How Victims Become Criminals
and Psychiatric Labels
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
“Her partner (or ex) had her arrested or has backed her into a psychiatric hospital against her will.” Sound familiar?
It is sickening. If I told you how many times I heard this story, you’d run at the thought of being in an abusive relationship.
Turning the Tables — Abuser Flip
Abusers are notorious for calling the police or even convincing the police upon arrival that the domestic violence in process was inspired by the abused. They can be calm and collected in their communications with police. Some will have convincing injuries for the “show and tell” part of turning the tables.
Domestic abuse victims are so shocked at this maneuver. They think to themselves, “How could he/she do this?”
They know in their hearts that they are, indeed, the battered and injured party, and they can’t fathom how they are positioned to be the abuser…much less why. From the hundreds of cases I have seen, what’s most clear is that this abuser flip is about discrediting the abused and silencing the abuse. Period.
The Lock Down — Lock Up
Another effective method of silencing the abuse is to introduce the victim to the world of psychiatry. Sometimes this is offered as a “favor” to bring in a potential helper to aid the distressed, compromised person.
Other times it can be done through court order. Then, the chase is on… The abusive party can enlist the court to require the victim to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. We have seen many of these conducted “in house.” You heard me…behind locked doors.
There are cases in which this so-called evaluation lasts 30 days, during which the victim is exposed to psychiatric interventions that alter them from the inside out. That can include psychotropic drugs, electric shock. Need I say more?
In some cases, it is sufficient to simply secure the psychiatric label that can become the sword used to sever the victim from her/his abused children. We have witnessed numerous cases in which the labeled mental disorder becomes the “cause” for supervised visitation and restricted contact.
Abuse Is About Control
Abuse is about control and so is an abuser’s defense/offense. Unfortunately, domestic abuse victims are not prepared for the way in which abusers are supported in securing this “defense.” They come to court seeking “justice” and instead encounter a continuation of the domestic violence they have known in their relationship with their battering partner (or ex-partner).
If you are in an abusive relationship, seek to understand the larger politics surrounding the abuse dynamics that you live. The more you know, the easier it is for you to successfully secure safety.
For information about legal domestic abuse, visit http://www.preventabusiverelationships.com/legal_domestic_abuse.php
For access to our entire library of written and video resources on demand, visit Inner Sanctuary Online and start your Free 7-day trial today. Inner Sanctuary Online is designed to help you with the challenges of abusive relationships, from identifying them to influencing change within them to healing during and after them.
Psychologist Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps individuals and couples worldwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.
© Dr Jeanne King, PhD — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention