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The following quote assumes that the abuser is male and the abused is female but, as we know, neither of these may be true in a particular abusive relationship - both may be female or male or the reverse gender roles may be relevant. I know that I have been, in the past, both the abused and, in different relationships, the abuser (a fact of which I am not proud, for which I can thank behaviour learned as a child and I hope I have learned how not to be abusive ever again) and my abusers have been female in some relationships and male in others.

ETA: Also, when the quote says "partner", bear in mind that the abuser might be the abused's parent, friend or boss, not only their SO.

The defining characteristic of any abusive relationship is one partner’s constant attempt to control the other, including her experience of her own subjective reality. The abuser dictates how she’s feeling (“Get off it, you’re not so sick, I had the same cold a few days ago and I was fine”) or what she’s thinking (“You don’t actually like those people, do you?”) and manages to imply, to make her believe, that she is the problem. If she would only get it together and start behaving like an adult, things would be great. The abused partner on some level knows that something is off, something is wrong, that she’s possibly even being destroyed, but she contorts her mind to believe what the abuser tells her. She disconnects her own instincts. He’s also telling her that he loves her, and if she starts paying attention to what her body truly knows – that she’s in pain, her partner is full of it – then her whole life comes crashing apart.

Taken from the following article about rape (so trigger warnings apply):
how not to be a ‘legitimate’ rape victim | Justine Musk (sic)


Aug. 27th, 2012 11:36 am (UTC)
I've deleted my comment here because it has been suggested to me by a friend I respect that it probably breaches my ex's expectation of privacy. I've posted an edited version of it under a very tight filter on my own journal so that I am not making my ex look bad to anyone who doesn't already know my opinion of her.

Aug. 27th, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
Okay. I, at least, still have the notification email.


Nat S Ford
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