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Escape

Separation Behaviors of Abusers

When a woman leaves her abuser, the abuser goes through a process of emotions and behaviors that is quite predictable.  This is the separation process.

INDIFFERENCE
The batterer says such things as,  “Go ahead and leave.  I don’t care.  I’ve got lots of women after me.  I don’t need you!’

MANIPULATIVE ANGER
The batterer shows his “anger”.  Anger is a tool batterers use to gain and maintain control.  If there are children in the family, for instance, he may say his anger is because the victim is keeping the children from him and “I have a right to see my kids.” 

MANIPULATIVE COURTING
The abuser tries to hook the victim back into the relationship – and succeeds in more than a few cases.  The abuser begins to court the victim again, perhaps with a trip down memory lane: “Don’t you remember when we met?”, “Remember when the baby was born?”  He also promises to change:  “I’ll quit drinking,” “I’ll get counseling.”  He won’t discuss the abuse; he will only talk about past good times and the promise of good times ahead.  He says he wants her back.

DEFAMING THE SURVIVOR
He tells lies about the victim to everyone who knows her.  His goal is to isolate her socially and wipe out any support she might have among friends and family.  Many times, the woman does not know about the lies.  One of the most common lies is that the woman was having an affair, a lie that he can use to justify his violent behavior.

RENEWED MANIPULATIVE ANGER
Once he recognizes the victim is not coming back to him, he renews his manipulative anger.  The victim is in danger!  The abuser is likely to carry out threats he made during the relationship and earlier separation cycle.

These behaviors are not expressed by the abuser in any particular order.  They use these techniques at their discretion.


 

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