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15 thoughts on “How to Confront an Abusive Person

  • May 21, 2016 at 9:36 pm
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    Hi, just wanted to say that those do work if you are just starting with someone who is abusive. Unfortunatly for me I had gotten into an abusive relationship just after being traumatised and a serious car accident so I was not aware of what was happening nor able to stand up for myself and after he had gotten me so isolated and so wounded there was no way to stand up to him with any of the words here. Sometimes it is too late and the only thing to do is get out. I am grateful for your work however. I am grateful I was able to learn how to handle it when yet another abuser targeted me and I was able to get out without losing myself. thank you.

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  • May 22, 2016 at 8:51 am
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    your article glosses over the complexities of abusive relationships. your recommendations suggest that a relationship that involves physical, sexual, or emotional abuse is salvageable and that the abuser would respond to rational conversation.

    Confrontation and pointing out abusive behavior may be dangerous and only fan the flames. When faced with abuse, the loudest message is to take steps to protect oneself in whatever realms are being abused, whether it’s opening a new bank account, securing separate living arrangements, walking/running away, calling police. Once there is a pattern of abuse in a relationship, the victim may need support and safety planning to leave the relationship, as the greatest risk of harm or murder is when trying to leave. The only abuse-free relationship possible is with someone who does not engage in abusive behaviors – who has respect for others and is able to regulate their emotions in safe and effective ways.

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    • May 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm
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      The article states in the beginning that the relationship is one which is unavoidable such as a parent child relationship where the child is the abuser.

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  • May 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm
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    Great article, good info, it can be very dangerous in person when you do some of these things with a abuser. Be careful friends, Get out, be safe, find help.

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  • May 23, 2016 at 9:12 am
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    It doesn’t work to confront an abuser (usually) because they are entrenched in their belief that they are right and in control. I lived with an abuser for 31 years, and then got a divorce, because of the book which saved my life: THe Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans

    The only thing you can do when being verbally abused is to REMOVE yourself; walk away, hang up the phone. I am a moderator of an abused survivors’ group, and presented my paper, Society’s Hidden Pandemic, Verbal Abuse, Precursor to Physical Violence and a FOrm of Biochemical Assault at my State’s Counseling Association; if anyone is interested in reading it: [email protected]

    I have yet to speak with an abused woman who didn’t have a myriad of physical illness. Every time we are under stress, our bodies release cortisol, and cortisol damages the immune system. I have slides showing the brain’s physical change with verbal abuse alone. 1 in 3 women will be physically assaulted and it all begins with verbal abuse. I believe Patricia Evans’ book should be required reading for everyone on the planet.

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  • May 23, 2016 at 10:01 am
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    This is a very useful guideline for setting boundaries, expectations of behavior and consequences. That said, I think ‘abuser’ is a very loaded term and, whatever your intent, it glosses over MANY of the complexities of an abusive relationship. Especially for the victims.

    I’m not sure if the title is willfully attention grabbing but it would be more useful to frame this in terms of boundaries and behavior expectations.

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  • May 27, 2016 at 1:54 pm
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    What do you do when your abuser is a professional psychiatrist who has trapped you in a hot room, with blazing sunlight from a window making you even hotter, and then attacking you verbally and threatening physical abuse as well, (much like on tv police drama,ie “Criminal Intent”) blaming you for a number of “crimes” made up from a presumed record he has of my background—-And…this “room” is a classroom adjacent to a waiting room in a VA clinic where you are waiting for an appointment.
    The VA calls it “Exposure Therapy”

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  • April 5, 2017 at 5:51 pm
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    The article was well-written. And, I’m sure the author had very good intentions.

    However, it seems to me that confronting an abuser can, at the least, be an exercise in futility, at worst, be life threatening.

    My advice, to targets, make certain that the first time the abuser abuses you be the last time, they abuse you.

    Save your heart, the lives of children ( if you have them) and avoid the possibility of grieving over having given years of your life to someone unworthy of your love. In the end, you are very likely to find that no matter what you do and say, it won’t matter. Because, the problem is not about you. It is ALL about the abuser. And abuse almost ALWAYS escalates over time.

    For targets: Love yourself.

    Pack your bags and leave. And don’t look back.

    Create a kind and loving new life for yourself.

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  • March 26, 2018 at 9:46 am
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    Being harsh is not being “just as abusive as an abuser” and this is a pretty gaslighty piece of victim-blaming, especially those people who are the victims of quiet abuse. Like seriously, that’s not cool. It is, however, something I see a lot from the female-assigned, so maybe ask yourself the extent to which your privilege informs this evaluation?

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