Author, Peg Streep, shares an interesting article on Psychology today entitled, Stop Pretending You Know What an Abuser Looks Like. She digs into the complicated dynamic of abuse, and says that abuse is not a simple black and white stereotype that humans tend to box everything into to make sense of the world.
According Streep our predominant view of the world, as depicted in movies and read in fairy tales, the good person is usually a hero or angel, is neatly dressed in white or bright and breezy colours, always smiles, is kind and has it all together. The bad guy or the villain, on the other hand, wears black or dark colours, is dirty, always frowns and is impolite. Streep says that this stereotype has created a general perception to people of good and bad, which isn’t realistic.
Therefore, victims are often not believed when they report abuse, because there is an expectation that an abuser would fall into the latter category – the black category. However, abuse is not as simple as that, and abusers often take on the former description, the one of the good person to confuse the victim and the world so that they can comfortably continue with their abuse. This way the victim’s account will not make sense to the world.
Streep delves into numerous topics in her article including; the cycle of abuse, why victims stay and why victims finally leave.
Click here to read her full article.