"This issue of ending up involved with an abusive man happens to anyone. There is no special kind of woman this doesn’t happen to. People think, 'Oh, if I’d been like this or like that...' and it’s just not so. I’ve known women from every walk of life, from every level of education, women who were sharp as tacks and how smart they were. Unfortunately, nobody is abuse-proof."Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That?
Lundy Bancroft, warrior for women's rights and author of Why Does He Do That? and When Dad Hurts Mom, joins Anne Blythe on the free BTR Podcast to empower victims of abuse.
Read the full transcript below and tune in to the free BTR Podcast for more.
Your Abuser's View of You Is False
Many victims of abuse, weighed down by insecurities, fears, and feelings of inadequacy, struggle to grasp their own identities.
These core beliefs are embedded and fed to victims by abusive partners who create a false reality of who the abused woman actually is. At times, it is very difficult for victims to discern that they are simply not the person that their abusive partner has labeled them.
"He may have made you feel like you’re a bad mother, he may have made you feel like somehow you’re toxic, you’re the one that’s contaminating these kids, you’re the reason why these kids have problems. You’re not some toxic waste dump, that’s just the image that he tried to get across. You are these kids’ mother. You are absolutely crucial to them. They came from you. They need you desperate. They need you all the more because this other man in their life is such a destructive force."Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That?
Mothers, You Are Crucial
Children who have witnessed abuse, or lived in a home with an abusive man, need support and compassion as they process the choices and behaviors of their abusive fathers. Mothers can provide tremendous help to their children.
While it may seem daunting, especially as victims try to shed the lies that abusers have told them about themselves, women can triumph over trauma and become the solid rock of support that children need and deserve. Join the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group and find the support you need to begin seeing the magnificent truth about yourself.
To Victims of Betrayal and Abuse: You Matter
Often, victims of abuse and betrayal are conditioned by abusers to believe that their own life is less, or not at all, valuable. The constant betrayals, lying, gaslighting, put-downs, and abandonment can make women question their own worth as human beings.
When churches, communities, family, friends, and therapists enable abusers by not calling him out, not believing the victim, or staying neutral, they are reinforcing the toxic message that the victim's life does not matter.
"I don’t believe that there are any people who were put on this earth so that their lives could be sacrificed to other people’s lives. I just can’t see the world that way. I’m incapable of and unwilling to see that women’s lives, somehow, are here to be sacrificed for the lives of men."Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That?
When Civic, Legal, and Religious Communities Enable Abusers