Abusers thrive on creating confusion, including confusion about the abuse itself.

โ€” Lundy Bancroft

The most memorable Lundy Bancroft quotes to discover and learn by heart

The scars from mental cruelty can be as deep and long-lasting as wounds from punches or slaps but are often not as obvious. In fact, even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man's emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm.

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It is fine to commiserate with a man about his bad experience with a previous partner, but the instant he uses her as an excuse to mistreat you, stop believing anything he tells you about that relationship and instead recognize it as a sign that he has problems with relating to women.

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Never believe a man's claim that he has to harm his partner in order to protect her; only abusers think this way.

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One of the prevalent features of life with an angry or controlling partner is that he frequently tells you what you should think and tries to get you to doubt or devalue your own perceptions and beliefs.

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The central attitudes driving the Water Torturer are: You are crazy.

You fly off the handle over nothing. I can easily convince other people that you're the one who is messed up. As long as I'm calm, you can't call anything I do abusive, no matter how cruel. I know exactly how to get under your skin.

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Abuse counselors say of the abusive client: โ€œWhen he looks at himself in the morning and sees his dirty face, he sets about washing the mirror.

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But whether you stay or go, the critical decision you can make is to stop letting your partner distort the lens of your life, always forcing his way into the center of the picture. You deserve to have your life be about you; you are worth it.

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As long as we see abusers as victims, or as out-of-control monsters, they will continue getting away with ruining lives. If we want abusers to change, we will have to require them to give up the luxury of exploitation.

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Few people are aware of the severe human rights violations committed daily by family court judges across the country. These courts are siding over and over again with proven sexual abusers of children and batterers of women. I wouldn't believe it myself if I hadn't done so much investigating.

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Abuse and respect are diametric opposites: You do not respect someone whom you abuse, and you do not abuse someone whom you respect.

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If we want abusers to change, we will have to require them to give up the luxury of exploitation.

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An abuser can seem emotionally needy.

You can get caught in a trap of catering to him, trying to fill a bottomless pit. But he's not so much needy as entitled, so no matter how much you give him, it will never be enough. He will just keep coming up with more demands because he believes his needs are your responsibility, until you feel drained down to nothing.

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About Lundy Bancroft

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The sense of ownership is one reason why abuse tends to get worse as relationships get more serious. The more history and commitment that develop in the couple, the more the abuser comes to think of his partner as a prized object. Possessiveness is at the core of the abuser's mindset, the spring from which all the other streams spout; on some level he feels that he owns you and therefore has the right to treat you as he sees fit.

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Has he ever trapped you in a room and not let you out? Has he ever raised a fist as if he were going to hit you? Has he ever thrown an object that hit you or nearly did? Has he ever held you down or grabbed you to restrain you? Has he ever threatened to hurt you? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we can stop wondering whether he'll ever be violent; he already has been.

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Physical aggression by a man toward his partner is abuse, even if it happens only once. If he raises a fist; punches a hole in the wall; throws things at you; blocks your way; restrains you; grabs, pushes, or pokes you; or threatens to hurt you, that's physical abuse. He is creating fear and using your need for physical freedom and safety as a way to control you.

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Objectification is a critical reason why an abuser tends to get worse over time.

As his conscience adapts to one level of cruelty-he builds to the next. By depersonalizing his partner, the abuser protects himself from the natural human emotions of guilt and empathy, so that he can sleep at night with a clear conscience. He distances himself so far from her humanity that her feelings no longer count, or simply cease to exist.

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Physical aggression by a man toward his partner is abuse, even if it happens only once.

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