Bancroft, a therapist who has counseled individuals who abuse, said that oftentimes the behavior of the abuser speaks to their basic beliefs and many have a “You owe me” approach to relationships. Common behavior characteristics, he said, include the following attitudes:
“I know better than you…
“—what’s good for you.”
“—who you should be friends with”
“—which of your relatives are good for you”
The abusers wants and desires should always come first, Bancroft said, and abusers believe that it is their partner’s job to make them feel good.
Bancroft also pointed out that the abusive individual is deeply invested in convincing their partner that there all kinds of things wrong with them and they will even invent things that don’t exist to back up this assertion. Double standards also figure largely into the abuser’s controlling tactics, Lundy said, and typically the individual who is abused is blamed for anything that goes wrong in the life of the abuser.
Some abusers begin to abuse in their teens, Lundy said, and this is most prevalent with teens who grew up with an abuser. Other factors that may predispose a teen are the value systems of the people they are friends with. Pornography, Bancroft said, may also be a pathway to abusive behavior, since it objectifies women.
Following the discussion Bancroft opened the presentation up to guests and fielded questions. Family Shelter Service is extremely appreciative that Lundy Bancroft took the time to share his insights and wisdom.
Bancroft, a licensed clinical social worker, has over 25 years experience working with abusers and is the author of four books in the field, including “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?,” “Why Does He Do That?”, “When Dad Hurts Mom,” and the award-winning “The Batterer as Parent.” He has worked with over 1,000 abusers directly as an intervention counselor, and has served as clinical supervisor on an additional 1,000 cases. He has also served extensively as a custody evaluator, child abuse investigator and expert witness in domestic violence and child abuse cases. More information can be found at www.lundybancroft.com.