what does an abuser do?

Uses words to control:
Name-calling, belittling, mocking, using sexually-degrading terms
Yelling, screaming, cursing
Sarcasm and ridicule
Threats
Accusations

Uses attitudes to control:
Dictating – who the victim’s friends can be, how much time can be spent with or talking to family of origin
Privilege – if the victim does not do as the abuser wants, he is free to “make her pay”
Wisdom – the abuser knows best about everything
Justifies his abusive behavior as not being his fault, but the victim”s

Uses finances to control:
All money is earned and controlled by the abuser
The abuser prevents the victim from earning money so she can’t be independent

Uses spiritual matters to control:
Bible verses are taken out of context or used to convince the victim she must do as he says to be pleasing God
Demands immediate forgiveness and reconciliation after an abusive event
Says he knows God better, so she should listen to and obey him
Says God told him to tell her she can’t _______.

Uses physical control:
Physical presence is used to intimidate.
Physical touch is used to exert control through pain or fear of pain.

Uses the sexual relationship to control:
Demands or coerces sex
Demands sexual situations that make the victim uncomfortable.
Demands deviant sexual behavior
Demands sex after an abusive event
Complains about the victim’s sexual performance
Deprives a victim of sleep in order to have sex
Withholds sexual attention
Lacks normal modesty and discreetness in discussing sex or acting sexual in front of children

Uses personal property to control:
Dictates what the victim may own or not own
Coerces victim to dispose of personal items
Discards victims personal property without her knowledge or permission
Breaks or destroys victims personal property

Uses silence to control:
Gives the victim the silent treatment as payback for not getting his way
Neglects the victims need or desire for positive interaction
Withholds affection

Uses passivity to control:
Refuses to work
Refuses medical insurance or care for victim or children

Uses the children to control:
Threatens to take the children if the victim tries to leave
Complains that he victim loves the children more than she loves him
Orders the victim to not love the children more than him
Makes the victim feel guilty for the time she spends with and on them

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