The Smear Campaign of the Abuser
2. Tell everyone you are the abuser and they are the victim to recruit others in their campaign
3. Push your buttons to try to make make you respond with their goal of making you look like the crazy one.”Abusers increasingly use a tactic I call “preemptive strike,” where he accuses the victim of doing all the things that he has done.”
UNDERSTANDING THE BATTERER IN CUSTODY
AND VISITATION DISPUTES
R. Lundy Bancroft, author
Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
To avoid exposure of his abusive behaviour and to deflect the attention away from the truth, the abuser begins a smear campaign against his victim. Directed at her closest friends, coworkers, even children and family, he accuses the victim of being the abuser.
Here’s a typical scenario: Your abuser has been emotionally/physically cruel to you. He’s cheated on you, lied, and usually much, much more. So, you break up or end the relationship only to find that he has gone around to your friends/family telling them that you are the one who has been cruel to him. This is a favorite attention-seeking behaviour of the abuser.
The Abuser’s typical lie: “I love her so much, but now she’s going around telling people I hit her, lied to her and cheated on her and she told me we’re finished. I’m just devastated. I need someone to talk to who can help me get over this.”
He works hard to present himself as “Mr. Perfect”. Therefore, people believe him. Brace yourself. Emotionally anticipate this common response from the mentally disordered. Hang on tight, it’s going to be a very cruel and bumpy ride.
An abuser will quickly ‘devalue and discard’ his target claiming he is the victim. His victims are now put in a defensive role by his lies and character assassination. By involving others he is enlarging his circle of those who give him attention. Any attention you may have given him is now replaced and multiplied by other people he manages to fool. A win/win scenario for a narcissist……….”
As a society, we place a high value on charm; when we meet new people, we love it if they are very quickly smooth, funny, entertaining, and flattering. We are charmed when they seem immediately ready to jump into doing favors for us. We love confidence, lively story-telling, and a sharp personal appearance.
And it all can be bad news.
Lundy Bancroft: Batterers’ Advantages in Custody Disputes
“A batterer who does file for custody will frequently win, as he has numerous advantages over his partner in custody litigation. These include:
his typical ability to afford better representation (often while simultaneously insisting that he has no money with which to pay child support),
his marked advantage over his victim in psychological testing, since she is the one who has been traumatized by the abuse,
his ability to manipulate custody evaluators to be sympathetic to him, and
his ability to manipulate and intimidate the children regarding their statements to the custody evaluator.
There is also evidence that gender bias in family courts works to the batterer’s advantage. (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Gender Bias Study) Even if the batterer does not win custody, his attempt can be among the most intimidating acts possible from the victim’s perspective, and can lead to financial ruin for her and her children.
After a break-up, the abuser sometimes becomes quickly involved with a new partner whom he treats relatively well. Abusers are not out of control, and therefore can be on “good” behavior for extended periods of time – even a year or two – if they consider it in their best interest to do so. The new partner may insist, based on her experience with him, that the man is wonderful to her, and that any problems reported from the previous relationship must have been fabricated, or must result from bad relationship dynamics for which the two parents are mutually responsible. The abuser can thus use his new partner to create the impression that he is not a risk.”