While battered women are not responsible for their abuse, certain behaviors can signal the vulnerability of victims to potential abusers. Among these are verbal cues.
This is not meant to imply that victims ask to be abused. There are, however, patterns of speech which can alert abusers before a relationship is ever established that the women with such verbal tendencies are likely to settle for what others would not tolerate.
And the cycle of abuse resumes with a new partner.
Abuse victims will routinely demean themselves, constantly using phrases like “How stupid of me” or “I’m such an idiot”  . They will often speak in a low voice or halting manner, swallowing their words or the tail-end of their sentences.
Victims will hesitate to offer an opinion; withdraw or undermine the few opinions they do express; and describe themselves as unqualified to comment, when this is clearly untrue.
Abuse victims will frequently apologize, even for events outside their control. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” The words are repeated in an endless refrain…sorry the train is late, sorry the traffic is snarled, sorry the taxes are due, sorry the weather has changed, sorry the sun has set.
After a lifetime of abuse, victims may find it difficult to make choices based on their own preferences. After all, chocolate ice cream is as good as vanilla, isn’t it?
How does this come about? There is no real mystery. Abuse victims learn early that their opinions do not matter any more than their lives do. And they learn early – at least those who survive learn – to placate their abusers. This is done by self-abasement.
Desires will invariably be denied. Hope must be abandoned. Little wonder that patterns of speech change to conform with the situation.
But patterns can be broken.
Abuse victims may find it difficult to believe they deserve better. However, to reduce the likelihood of starting another relationship with an abuser, all victims have to do is change the way they speak . That turns off the signal.
 The patterns of speech described here are generalizations. There will be victims whose verbal tendencies do not fit this mold.
 Changing the speech patterns of abuse victims will not remove victims’ vulnerability to abuse. It should though make them harder to target, and may gradually increase their self-esteem.
FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com