The Use of Psychology to Control and Contain
Domestic Violence Survivors
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
It’s no surprise that psychologists and psychiatrists are enemies to battered women. Certainly, they are to the battered women’s movement. The question is, why do battered women dislike psychology? And most importantly, can there be remedy?
Alleging victim’s mental illness
In more cases than not, psychology has been used as the abuser’s club to discredit, contain, silence, and often punish the victim. Most people living in abusive relationships know this.
It’s the first thing the perpetrator will say to keep the victim in an unempowered place: “you’re crazy...you’re psycho...there’s something really wrong with you...you need help!”
Officiating victim's mental illness
Then, when the day comes wherein the “blue” (law enforcement) steps in and the court doors open, it becomes time to make the victim’s alleged mental illness legitimate. Hence, the “shrinks” step up at the bequest of the perpetrator or his/her agents.
Now with a quick assessment, the psychiatric evaluation delivers the perpetrator’s desired outcome and the victim is left scratching their head. Sadly, in many cases, the diagnoses are improper labels that just get the job done. And these women walk away wearing the label and hating psychology.
The residual bitter taste and lasting prejudice
I can remember sitting in a planning meeting with a battered women’s movement group, in which it was decided among members that the word “clinical” would not be allowed in their planning or in their event.
Before I knew of the social politics of domestic violence, I was puzzled because the word “clinical” was as neutral to me as the word “popcorn.” Now I understand how and why the memory of this word is like a sword used to slice their mental health status into pieces.
Remedy for battered women, mental health and net resentment
Imagine for a moment that every battered woman, subjected to what I’ve outlined above, took a different path in this nightmare. What if she challenged the diagnosis and sought to protect her mental health status. By doing so, she would preserve her sanity both on record and in her reality.
And this would empower her in ways beyond imagination! For more information about Crazy Making Legal-Psychiatric Abuse: Signs and Prevention, visit http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/crazy_making.php. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps domestic violence survivors protect themselves from improper psychiatric labeling. Copyright 2009 Jeanne King, Ph.D.
Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. - Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
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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.