In this month’s domestic violence library article, we discussed what steps domestic abusers can take toward stopping abuse, understanding their issues, and ultimately stopping their abusive and harmful behavior. However, it is important for victims of domestic abuse to understand that many abusers will say they are sorry or act like they are sorry when, in fact, they are just continuing the classic cycle of physical and emotional abuse.
What are the red flags of a domestic violence apology that all victims of abuse should be wary of?
- Excuses for their violent actions. “I was drunk” or “I was angry” are no excuses for domestic abuse. If you don’t hear the person say, “There is no excuse for what I did,” they are not on the road to change.
- Playing down what happened. Abusers want you to think what happened wasn’t a big deal – but it was. Don’t buy it when they minimize the event.
- Shifting or sharing blame. Did your abuser just say sorry – but then mention something about how you could have stopped the situation or how you made him or her do it? Be very, very wary of these statements.
- Ignoring details. If your abuser can apologize – but not say what he or she did out loud – they simply don’t have a full understanding of the gravity of the event. If your abuser skims over the most violent parts of the incident, it’s a red flag.
Abusers can change in the wake of a domestic violence incident – but this change often requires the help of a professional therapist, a full acknowledgement and awareness of what happened, and lots of introspection. It does not happen overnight.
Do you need the legal assistance of a Seattle domestic violence lawyer? Call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today at 425-460-0550 to speak an attorney who can help.