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10 thoughts on “The Strong Victim: Why Victims of Abuse Stay

  • October 21, 2018 at 9:06 am
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    I stayed for 31 years; mostly verbal abuse. The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans saved my life. One sentence pushed me forward into getting a divorce: “Try to let the side of you that is trying to save yourself…win.” My life story won a scholarship at 60 and I am a Sophomore at 72! I am a Vietnam era veteran, dancer, singer, author of 2 books, and presented my paper on verbal abuse at my State’s Counseling Association, and speak to groups on the subject. Iwish “they” would stop calling it bullying and use the term verbal abuse.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 8:35 pm
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    I am one such victim and had caused my children to suffer the brunt of this relationship even though I had made the step out of it with my children.

    Now my children is suffering from anxiety and depression and, yet not willing to seek for professional help.

    I am in much need for advice on how to help them.. please help me…
    Thank you!

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  • October 22, 2018 at 6:49 pm
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    “There are many myths about victims of abuse,” could one myth be that just woman are victims of abuse? Physical or psychological abuse, violencen or threats.
    Would love to hear the pro.psychcentral.com team write about the topic “Men victim of abuse” as well. It is more common then people may think.
    And by the way thank you for the many great articles posted by you guys 🙂

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    • October 23, 2018 at 8:27 am
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      Ill second your thought Thomas however i feel it will not come about. I always have to sub in he or she cause the authers don’t.
      Sharie writes some very good work. It seems to go from first person then to ( don’t know what you would call it ) then abusers an victim’s. However seems to have to get thr point of all him across first. Don’t matter, just substitute.
      Thank you for your work Sharie

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      • October 24, 2018 at 10:29 pm
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        Thanks for encouragement. I do tend to write from the woman victim’s point of view; but, that is not to say that men aren’t victims of abuse by women as well.

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  • October 24, 2018 at 6:50 am
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    Thank you for a different and accurate view of the victims of domestic violence. I am 3.5yrs free of an 11year abusive relationship. For the first 10years I was trying to work out what was going on, thinking he had a mental illness, believing that it’s not right to leave someone who’s unwell. The 11th year I gave it him his last chance to change with therapy, which he didn’t. And then waited until I could end it safely, more women are killed leaving than at any other time. Thanks for saying that most women are the sole financial earners of the relationship, I thought this dynamic was unusual. I was the sole financial earner for 10 of the 11 years, and fortunately for me he wasn’t interested in managing the bills etc, which meant I was already paying for everything when the intervention order removed him from the house. It’s taken 3 years to feel normal again. Now I’m the sole parent of our two children, he left the state to avoid charges for breaching the intervention order, hasn’t spoken to or seen his kids in over 3years. I work full time, and study part time at uni. Life is fun, peaceful, full of loving family and friends. Leaving was the most terrifying and difficult thing I’ve ever done. But it was worth doing, I’d never go back.

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  • October 24, 2018 at 6:52 am
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    I loved this article, thank you so much for writing it! I am nearly fourteen years out of an abusive marriage of twenty-four years. My ex- husband is a very troubled man who self- medicates with alcohol. I took my marriage vows very seriously, especially the part about “For better or worse,” and “In sickness and health.” No one tells you about mental illness and substance abuse being game changers. As they say, you can only know what you know when you know it. Because of this article, victims of abuse in any form will hopefully recognize themselves and understand that abusers mistake the traits listed in the article for weakness, when in fact they are powerful strengths. Use your power to create a better life for yourself and your kids, you won’t regret it!

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  • October 24, 2018 at 9:02 am
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    Dear Sharie,
    After eight years of therapy I am now over the verbal, emotional and psychological abuse that I suffered for 24 years from my partner.
    It’s astonishing how true your observations of the qualities that the victims of abuse possess. (without ever knowing it at the time in my case).
    I’m now living my life again with a passion and belief I had never dreamed possible.
    There are some lasting effects of the abuse unfortunately, not least of which was being manipulated and bullied into having a vasectomy so that I wouldn’t have children with another woman, our own marriage being childless.
    Keep up the good work.
    Kind regards, Rod.

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  • October 30, 2018 at 1:55 pm
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    Sharie,

    I usually love your articles but this one is beyond love and is hands down your best article. It’s so uplifting to see the good traits of me listed as good traits and how good traits become exploitative tools in an abusive relationship.

    I’ve struggled with how do I ‘change’ traits I’m proud of and provide a good sense of self esteem and confidence in order to protect against future abuse? Do I become closed minded, inflexible and judgemental. Do I exist in relationships with one foot out the door excluding faithfulness and loyalty? Do I give up compassion and hope to stay safe? I have to say changing my good traits to bad traits to protect myself has been a depressive struggle.

    You also said,

    Over time, abusers “manage down” victims expectations for what to live with in their relationships. It’s the Stockholm syndrome in action; this occurs when victims start appreciating the times the abusers are not being abusive; ignoring the times they are. Over time, abusers throw mere “crumbs” towards their targets and the targets don’t even realize what happened.

    I would very much like to take this out of abusee, you’re-a-stupid-victim-Stockholm Syndrome language and add the good trait of Gratitude.

    We’re grateful it’s not worse behavior, we’re grateful our partner is so committed to trying to work on the relationship and make improvements, and we’re just grateful for the good times.

    Gratitude often gets confused with excusing bad behavior but, at least for me, I accept that everyone is badly behaved at times and over certain ‘hot button’ issues. It’s the no one is perfect, it’s not fair to expect anyone to be perfect and be grateful it’s not other or worse things.

    Any ideas on how to keep and maintain our good traits and not be oblivious to the signs and symptoms of abuse?

    Reply
    • October 30, 2018 at 8:35 pm
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      Thank you for kind words.

      Reply
 

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