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Debra Wallace

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There’s a saying in wives care groups: “Knowledge is Power”. What comes to mind, is the term DARVO. Ever heard of it?

According to Wikipedia, “DARVO is an acronym used to describe a common strategy among abusers: 

DENY the abuse

ATTACK the victim for attempting to make them accountable for their offense, thereby




Psychologist Jennifer Freyd writes:

“I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior. 

This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of lawsuits, overt and covert attacks on the whistleblowers credibility, and so on. 

The attack will often take the form of focusing on the ridiculing person, who attempts to hold the offender accountable. 

The offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender.”

Friends, when I tell you you’re smart, believe me! Deep down, although there may be confusion, we KNOW what’s going on. 

We aren’t always able to pinpoint it, because DARVO makes us question our own motives, causing us to believe we are crazy—that we must be losing our minds (because of the absurd behaviors directed towards us). 

Now that we are aware, we can better assess what’s really happening, and stand up for ourselves when it happens. Remember: Knowledge is Power.

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