Abusive relationships are characterized by extreme jealously, raging, sexual coercion, infidelity, threats, lies, broken promises, physical violence and control games. This relationship may be between a parent and a child, a husband and his wife and even between boyfriends and girlfriends. Abuse can take the form of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The issue is whether abusers should be blamed for their actions based on their childhood experiences, pre-meditated actions and effects on the victims.
Often, abusers are survivors of abuse themselves. They act out of deep shame and low self-esteem due to their abusive childhood. Therefore, it is not surprising that abuse is a family dysfunction that repeats through generations. Usually, the abused becomes the abuser and the cycle continues. A very good example of this is Josef Fritzl, an Austrian man who imprisoned his daughter for 24 years in an underground basement about 1.5 m high. He sexually abused her and caused her to father seven children of his, of whom one died three days after birth. Josef later admitted to having an abusive relationship with his mother and blamed his actions on his abusive childhood.
Abusers plan their actions before abusing their victims. This shows that their actions are deliberate and not an ‘accident’ caused by their inability to control themselves in their anger. After every abuse, they fantasize about the next abuse and manipulate their partners to carry out their plans. This can be seen in a case of a boy named David Pelzer who was repeatedly abused by his mother. She will set him a short time limit to do his chores. After that, she will proceed to punish him harshly for not completing his tasks in time. Fortunately for David, his school nurse and headmaster reported this matter to the police. However, as the law for abuse cases were not clearly written back then in 1973, David’s mother was not charged with child abuse.
The most obvious...