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Tactics of an Abuser

Tactics of an Abuser

Below are the 8 personae of the 'Dominator' with descriptions and the effects each one can have on us. The descriptions below are from the renowned Freedom Programme for female survivors of male domestic abuse.  

An abusive person may exhibit only one persona or a combination of many. By putting these behaviours into categories means that when we are faced with abuse we can recognise it as abuse.

The Bully

Uses intimidation to control his partner by shouting, glaring, sulking, driving too fast and firing questions at us without giving us a chance to answer. As a result, we believe he is angry and try to placate him.

The Headworker

Uses emotional abuse to control his partner by telling us we are stupid,ugly and incompetent. He is unfaithful and he puts us down in front of others, usually using humour. As a result we lose all self-confidence.

The Jailer

Isolates his partner by sulking when our friends come round and refusing to look after the children when we have arranged to go out. He charms our friends and family so they do not believe us. He moves us to remote places. As a result we are completely isolated.

The Liar

Makes the abuse seen less than it was my using the “only” word. For example, it was “ only a slap.” When the “only “ word is used the listener does not really hear the rest of the sentence. He also denies there was any abuse or blames us for it. Many men come to the perpetrator programme asking me to help them to deal with this horrible woman who forces him to be violent. He also uses all the excuses we have discussed already. As a result we believe him.

The Badfather

Uses children to control us. He turns them against us and if we leave him he uses the courts to harass us for access. He denies paternity and tells us we are bad mothers. As a result, we lose our children or he seriously damages our ability to parent effectively.

The King of the Castle

Controls us by treating us like a servant and expecting us to do all the dirty menial jobs. He controls the money and makes all the major decision. As a result we believe we are second-class citizens. The men on the first programme I ran used to say that women are for “CFCs” Cooking, fucking and cleaning.

The Sexual Controller

Uses sex to control us. He refuses sex, demands sex and rapes us. As a result, we feel dirty and used and unable to stand up to him.

The Persuader

This persona comes into play if we have left the relationship or reported him to the police. He uses coercion or threats to control his partner. He wheedles his way back into the relationship by threatening suicide, crying and saying he has nowhere to go. He threatens to hurt the pets. He is trying to convince us to have him back and drop the charges.

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