Abusive Relationships and Domestic Violence
Childcare and Babysitting

How do abusers become abusers?



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By being abused themselves.

How an abuser becomes abusive

This is a question of nature vs. nurture. Although abusive behavior is passed on within families, it would seem that it is more about the family dynamics of both the parents and other family members than genetic. Within the family, if abusive behavior (verbal or physical abuse) is condoned, especially by blaming the victim, it will become an acceptable way to deal with emotions. An abused child is more likely to become an abuser himself to his/her family as an adult if it is not recognized and dealt with. (and sometimes, even then) In my life, children within the family did not have their emotional needs met as children and grew up without being able to show empathy or compassion. One thing that remains to be said: the victim of the abuse does NOT cause the abuser to become abusive--it is the abuser's choice of behavior. It is best to have a professional handle the issue, since they have the training to create boundaries and effect change. A good book on this subject is Patricia Evans' The Verbally Abusive Relationship.

Abusers became abusers by how they were raised. Spoiled and neglected children often become abusers because their parents conditioned them in both cases to reject accountability for their bad behavior. The parents who spoiled their children have kids that were conditioned to expect to get away with murder and not have to face consequences. They believe it is their right to do whatever they feel without suffering a consequence, even if it hurts others. They were raised to be self-centered, arrogant, always thinking they are right. And flying into an abusive rage when life drops little hints that the universe does not, in fact, revolve around them. A neglected child faces a similiar fate, although they will be less successful in life. Both the spoiled and the neglected never learned to tie bad behavior to conseqeunces, both never learned they needed to control their tantrums, both were conditioned into believing they aren't responsable for their behavior. Both were conditioned into this behavior by their parents (their lack of parenting, actually). The prerequisist for being an abuser is a profound selfishness and sense of entitlement. Abuse doesn't happen without those traits. Often they come upon these traits because they were spoiled growing up. Or their parents failed to raise them properly with discipline that fit their transgressions. A neglectful parent and a parent that spoils their kids can have the same effect. It creates a selfish, baby like personality that doesn't think it needs to face consequences, and throws a tantrum at the slightest discomfort. Its a myth to say that abused people become abusers themselves. Only self-centered, un-empathic, entitled people abuse. It is also a myth that abusers simply can't control their impluses. They can and do. Why else do they behave abusively behind closed doors, only to their loved ones...yet turn on the charm and act all sweetness and light in public or in front of authorities? They CHOOSE to abuse so that they can get away with it. They know what they are doing. They know it is wrong. They simply don't care. They are experts at behaving badly and getting away with it. They were raised perfectly for that.