Social Institutions & Abuse

This is the ninth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel – Using Social Institutions and Social Prejudices. Many perpetrators of psychological abuse use social, health, legal and other institutions such as child protection services as arenas to further their coercive control over their intimate partner. They use [...]

Recently, when the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, responded to a sports radio show host’s question about which female celebrities he would have on his “wishlist”, John Key said Liz Hurley was “hot” and that Jessica Alba “looked pretty hot”. So what? Many people would ask – some would even say, “good on him”. [...]

When we see that a man beats his wife we tend to assume the abuse is the problem of the individuals involved. He has a problem or she has a problem. The same is true if you read a newspaper article about a man who sexually abuses his female partner. Most readers assume the abuse [...]

Most women who attend counselling – to come to terms with their partner’s psychologically abusive and controlling behaviours – often beat up on themselves saying: “I let it happen” and “I feel like I’ve failed”. Women describe feeling emotionally beaten down, shame, guilt, anger, sadness, depression, lack of confidence, insecure, discouraged, defeated, desperate, fearful, anxious [...]

Why are so many women who are psychologically abused and controlled by male partners losing court battles for custody of their children? Whether men deliberately aim to gain and maintain power and control or not, this is the effect on women. If you look at the hierarchies of power and control in nearly every social [...]

This blog has been revised because the video I wanted readers to see has been removed from the internet, so I've left this short blog post here so that all the comments can remain. Previously I introduced a video on PBS video to hear children talking about the impact of domestic violence and the failure [...]

Here I write a review of Dr. Margaret W. Jones's book about her experience of abuse within church communities. My first impressions when I received this memoir to review were that it was a heavy long 400-page book with small writing so I thought it better be good! I was surprised that a Reverend had [...]

The following is an interview I conducted with Margaret Jones PhD, who has written a book about her experiences titled: Not of my making: Bullying, scapegoating and misconduct in Churches. Clare: What were the tactics of bullying, scapegoating, misconduct and psychological abuse that you experienced as the target of those tactics? Margaret: My adversaries refused [...]

This Lawyer-Client wheel was motivated firstly by the book Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture by Marc Galanter, and secondly, by the State Bar of Texas ethics rules (which reflect ethics rules for lawyers across USA generally). Marc Galanter made a point in his book that lawyers are widely mistrusted by non-lawyers in [...]

But this does not mean they enter a relationship that leads to abuse and control. However, this was the case for many of the women I interviewed in my Masters research, and many of the women I see for counselling. Some women talk about having their life mapped out for them. For example, whether or [...]

Women I interviewed for my Masters research said that before marrying, most of them had total belief in their partner – because he was a man. The women said that trusting and believing their partner - just because he was a man - was socially encouraged. In other words when he used abusive language, or [...]

Do you wonder what it would feel like to be free? Do you have a legacy of fear and shame? Has the aftermath of abuse led you to be a conformist? Or has it led you to be riddled with anger so bad that you rebel? Fear and shame are the lifeblood of one-sided power [...]