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How Victims are Pathologized and re-abused by the System


Selecting the right professional is crucial. In the hands of an incompetent service provider, you may end up feeling abused all over again.
 
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Abusers co-opt mental health and social welfare workers and compromise them – even when the diagnosis is unequivocal – by flattering them, by emphasizing common traits or a common background, by forming a joint front against the victim of abuse ("shared psychosis"), or by emotionally bribing them. Abusers are master manipulators and exploit the vulnerabilities, traumas, prejudices, and fears of the practitioners to "convert" them to the offender's cause.
 
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In the process of mediation, marital therapy, or evaluation, counselors frequently propose various techniques to ameliorate the abuse or bring it under control. Woe betides the party that dares object or turn these "recommendations" down. Thus, an abuse victim who declines to have any further contact with her batterer – is bound to be chastised by her therapist for obstinately refusing to constructively communicate with her violent spouse.
 
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Therapists, marriage counselors, mediators, court-appointed guardians, police officers, and judges are human. Some of them are social reactionaries, others are narcissists, and a few are themselves spouse abusers. Many things work against the victim facing the justice system and the psychological profession.
 
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Male therapists may assume the mantle of the "chivalrous rescuer", the "knight in the shining armour" – thus, inadvertently upholding the victim's view of herself as immature, helpless, in need of protection, vulnerable, weak, and ignorant. The male therapist may be driven to prove to the victim that not all men are "beasts", that there are "good" specimen (like himself). If his (conscious or unconscious) overtures are rejected, the therapist may identify with the abuser and re-victimise or pathologise his patient.
 
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The abuser mistreats only his closest – spouse, children, or (much more rarely) colleagues, friends, and neighbours. To the rest of the world, he appears to be a composed, rational, and functioning person. Abusers are very adept at casting a veil of secrecy – often with the active aid of their victims – over their dysfunction and misbehavior.
 
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Oct/23/2009, 3:04 am Link to this post  
 


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