There are a couple of Power and Control wheels that help to easily see and understand what abuse includes. Of course these wheels are a guide and cannot cover completely the full impact of power and control and how it is used in an abusive relationship to keep a victim from leaving and indeed to trick a victim into submission and acceptance of the abuse.
No matter what Wheel you choose to look at, one thing is very clear. Power and Control is taught, won and manipulated in abusive relationships. A victim is inundated with messages from the abuser that teach her to accept blame and never, ever to turn against the abuser….or else she will pay for it! She is love bombed one minute and confusingly abused the next. This sets her up and she doesn’t even know why or how it happened.
Abuse is so much more then the black eye, busted lip or broken bone that we so often think of as a society. Abuse starts way before that, with emotional manipulation and verbal violence. An abuser must get a victim to the place where she will accept being hit as her fault and therefore she is taught and manipulated into thinking that small things, then bigger things and finally all of it rests directly on her shoulders. It is a process of a slow fade into a deep chasm of confusion. “If only she kept her mouth shut. If she could just learn to do what she is told. She wouldn’t get hurt if she’d live life the way he taught her to.” These are things that every victim finds themselves saying at one time or another.
It is very enlightening working with survivors of domestic abuse. When I first got out of my 15 abusive relationship, I remember my counselor telling me that every victims story is different, but every abusers play book is the same. I learned then, that they all go to the same school. That none of them are unique in the manipulation tactics that they use to keep their victims under their control. I started to understand that if I could learn what those tactics looked like then maybe I could better protect myself in the future. As I have helped, listened to and counseled many victims, my counselors words have proven themselves to be true.
Over the next 31 days I hope to educate and enlighten you on the tactics abusers use to keep their victims under their control and power. I hope to encourage you toward becoming active in speaking out against abuse and the acceptance of abuse that our society encourages. I hope to help you find freedom from the abuse that you may have experienced in your own life. Most of all, I hope to introduce you to the One who can help you toward recovery and healing.
Join me, won’t you? Share my blog with others who will benefit from this series and feel free to ask questions, raise awareness and comment on what you read here.