Abuser Flip and Defense
How Victims Become Criminals
and Psychiatric Labels
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
“Her partner (or ex) had her arrested or has backed her into a psychiatric hospital against her will.” Sound familiar?
It is sickening. If I told you how many times I heard this story, you’d run at the thought of being in an abusive relationship.
Turning the Tables - Abuser Flip
Abusers are notorious for calling the police or even convincing the police upon arrival that the domestic violence in process was inspired by the abused. They can be calm and collected in their communications with police. Some will have convincing injuries for the “show and tell” part of turning the tables.
Domestic abuse victims are so shocked at this maneuver. They think to themselves, “How could he/she do this?”
They know in their hearts that they are, indeed, the battered and injured party, and they can’t fathom how they are positioned to be the abuser…much less why. From the hundreds of cases I have seen, what’s most clear is that this abuser flip is about discrediting the abused and silencing the abuse.
The Lock Down - Lock Up
Another effective method of silencing the abuse is to introduce the victim to the world of psychiatry. Sometimes this is offered as a “favor” to bring in a potential helper to aid the distressed, compromised person.
Other times it can be done through court order. Then, the chase is on... The abusive party can enlist the court to require the victim to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. We have seen many of these conducted “in house.” You heard me...behind locked doors.
There are cases in which this so-called evaluation lasts 30 days, during which the victim is exposed to psychiatric interventions that alter them from the inside out. That can include psychotropic drugs, electric shock. Need I say more?
In some cases, it is sufficient to simply secure the psychiatric label that can become the sword used to sever the victim from her/his abused children. We have witnessed numerous cases in which the labeled mental disorder becomes the “cause” for supervised visitation and restricted contact.
Abuse Is About Control
Abuse is about control and so is an abuser’s defense/offense. Unfortunately, domestic abuse victims are not prepared for the way in which abusers are supported in securing this “defense.” They come to court seeking “justice” and instead encounter a continuation of the domestic violence they have known in their relationship with their battering partner (or ex-partner).
If you are in an abusive relationship, seek to understand the larger politics surrounding the abuse dynamics that you live. The more you know, the easier it is for you to successfully secure safety.For information about
© Dr Jeanne King — 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.