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Old 02-22-2019, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Strategies that abusers utilize to silence Survivors and or Whistleblowers

Hi Everyone,

In my quest to understand the underlying motivations of abusers who aim to silence their victims - I would like to ask the community to share their insights about the malicious strategies and tactics used by abusers.

In short, I believe there is a pattern of behavior when it comes to silencing victims - and if those patterns can be identified and quantified - they can be studied and potentially used to help protect survivors and penalize abusers.

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Old 02-22-2019, 06:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Strategies that abusers utilize to silence Survivors and or Whistleblowers

Hmmmm. My ex would often tell me I shouldn't be sharing information so readily with people. It was okay if I shared good things, but heaven forbid I told anyone that he spent the night before cursing me out for something ridiculous. I was a "gossiper", "blabber mouth", etc. It got to a point where he would just tell me I was a pathological liar and flat out deny that he ever said anything nasty to me at all. I brought up him calling me the C word the next day and he raged about how he was sick of my pathological lying.

I ended up so confused, scared, and stressed that I just broke down. Gaslighting is a common way for abusers to silence their victims.
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystalGirlx View Post
Hmmmm. My ex would often tell me I shouldn't be sharing information so readily with people. It was okay if I shared good things, but heaven forbid I told anyone that he spent the night before cursing me out for something ridiculous. I was a "gossiper", "blabber mouth", etc. It got to a point where he would just tell me I was a pathological liar and flat out deny that he ever said anything nasty to me at all. I brought up him calling me the C word the next day and he raged about how he was sick of my pathological lying.

I ended up so confused, scared, and stressed that I just broke down. Gaslighting is a common way for abusers to silence their victims.
Thank you for sharing CrystalGirlx,

I agree with you and my heart goes out to you! Gaslighting hurts so much. I want you to know that you are not alone. I am sure you already know this.

How have you managed to cope with this? When other people do it to you does your body have a physiological reaction?

Thanks,
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:45 PM   #4
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Hi, that's a great question. First of all, let's remember that before the abuser starts abusing you, he "sets up" some tools that make it is harder for you to reach out for help.
And once you catch onto his abuse and he feels threatened that you will break your silence, he will start utilizing these tools. Below are some examples:

1). Mutual contacts: The abuser has encroached onto your social life and have established a reputation, or even friendships with your inner circle...including your therapist.

When you are about to break your silence, he will subtly remind you of the fact that he is on good terms with the people in your life ("Oh, I had lunch with Auntie Beth the other day, she wants to know how you are doing") making you feel discouraged because it's his word against yours. He is a great actor and you don't feel that anyone will believe you over him.

He has also created some strong bond with your family members, and he will use that to his advantage when he feels threatened. He may say something like, "Oh, Tommy calls me uncle. How can I say goodbye to him on his birthday tomorrow? It will break his heart."

2). Isolation and triangulation: He has lied to you in the past that some of your friends were talking bad about you. He has selected to get rid of some of your sharpest friends who won't buy into his acting. So you have distanced yourself or have cut contact with them. It's hard for you to ask them for help or even reach them now after not contacting them for a long time. He may even hint that no one will be on your side by saying something like, "Too bad Candy is not here to help you."

3). Finances. He has "offered" to take care of all of your bills, and create a joint bank account with you. When you are about to break your silence, he will freeze your account and ask you to give back the car, the cell phone, etc. He will say, "It's my phone, I pay the bills," so you cannot text your friends for help.

In sum, it is imporatnt to have a support system for yourself when you leave an abuser.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Strategies that abusers utilize to silence Survivors and or Whistleblowers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ennie View Post
Hi, that's a great question. First of all, let's remember that before the abuser starts abusing you, he "sets up" some tools that make it is harder for you to reach out for help.
And once you catch onto his abuse and he feels threatened that you will break your silence, he will start utilizing these tools. Below are some examples:

1). Mutual contacts: The abuser has encroached onto your social life and have established a reputation, or even friendships with your inner circle...including your therapist.

