||04 Jun 06
really scared of what he may do to me some day.”
feel so bad for him: he’s had a really hard life.”
are quotes from women interviewed by Lundy Bancroft in his book ‘Why
does he do that?’
week, I passed on Bancroft’s message to victims of domestic violence
that contrary to the widely held view that abusers lose control because
they are emotionally messed up, they are calculated men who systematically
assault their partners’ self-esteem, disrespect them and undermine their
independence in order to stay in control of relationships. In fact,
abusive men are adept at keeping their victims off balance.
introduces his chapter titled Types of Abusive Men convinced that
“confusion has been part of the experience of every one of the hundreds
of abused women I have spoken with.”
states: “Whether because of the abusers manipulations, his popularity,
or simply the mind-bending contrast between his professions of love and
his vicious psychological or physical assaults, every abused woman finds
herself fighting to make sense out of what is happening.”
on thousands of interviews, Bancroft has placed the types of abusive men
into ten categories but adds they can also “turn kind and loving at any
moment and stay in that mode for days, weeks, even months.”
Demand Man: It’s your job to do things for me, including take care
of my responsibilities. If I’m unhappy about any aspect of my life,
whether it has to do with our relationship or not, it’s your fault.
I am above criticism. I am a very loving partner. You’re lucky to
have me. You should not place demands on me at all. You should be
grateful for whatever I choose to give.
Right: You should
be in awe of my intelligence and should look up to me. I know better
than you do, even about what’s good for you. Your opinions aren’t
worth listening to carefully or taking seriously. The fact that you
sometimes disagree with me shows how sloppy your thinking is. If you
would just accept that I know what’s right, our relationship would
go much better. Your own life would go better, too. When you disagree
with me about something, no matter how respectfully or meekly,
that’s mistreatment of me. If I put you down for long enough, some
day you’ll see I’m right.
Water Torturer: You are crazy. You fly off the handle over nothing. I
can easily convince other people that you’re the one who is messed
up. As long as I’m calm, you can’t call anything I do abusive, no
matter how cruel. I know exactly how to get under your skin.
Drill Sergeant: I need to control your every move or you will do it
wrong. I know the exact way that everything should be done. You
shouldn’t have anyone else-or anything else-in your life beside me.
I am going to watch you like a hawk to keep you from developing
strength or independence. I love you more than anyone in the world,
but you disgust me.
Sensitive: I’m against the macho men, so I couldn’t be abusive. As
long as I use a lot of psychobabble, no one is going to believe I am
mistreating you. I can control you by analysing how your mind and
emotions work, and what your issues are from childhood. I can get
inside your head whether you want me there or not. Nothing in the
world is more important than my feelings. Women should be grateful to
me for not being like those other men.
series is not about male bashing. It’s about recognising destructive
behaviour, changing it, getting out, and saving lives.
week from Bancroft: The Player, Rambo, The Victim, The Terrorist, The
Mentally Ill or Addicted Abuser.