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~ Bidermans Chart of Coercion ~ Explained ~
Abusers use tactics similar to what prison guards use on their prisoners, it is a type of brainwashing. They recognize that physical control is not easily accomplished, they need the cooperation of the victim. This can most effectively be gained through subversive manipulation of the mind and feelings of the victim, who then becomes a psychological, as well as a physical prisoner. These tactics form what we know as emotional abuse.
Bidermans Chart of Coercion identifies these methods and tactics of power and control used by abusers and their anticipated result. This Chart was originally a publication called "Report of Torture" from Amnesty International, which depicted the brainwashing of prisoners during war. Diana Russel later reprinted it in her book "Rape in Marriage."
The tactics used are
ISOLATION - this deprives the victim of all social support that is necessary for the ability to resist. It makes the victim develop an intense concern with self. It also makes the victim dependent upon the interrogator, just like our abusers, wanting all the control. They demean our family, friends, jobs and schooling, to the point that we generally give them all up. We begin to believe what our abuser is telling us and fear what may happen, if we don't go along with them. Once they take away our outside support system, so we have no one telling us anything different, than what the abuser is saying.
MONOPLIZATION OF PERCEPTION - this fixes attention upon the immediate predicament and fosters introspect. It eliminates any stimuli competing with those controlled by the abuser, and it frustrates all actions not consistent with compliance. This makes us worry about each moment, we have little or no outside contact or focus, just what is happening with our abusive situation and if we don't abide by what they say or want, we know how bad it can and will get.
INDUCED DEBILITY AND EXHAUSTION - this weakens both our mental and physical ability to resist. How many of our abusers picked 3am to cause an uproar? Odd or emotional times, when we were not strong enough to resist. Or the ones who will knock you out of bed and not let you sleep, then go at it with you all night long. They know when we are tired, we are more vulnerable and more apt to give in to their demands, without a fight. Exhaustion makes it even more difficult to counter the accusations and we agree to things we never would under normal conditions.
THREATS - this cultivates anxiety and despair. Threats can be as bad or worst than actions, the fear this can instill can do an incredible amount of emotional damage and alot to keep us in line. This is like an emotional blackmail.
OCCASIONAL INDULGENCES - this provides positive motivation for compliance. Often after the abuse, during the "honeymoon stage" they may bring flowers, take you out to dinner, be kind and promise unconditional love, ect. Some nice little things, which to the victim will usually mean alot, when we are so wide open with pain. It will always happen when we are most vulnerable. But to the abuser it only means more control!
DEMONSTRATING "OMNIPOTENCE" - this suggests futility of resistance. Making you believe they are completely capable and have the ability to carry out any threats and warnings they have given you, if you don't comply. They have all the power and you better do as they say, regardless of what you may feel about these things.
ENFORCING TRIVIAL DEMANDS - this develops a habit of compliance. All those little things they can get you to accept doing, those lists of chores, how you keep house, how you dress, how you speak or not to speak. This a part of their way of getting you to do the big things, the bad things and also keeping quiet about them. They have been programming you to obey, whatever they say.
DEGRADATION - this makes the cost of resistance appear to be more damaging to self-esteem than the capitulation. It reduces the victim to "animal level" concerns. In other word, if you don't go along with what they want, you will suffer the consequences and that will be worst than if you just do whatever they want.
All of these methods have been used on us, day after day. The road to freedom and healing begins with overcoming everything our abusers have worked so hard to put into place in our minds.
It is not an easy task. The first step is to acknowledge them for what an are - tactics to have power and control over us. Most everything that has been said to us by our abusers are lies and empty promises. We must totally begin to think for ourselves and wipe out all the negative things that we have been programmed to believe and feel. Every one of us must know, none of our abuse was our fault, we didnít ask for it and we definitely did not and do not deserve it. There is nothing any of us could have done differently, or better that would of changed how an abuser has acted, or made the abuse not happen. That is the sole choice and problem of the abuser. They usually will never admit that though.
No one deserves to be abused in any way, shape or form. It is our right to be happy and free from abuse. Abusers are criminals, just as a rapist, an armed robber or a murder. They should be treated as such and not be made excuses for or their abuse covered up.
If we want Domestic Violence to stop, we must all use our own voices, to say abuse is wrong and I have had enough!
The road to Freedom is Knowledge and Knowledge IS Power.
~ The Four Psychological Stages Of Battered Woman Syndrome ~
Stage One ~ DENIAL
The woman refuses to admit even to herself, that she has been beaten or that there is a problem in her marriage. She may call each incident an accident. She offers excuses for her husband's violence and each time firmly believes it will never happen again.
Stage Two ~ GUILT
She now acknowledges there is a problem, but considers herself responsible for it. She deserves to be beaten, she feels because she has defects in her character and is not living up to her husband's expectations.
Stage Three ~ ENLIGHTENMENT
The woman no longer assumes responsibility for her husband's abusive treatment, recognizing that no one deserves to be beaten. She is still committed to her marriage though and stays with her husband hoping they can work things out.
Stage Four ~ RESPONSIBILITY
Accepting the fact that her husband will not, or can not, stop his violent behavior, the battered woman decides she will no longer submit to it and starts a new life.