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Comments on: Self-Blame and Perceived Control in Abusive Situations http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/selfperceptionandhealth/2009/02/12/self-blame-and-perceived-control-in-abusive-situations/ Subject to Terms of Use: See http://www.stanford.edu/home/atoz/terms.html Fri, 10 Feb 2012 20:04:11 -0800 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 hourly 1 By: bria http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/selfperceptionandhealth/2009/02/12/self-blame-and-perceived-control-in-abusive-situations/comment-page-1/#comment-617 bria Sun, 15 Feb 2009 06:30:11 +0000 http://stanford.edu/class/humbio129/cgi-bin/blogs/perceptionofhealth/?p=109#comment-617 For future commentators, a few clarifications: 1.) this article, nor I, does/do NOT support self-blame as a mechanism to enhance perceived self-control. The article points to self-blame as a maladaptive coping mechanism to try to attain greater perceived control, which it then goes on to argue as an essential component for resiliency. 2.) Sarahconstance -- Within this context, it is assumed that the perpetrator IS, most of the time, psychologically manipulating the woman in some way, shape or form; however, at the same time, the article argues that this is not the sole reason for self-blame. One can imagine that psychological abuse would almost always in “characterological” self-blame, the more severe of the two. For future commentators, a few clarifications:

1.) this article, nor I, does/do NOT support self-blame as a mechanism to enhance perceived self-control. The article points to self-blame as a maladaptive coping mechanism to try to attain greater perceived control, which it then goes on to argue as an essential component for resiliency.

2.) Sarahconstance — Within this context, it is assumed that the perpetrator IS, most of the time, psychologically manipulating the woman in some way, shape or form; however, at the same time, the article argues that this is not the sole reason for self-blame. One can imagine that psychological abuse would almost always in “characterological” self-blame, the more severe of the two.

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By: sarahconstance http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/selfperceptionandhealth/2009/02/12/self-blame-and-perceived-control-in-abusive-situations/comment-page-1/#comment-615 sarahconstance Sun, 15 Feb 2009 04:07:19 +0000 http://stanford.edu/class/humbio129/cgi-bin/blogs/perceptionofhealth/?p=109#comment-615 I think that there is a major point that is being left out in this discussion: manipulation by the abuser. I would argue that the woman doesn't necessarily blame herself as a way to cope with the situation, but that abuser manipulates her psychologically to make her believe he's not really that bad, blame situational aspects rather than the abuser's character, or just put her down so much that severe depression additionally warps her mind to create such negative self-talk. It is truly difficult to understand and comprehend unless you've experienced it, but psychological manipulation is one of the most powerful tools abusers can use to keep their victims trapped and isolated. I think that there is a major point that is being left out in this discussion: manipulation by the abuser. I would argue that the woman doesn’t necessarily blame herself as a way to cope with the situation, but that abuser manipulates her psychologically to make her believe he’s not really that bad, blame situational aspects rather than the abuser’s character, or just put her down so much that severe depression additionally warps her mind to create such negative self-talk. It is truly difficult to understand and comprehend unless you’ve experienced it, but psychological manipulation is one of the most powerful tools abusers can use to keep their victims trapped and isolated.

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By: mlizzard http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/selfperceptionandhealth/2009/02/12/self-blame-and-perceived-control-in-abusive-situations/comment-page-1/#comment-613 mlizzard Sat, 14 Feb 2009 21:25:26 +0000 http://stanford.edu/class/humbio129/cgi-bin/blogs/perceptionofhealth/?p=109#comment-613 I think you raise a few really interesting ideas and points in your blog topic this week. Perceived control is a topic I also addressed in my blog, and it has been shown to lower stress levels and dramatically improve health levels. However, how do you create a sense of perceived control? My answer would be from social support and social outlets and if women can develop a network they are one step closer to feeling like they in control and improving their quality of life now. I think you raise a few really interesting ideas and points in your blog topic this week. Perceived control is a topic I also addressed in my blog, and it has been shown to lower stress levels and dramatically improve health levels. However, how do you create a sense of perceived control? My answer would be from social support and social outlets and if women can develop a network they are one step closer to feeling like they in control and improving their quality of life now.

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By: nmh http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/selfperceptionandhealth/2009/02/12/self-blame-and-perceived-control-in-abusive-situations/comment-page-1/#comment-609 nmh Sat, 14 Feb 2009 11:12:26 +0000 http://stanford.edu/class/humbio129/cgi-bin/blogs/perceptionofhealth/?p=109#comment-609 Based on my own experiences with this, I would say that I believe people tend to take the blame in a way to find an answer to this situation. At least for me, it's hard to experience something and not know why it happens. If I can provide a rationale for it, then it won't stick in my mind all day long. If the rationale is "my partner is abusive", there is an internal imperative to do something about it, which is overwhelming (like you discussed), particularly if you love the person or you have kids or you don't have the economic ability to do so. Therefore, it is less self-hating to attribute abuse to yourself ("I shouldn't have said that one thing that one time") than to tell yourself "I'm in an abusive relationship, but I don't respect myself enough to leave" or "I'm too much of a coward to leave" Based on my own experiences with this, I would say that I believe people tend to take the blame in a way to find an answer to this situation. At least for me, it’s hard to experience something and not know why it happens. If I can provide a rationale for it, then it won’t stick in my mind all day long. If the rationale is “my partner is abusive”, there is an internal imperative to do something about it, which is overwhelming (like you discussed), particularly if you love the person or you have kids or you don’t have the economic ability to do so. Therefore, it is less self-hating to attribute abuse to yourself (”I shouldn’t have said that one thing that one time”) than to tell yourself “I’m in an abusive relationship, but I don’t respect myself enough to leave” or “I’m too much of a coward to leave”

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By: sunree http://stanford.edu/group/womenscourage/cgi-bin/blogs/selfperceptionandhealth/2009/02/12/self-blame-and-perceived-control-in-abusive-situations/comment-page-1/#comment-611 sunree Fri, 13 Feb 2009 21:48:01 +0000 http://stanford.edu/class/humbio129/cgi-bin/blogs/perceptionofhealth/?p=109#comment-611 I understand how perceived self-control would impact an individual's ability to interpret and cope with an abusive encounter. However, I am unclear as to whether mechanisms to increase perceived self-control are necessarily productive in helping a woman to deal with the heart of the conflict and free herself from an abusive relationship. I could see perceived self-control, interpreted as self-blame, as the very mechanism that keeps a woman in a violent setting: "if I don't do XYZ again, then he probably won't hurt me". As such, how can interventions empower women to feel that they have control in their relationship and thus feel inspired to address the wrongdoing instead of rationalize it away as an act that they provoked? I understand how perceived self-control would impact an individual’s ability to interpret and cope with an abusive encounter. However, I am unclear as to whether mechanisms to increase perceived self-control are necessarily productive in helping a woman to deal with the heart of the conflict and free herself from an abusive relationship. I could see perceived self-control, interpreted as self-blame, as the very mechanism that keeps a woman in a violent setting: “if I don’t do XYZ again, then he probably won’t hurt me”. As such, how can interventions empower women to feel that they have control in their relationship and thus feel inspired to address the wrongdoing instead of rationalize it away as an act that they provoked?

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