Domestic Abuse - 3 Keys to Deal
with an Abuser Using the System
as a Sword to Abuse You
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
“Why do verbal abusers use the system as a sword to control the partners they abuse?” This question has been asked over and over again.
I have one answer for it. That is because they can. What I mean by that is they can get away with it, and therefore, why not?
The Progression From Verbal to Physical Abuse
Domestic abuse spirals in one direction. It progress forward in intensity and severity over time, if not effectively treated. This is primarily because of the fact that an abuser will reach to the next club once the one he/she is using no longer has the same effect.
So you might see this progress from tongue to fist...to police...to court and child estrangement. You see if those harsh words and character assaults don’t get the same reaction, then he/she may reach for a plate and throw it at you or bash it against something you care about.
Now, once this doesn’t net the desired reaction, then a fist may land between your eyes or serve to break your jaw. Or, maybe the 911-Call will be used to bring the authorities in to put you in your place.
Do you see the progression and how this works? Stay with me now and let’s look at how his/her verbal abuse toward you can evolve into YOUR becoming “the abuser” in the eyes of the law.
Verbal Abuse Is the Foundation for All Other Abuse
Many people believe that verbal abuse is minor because it is only verbal. Not so! It is the tell-tale sign of the predisposition for the more severe forms of domestic violence.
The use of words to belittle, demean, diminish and control another person is no different than the use of one’s fist or one’s community to violate the rights and integrity of another.
From Verbal Abuse to Legal Abuse
The most disturbing thing for domestic abuse victims to witness is when the person who abuses them seeks to establish their own victimization. Survivors are more shocked at this than they appear to be over the progression from verbal abuse to physical abuse. I have heard domestic abuse survivors coast-to-coast express utter amazement at an abuser’s efforts to convince law enforcement that they themselves are victimized parties.
In my own experience, a razor was used to create a nick, also know as a “bleeding injury” to impress police upon their arrival. Now mind you, this was done after years of my being hospitalized for domestic violence injuries. Get the picture? So did the police as they laughed at these allegations.
When the person that batterers you reaches into the system to obtain an order of protection against you, see it for what it is. It is an escalation of the abuse dynamic—from verbal abuse to physical abuse to system abuse.
What’s the Real Domestic Abuse Victim to Do?
1) Wake up to the fact that you are being victimized by another weapon.
2) Separate yourself from the “incident” used to establish the abuser’s victimization.
3) Seek to show those looking in the longevity and progression of the abusive control perpetrated upon you.
The most important thing for you to know while experiencing the outrage of being identified as “the abuser” or the source of “endangerment” to your children is that you are living in a dynamic of abusive control.
And the weapon utilized to control you is immaterial. It is only another weapon. See it for what it is and seek to evidence it as such.
Know that you are not the first victim defending yourself against an order of protection obtained improperly...and unfortunately you are not the last. The fact is that domestic abusers reach for whatever weapon is available to them to exert abusive control.
For private, discrete and convenient resources helping people worldwide understand, end and heal verbal emotional abuse, visit www.domesticabusesupport.com and get your questions answered. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps individuals nationwide end and heal from domestic abuse. © Jeanne King, Ph.D. — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention
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.