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? Continue reading