When you are about to break your silence, he will subtly remind you of the fact that he is on good terms with the people in your life ("Oh, I had lunch with Auntie Beth the other day, she wants to know how you are doing") making you feel discouraged because it's his word against yours. He is a great actor and you don't feel that anyone will believe you over him.

He has also created some strong bond with your family members, and he will use that to his advantage when he feels threatened. He may say something like, "Oh, Tommy calls me uncle. How can I say goodbye to him on his birthday tomorrow? It will break his heart."

2). Isolation and triangulation: He has lied to you in the past that some of your friends were talking bad about you. He has selected to get rid of some of your sharpest friends who won't buy into his acting. So you have distanced yourself or have cut contact with them. It's hard for you to ask them for help or even reach them now after not contacting them for a long time. He may even hint that no one will be on your side by saying something like, "Too bad Candy is not here to help you."

3). Finances. He has "offered" to take care of all of your bills, and create a joint bank account with you. When you are about to break your silence, he will freeze your account and ask you to give back the car, the cell phone, etc. He will say, "It's my phone, I pay the bills," so you cannot text your friends for help.

In sum, it is imporatnt to have a support system for yourself when you leave an abuser.
2) My ex was huge on isolation. He use to frequent bars in my area and tell me things like:

Your friends were right about you. They say you lie.
People come up to me and warn me about you.
Everyone knows you abuse me.
Everyone was right about you.

When prompted for an explanation of who everyone was I was given the silent treatment. When asked what was said, it was always generic answers. But, he knew...everyone. In the weakened state I was in I truly believed he may have actually had people talking badly about me and really saying all of this. I lost trust in almost everyone and was suspicious of who may or may not be speaking to him behind my back. My good friends, the ones who saw through his abuse ended up being no good and poor influences.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Strategies that abusers utilize to silence Survivors and or Whistleblowers

This has already been studied extensively and there is a lot of understanding about abuser tactics for silencing victims. It's the same old same old.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Strategies that abusers utilize to silence Survivors and or Whistleblowers

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This has already been studied extensively and there is a lot of understanding about abuser tactics for silencing victims. It's the same old same old.
Thank you for posting! Can you please post links to some stuff that you are referring to? I would love to see it!!

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Old 02-23-2019, 03:14 AM   #8
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Default Re: Strategies that abusers utilize to silence Survivors and or Whistleblowers

Just google it. A simple search turns up a heap of stuff.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full...1.2017.1320777
Grooming Dynamic of CSA
Domestic Violence and Abuse in Intimate Relationship from Public Health Perspective
https://www.speakcdn.com/assets/2497...at_to_whom.pdf
Montana Voices: This is how abusers silence their victims ~ Missoula Current

Abusers of all kinds have been using the same basic tactics since forever.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Strategies that abusers utilize to silence Survivors and or Whistleblowers

There is always gaslighting and not taking responsibility for their abuse:
"You know I would never hurt you"
"If you hadnt done that I wouldnt have done this"
" if you would just listen"
"why did you make me do that"
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:10 AM   #10
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Isolating the victim is definitely part of it, making the victim then dependent upon the abuser for getting out to do basic tasks and limited socializing with the abuser's circle on his terms.

When it would come to socialising, my abuser would horn in on everything, even talking over me and taking over what I had to say. It really added to my sense of worthlessness.

And they do everything they can to belittle the victim chipping away at their sense of worth and esteem.

In the end, the abuser makes the victim feel so unworthy and helpless that they end up feeling they can't make a go of it on their own and are dependent upon the abuser. "You are worthless and lucky you at least have me," sort of thing.

All in all, the abuser makes the victim feel that getting away is an overwhelming impossiblity. At this point the abuser has won and has complete control. The same is true of abusive employers.

In the end, the fear of the unknown (escaping the situations) is scarier than the known. This is why most are unable to walk away from such situations.
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