What causes victims to become perpetrators?
Most people who were abused as a child hardly turn out to be abusers themselves. Adult-to-child abuse is much more common and likely than what adult-to-adult abuse is. This does not, in any way, mean that the latter is any less common or horrifying. Most child abused individuals have been through and know the pain of being a victim. They are familiar with the pain and discomfort any individual goes through when they are being victimised.
Therefore, a majority of such people do not grow up to become perpetrators themselves. Even adults in abusive relationships are more inclined towards a healthy and understanding attitude, as far as other people are concerned. Instead of imitating their abusers, they choose to be nice and normal. Save a few persons who choose to turn out to be like their abusers, many do not.
What are the signs that the abused person is turning abusive?
Having said that, there are a certain number of people, abused as a child or an adult, who turn out to be perpetrators. Even though, they know the pain of being on the receiving end of sexual, physical or verbal abuse, their minds nullify those and they turn abusive themselves. There are plenty of psychological reasons as to why an abused may take the place of an abuser. Some of them are as follows:
- Mention of old abusive relationships:
If your partner consistently and repeatedly keeps bringing up the topic of how they were brutally threatened or beat up as a child, or how they were molested and were helpless, they are dwelling too much on their past condition. If they continuously tell you how monstrous their previous partner was, they are most likely to become one themselves. It is almost as if they are justifying the behaviour of their abusers, and providing themselves reasons for their own actions.
- No change of attitude:
The person remains what he/she was and chooses not to change. They were violent and had a bitter attitude toward other people when they first met you, and promised to rectify their behaviour. They blamed their bitterness on the fact that they were previously abused, and you decided to give them a chance to change themselves.
In spite of all these efforts from your end, there seems to be no change or any effort of change, at the least, from your partner to better their behaviour. Each day seems to be taking them closer to the kind of person their abuser was. This is one of the most reliable signs that your beloved is soon going to victimise other people like he/she was victimised themselves.
What needs to be done?
Mostly, abusers who were victimised are rarely aware that they are slowly becoming the person they once abhorred. Such people do need to be a given a reality check from the sane ones around. You can carry out the following measures in order to ensure that your loved one does not walk down the path of self-destruction and become a cause of other peoples’ deprivation of happiness.
- Have healthy conversations;
Every time you see your partner or any other loved one on the verge of transforming into a monster, you need to calm them down, and ask them what bothers them. The least one can do at this point is hold their horses, and allow some space for them to talk. Make it known to them that they are just about to cross the line of becoming an abuser themselves. Speaking is underrated, and can do more benefit than we actually think.
- Seek therapy:
It is not easy to be an abuse survivor. It takes a plenty of mental and emotional strength to go through the pain and get out of it like a normal person. Such problems can only be addressed with therapy. When your conversations fail to make a difference, you can seek professional help from your partner, and help them in this endeavour. Support them in their initiation and be a strong pillar to lean upon in cases of mental breakdown. It is going to be a difficult journey, and your significant other may need you to stand by him/her throughout.
- Give up on the relationship:
It takes up a lot of mental energy to reach this point. When all methods have been tried and failed, but your partner still shows no signs of recovery, it is time for you to move on. It is a damage to your own self if you continue being in an abusive relationship. If your partner is not willing to change for the better, there is absolutely no doubt that he/she is going to turn into a perpetrator, and abuse you like they were once abused.