Physical Abuse and the Violence Card
The Legacy that Abusers Live

Dr. King

by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

“What’s wrong with you that you can’t forget about that...I haven’t hit you in five years.” Sound familiar?

Abusers think that once they offer up an apology that you should get over it. While it’s true that with time, domestic abuse victims can heal...the legacy of playing the violence card lives on.

Shattered Trust and Physical Abuse

Once you introduce violence into an intimate relationship, the dynamics radically change. The imbalanced “power and control” within the relationship intensifies and influences everything, because it’s constantly there.

She knows what he is capable of and the threat of his physical violence remains. This threat becomes her reality despite his apology.

In many respects a fundamental piece of trust is shattered, which cannot be undone. You cannot take back what has been delivered, even though you are genuinely sorry.

The Legacy After the Violence

Abusers need to accept the legacy of their violence. And domestic abuse victims need to come to grips with this legacy in their own way.

It’s not about getting her to “forget” about it or “get over it.” Rather, it’s about discovering how to rebuild in the context of this legacy.

Far too often, what we see is another round of abuse with his insistence that something is wrong with her because she won’t let it go. He will batter her about her inability to heal and her unwillingness to forgive.

However the fact that she is with him after the assault, implies that she is in the process of healing and forgiving his violent transgression. Yet, the threat of his becoming violent again remains and it affects the way she sees him and the way see feels in his presence.

If you are in an abusive relationship struggling with the aftermath of a domestic assault, be patient with yourself and seek patience from your partner as you heal. His task as you are doing this is to accept the legacy of his playing the violence card.

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Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.