Social Institutions & Abuse

Dominant social pressures encourage many boys and men to wear a mask. To hide their authentic selves behind a wall. A barrier that prevents getting emotionally close to other men, and to women. Thrust into an unforgiving world of bullying, one-upmanship and power struggles amongst men — Many boys and men learn that to stay [...]

Workplace bullying entails one person engaging in an ongoing campaign of power and control over someone. The person being bullied feels brow beaten, anxiety, low confidence, stress and feels they're going crazy. The same is true of domestic violence — which entails an ongoing campaign of mostly non-physical tactics that control the victimised person. The [...]

This is the fifteenth of 16 blogs discussing the patterns of tactics from my power and control wheel — Domestic Slavery. Amongst heterosexual couples, many people believe the man should be the breadwinner (although being the sole breadwinner is really only possible for wealthy families). Alongside this, many people believe the woman should stay at [...]

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 [...]

Men and women are socialised into a society founded on social hierarchies. In the west, those who are considered to have higher status than others are white people, people with higher education, men, people in the middle age range (that is not children and not elderly), people who are physically and mentally able, the rich, [...]

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 [...]

A power and control wheel has been developed as a tool for recognising abuse and psychological assault by lawyers against their clients. 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 [...]

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 [...]

In 2001 I interviewed women who had left their psychologically abusive and controlling male partners/husbands. Before marrying, most of the women had total belief in their partner – because he was a man. The women said this belief was socially encouraged. For example one woman said: "Over the time that I was with him my [...]

If you have had abusive life experiences it is highly possible you were left with a legacy of fear and shame. Until you embark on a journey of healing this legacy by developing awareness, wisdom and empathy for yourself and others, these feelings may have led you down one of two tracks - to conformity [...]