutwalkseattle)

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[TW: abuse]
If your partner has not used any physical violence yet, how can you tell if he is likely to head in that direction? These are some of the rumblings that can tip you off that a violent storm may come some day:

When he is mad at you, does he react by throwing things, punching doors, or kicking the car?

Does he use violent gestures such as gnashing teeth, ripping at his clothes, or swinging his arms around in the air to show his rage?

Have you been frightened when he does those things?

Is he willing to take responsibility for those behaviors and agree to stop them, or does he justify them angrily?

Can he hear you when you say that those behaviors frighten you, or does he throw the subject back on you, saying that you cause his behaviors, so it’s your own problem if you’re scared?

Does he attempt to use his scary behaviors as bargaining chips, such as by saying that he won’t punch walls if you will stop going out with your friends?

Does he deny that he even engaged in the scary behaviors, such as claiming that a broken door was caused by somebody else?

Does he ever make veiled threats, such as “You don’t want to see me mad,” or “You don’t know who you’re messing with”?

Is he severely verbally abusive? (Research studies indicate that the best behavioral predictor of which men will become violent to their partners is their level of verbal abuse.)

Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? (via wretchedoftheearth)

friendlyangryfeminist:

  • is it a coincidence that so many abusers are “more believable” than the people they abuse?
  • no (definitely not)
  • I get so tired of trying to explain that because how do I say: abusers are good at abusing, they are good at continuing abuse, they are good at finding people who won’t be believed, abusers are good at being trusted by large groups of people
  • how do I say that when the default is to trust abusers and to disbelieve/dislike victims/survivors

patrickandmarcus:

How men should react to male victimization: Man, this is fucked up, we need to start tearing down these stereotypes and generalizations that cause male victims to be ignored

How men react to male victimization: *waits until women talk about abuse* BUT IT HAPPENS TO MEN TOO!!!!111!!! 

TW: Abuse - How to not derail discussions about domestic violence.

Times when it's appropriate to say "men can be abused too!": When someone states that men cannot be abused.
Times when it's appropriate to say "men can be abused too!": When someone states that a woman cannot be an abuser and that a man cannot be a victim.
Times when it's appropriate to say "men can be abused too!": When someone states that "only women" can be victims.
Times when it's NOT appropriate to say "men can be abused too!": When people are discussing domestic violence and the victim happened to be a woman.
Times when it's NOT appropriate to say "men can be abused too!": When a woman is discussing her experiences with being a victim of abuse.

friendlyangryfeminist:

Abusers are really good at finding people who have already been groomed to view abuse as ‘normal’. So please don’t wonder how someone could have been abused more than once and say shit like abuse survivors should know better. 

It’s not unheard of for survivors to go from abusive relationship to abusive relationship. Abuse has been so normalized for so many people that there is this deep rooted suspicion that all relationships are abusive. That everyone is faking it just like you’re faking it. That no one actually has non-toxic relationships. And that’s a type of coping mechanism right there, isn’t it?

Then there’s also the fact that survivors have complicated feelings towards their abusers. Sometimes we love our abusers. Sometimes we are dependent on our abusers and feel indebted. Sometimes we know it is abuse but we don’t know if anyone will take our side and help us. People would rather turn away then help us. Sometimes people would rather help cover up the abuse because it’s less messy. 

Sometimes these messy feelings keep us from realizing we’re being abused, even if we know the cycle of abuse, even if we’ve tried to help friends in messy relationships. It can’t be abuse, we’re in love. It can’t be abuse, he takes care of us. It can’t be abuse because I can’t see myself as someone being abused. Etc, etc, etc. 

(Source: fauxcyborg)

[TW: abuse] things i have to remind myself of daily

daintyblackpegasus:

  • someone can not intend to abuse you, and still abuse you.
  • someone can have your best interests in mind, and still abuse you.
  • someone can love you, and still abuse you.
  • you can love someone, and still get abused by them.

it doesn’t have to be ill-intentioned or spiteful or evil or even mean. 

they don’t have to be a stranger or someone you hate or even someone you dislike.

and you (i) don’t have to put up with it. 

(Source: magnacarterholygrail)