Acting with Intent
Despite misconceptions, abusers act with intent. The purpose of their abuse is to get or to maintain power and control.
The abusers are not:
- Out of control
- Reacting to stress
- Venting anger
- Suffering from poor communication skills
- Responding to provocation
- Experiencing a loss of control due to alcohol or substance use/abuse
These are excuses abusers use to minimize, deny or justify their actions.
Abusers seek to externalize the responsibility for their behaviors by blaming others,
or they blame factors they perceive to be outside of their control.
Consider the abuser’s victims. If the only victims are their intimate partners,
then ask yourself why the abuser can avoid victimizing everyone else.
Translating Abuser Remarks
- It’s only happened once or twice and besides she bruises easily.
- May acknowledge “problems” but will deny any violence.
Citing Basic Good Intentions
- I just wanted her to listen to me.
- She was hysterical, so I slapped her to calm her down.
Alcohol or Drug Abuse is Really Responsible
- I don’t know what happened. I was really wrecked / smashed /…
Claiming Loss of Control
- I just lost it.
- A man can only take so much.
- He is the “real” victim in the family.
- I’m under a lot of pressure at work or at school
- She drove me to it.
- If she’d only do what I tell her to do – when I tell her to do it.
- She really knows how to push my buttons, pull my chain…