Monday, May 13, 2013

Perpetrating Parents, Part I: They’ll Make You Crazy

There comes a point when victims leave their abusers because they have finally recognized the significant and damaging impact the emotional and physical violence has had on their children. Often when victims are asked why they stay with their abusers, they say because of the kids. But when asked why they left their abusers, ironically, they admit for the same reason—because of the kids. Abusers controlled their families during the relationship but after the victims have fled with their kids, the batterers must find ways to forces the victims to return. This is when abusers exploit, recruit or threaten some type of harm toward the kids. The abusers’ escalating deviant behaviors becomes so outrageous that the average person cannot imagine the hell these victims face. Victims try to report the atrocities but they are minimized, ignored and even told they are crazy. The persistent negative reinforcement by society creates confusion for the victims and they start to believe that they are the problem.

In this series I will share stories of outrageous violent behavior in hopes that knowledge of perpetrator behavior may assist families trying to escape the madness. The first case involves an abusive mother who wanted her ex-husband to pay for “abandoning” her. She started threatening her children and telling them that their father would stop loving them like he stopped loving her. She didn’t like that her children were close to their stepmother so she inflicted high levels of guilt on them saying she carried them in her womb for 9-months, that she was their mother and that the kids owed her. She accused them of caring more about having fun than being loyal. After months and months of emotionally beating her children up, they decided it would be best to live with her so maybe she would stop being so angry and vengeful. She recruited her children to lie and make excuses for not wanting to visit their dad. She threatened to expose them for saying bad things about their stepmother stating that their father would hate them. Their fear of being completely abandoned by their dad dissuaded them from engaging with him and his new wife. The children were forced to suffer in silence.

She wanted to punish her victim financially, so she refused to let the kids see him and she was able to demonstrate to the court that she had them more overnights than he did. Not only did his lawyer (and hers) rewarded her for being a bully, but worse, they claimed that he was being irresponsible as a father and that his children needed to stand up to their mother and stop being sissies if they didn't like their situation. The system disregarded her accountability and left the victims feeling helpless and alone. The victim reported that this abuser stalked, harassed and emotionally abused those around her but they ignored his pleas.  

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