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I am a Mental health counselor and see a situation that is so common that there must be a name for it. What do you call it? When there is an incident between an abusive person and his or her usual victim, then the abuser calls the cops. They may or not have self harmed, but they tell a tall tale that gets the victim arrested. Often the victim doesn't refute the story to prevent the abuser from going to jail, since they already have a criminal record.  The victim gets coerced by the court system to take a plea deal for domestic violence which has many oppressive effects on the victim for sometimes decades after that.

Is there a name for that situation? If not let’s create one.

I recently asked a couple ladies from the local women's shelter. They said "reactive abuse", but that's for an incident when a victim has a fight reaction and, for the moment, becomes physically violent. In all the cases I hear about, the victim was not more violent that the abuser, often not physical at all.

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DARVO is a great acronym.  The situation that you described is part of the Power & Control dynamics of abuse. By using the legal system against the victim, the perpetrator attempts to keep the victim under his control and by weaponizing the legal system is how he/they continues the pattern of exerting their power.  "turning the tables" and making themselves look like the victim and by using manipulation and gaslighting is how the perpetrator makes the victim seem "crazy" and put themselves in a good light.

This is also a flaw in the justice system that makes it hard for victims to be believed, particularly when you have a police force/judicial system that is not trained in the dynamics of domestic violence.


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Power & Control Wheel

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