Understanding the Dynamics of Abuse in Relationships
All Abuse Is Calculated and Unilateral
If men know that women are not attracted to abusers – and they do – then the only way men can effectively perpetrate abuse is to conceal the language they use to remove responsibility for their behavior.
The best approach to concealing abuse is to blame the victim. It is only in the mental health field and the legal arena where a victim is blamed for the behaviors of another person. Where else would lies of women being attracted to these types find its distribution platform?
The truth is — women are NOT attracted to abusive men. They are not magnets for men who abuse or are narcissistic or any other partner with any of the popular labels in the “so-called addiction” community.
Unmasking the Charming Facade of Abusers in Relationships
The reality is an abusive man is not abusive in the beginning. In fact, he’s kind, caring, and charming. He has all of the qualities women look for in an intimate partner. He’ll be thoughtful and empathic because he wants her to trust him. If red flags do show up, they are easily written off in the early days.
Sooner or later, Mr. Wonderful turns to Mr. Nightmare. He’s angry or secretive. He’s not interested in being intimate any more. He’s gone a lot, or he disappears in the middle of the night.
It’s confusing and painful.
The Revolutionary Duluth Model: Transforming Views on Relationship Violence
Deluth Model of Power and Control
In the 1970’s abuse pioneer Ellen Pence began her movement to change the narrative on violence in relationships to shift the focus from blame on the victim to appropriate blame on the perpetrator.
Activists working on the project with Pence created the Duluth Model in the early 1980s with the construction of the Power and Control Wheels. It is from these very early stages that the tenets of Center for Peace can find companionship in the cause.
Understanding Power and Control in Abusive Relationships
Power and Control
Power is a force that when used in proper authority has the potential to manifest in such attributes as strength, intelligence, and energy (Webster, 1828). In its contrary, it is an equal force for destruction. Madison (n.d.) stated, “Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.”
At the center of any abusive act is power. The mis-use of power over or against the will and well-being of another. The demonstration of a power-control act has many presentations. It is not just physical.
Recognizing the Many Faces of Abuse Beyond Physical Violence
Abuse is not just hitting
Too many consider abuse to be limited to only physical violence. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Abuse is also verbal, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual and even spiritual or familial (secondary abuse to a woman’s children when they witness their father abusing mom).
The problem with abuse in our day is that abusive men know when to engage in an abusive event – thus they tend to execute their tactics when not being watched by others outside the home. It is more difficult for an abuser to be seen as innocent and to blame his partner if there are witnesses.
Overcoming Relationship Abuse
Restoring Agentic Authority
The counter to abuse is the restoration of your individual authority and autonomy. This is personal power. It is an immutable attribute belonging to every human being. It is the violation of this authority that abusive men seek to undermine through various tactics that break the human spirit.
At Center for Peace our primary objective is to help women learn to re-establish themselves in their own authority. We show you how agency is bi-directional and that even with an abusive partner, your responses to his abuse are appropriate.
Your boundaries are not abuse – unless they are used to wrongly counter control. A boundary is a line of defense for you to use to protect yourself. They are not consequences to use against the abuser. A decision to not receive his calls or texts (a no-contact boundary) is not abuse. It is an agentic decision to keep yourself safe from his abusive calls or messages.
In our support groups and individual session work, you will be guided in an educative approach to using your agency in healthy, safe ways despite what your abusive partner does.