By | October 3, 2014 6 Comments

Abusers and their 5-step strategy to get women to drop charges

jail-gA new study reveals the five-step strategy men who are charged with felony domestic violence use to get their female victims to recant their stories.

Researcher Amy Bonomi, associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University, and her team, listened to recorded phone calls between incarcerated men and their female victims.

The analysis of these conversations may fundamentally change how victim advocates and prosecutors work with domestic violence victims to prosecute abusers, according to the researchers.

Jailhouse phone calls reveal why domestic violence victims recant, from Science Daily.

“Meet me at the hill where we used to park”: interpersonal processes associated with victim recantation.

Story suggested by the Lovefraud reader “Totallylost.”

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Hi. Thanks for posting that article. I think this type of research is extremely valuable and enlightening. The physical abuse is only a part of the overall abuser, manipulator, exploiter, … Whatever term you choose to describe their behaviors. Once the bullying becomes physical, that threat is always there whenever opportunity is available, so there is no need to ever mention it especially on a recorded phone. Remember that jennifer Lopez movie – Enough – I think it was called. A little cheesy, I know, but it had heart. One part that stood out for me was when she began to try to take back her power, to stand up and confront the lying, abusing, controlling behaviors that were fraudulently being sold to her as love. Till this point he was able to exploit and abuse her without the physical components. For someone who has never been abused I’m sure it’s hard to imagine fighting your way out of the fog of psychological manipulation, shaking off the cognitive dissonance and projections that your abuser or abusers have been using to shackle you. The feeling of self respect and empowerment swelling within. The light just beginning to promise a new day and then …. This is unacceptable. Wow you are stupid. You Must be Crushed. Still don’t get it. You should have listened to me. Now look what’s happened. Look what you’ve done. Most of the ones I have encountered never resort to physical threats or abuse but use covert triangulation, gaslighting, isolation by slandering, and all kinds of other neat little tricks they have in their spath bags.

4Light2Shine – I agree that this research is exceptionally important. It also does seem to confirm that sociopaths / abusers all operate out of the same play book.


I fell for this ploy not once but twice with my ex- (non-spath) abusive husband.

Then fell for it AGAIN with my ex-sociopath.

They were all misdemeanor arrests, not felonies, but all involved physical violence (remind me again why these are misdemeanors???).

If I’d been counseled about this, I think I would have at least thought twice before agreeing to recant.

Hopefully it helps future victims!


Wow, I think this is really important research and hopefully will save many lives in domestic abuse situations between spouses.

I also think its important to recognize that this very same kind of manipulative behavior can be used by a battering parent on their child.

My mother (borderline pd and narcissistic pd) could easily and unpredictably trigger into a rage and beat the crap out of my younger Sister and me, terrorize us, scald us with vitriolic emotional abuse as well, and after she’d battered us she might:

(1) play the sympathy card:
mother would bawl copious tears and beg us to forgive her, basically demand that we come to her and hug her and comfort her, and she’d promise to never do that to us again. But Sister and I learned early on that our mother’s promises were short-lived. She could trigger into yet another rage at any moment. It was pretty much guaranteed to set her off again if we cried or showed our fear of her; her tear-soaked promises would evaporate in the next rage.

(2) act as though nothing at all had just happened:
mother would ignore the shaking, battered child on the floor and she might even turn on the stereo and sing a perky song. She’d be all happy and relaxed, as though she’d just had a refreshing game of tennis or something. That was a rather Twilight Zone like experience, from my point of view. It made me question reality. Hadn’t I just been beaten and screamed at by my enraged mother, her face beet red and her pupils dilated to solid black like a shark’s eyes? How could she suddenly be so calm and happy, and why doesn’t she even ask me if I’m OK?

So, I hope these techniques that the researchers discovered that battering husbands use, might be used to help battered kids as well.


This is EXACTLY how my daughters ex-husband acted when he tried to get her back after she left for the final time! Although he was not in jail facing charges, the steps he used to try and get her to come back again are exactly the same. I think this technique is just one of many that these spaths use…good information!


Now I know why I went back so many times and what he’s doing now to get me back again!

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