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The question that you posted covers two areas of abuse. The first area is the behavior responses of the victim or abused person. The second is the behavior of the abuser.
Victims often feel a sense of protection toward their abuser. The person may lie to cover up situations, bruises, the abusers' behavior, or his or her role in the situation. If the abuser is the source of family financial support, the victim may fear that without the person in his or her life, he or she can not provide for the family. One of the most common statements made by victims is the statement "When he or she is good, he or she is really good, but when he or she is bad, he or she is really awful." The reason for this is found in the abuser's behavior. The abuser engages in an abusive action and afterwards may experience genuine remorse for his or her behavior. The result is expressed kindness and begging for forgiveness. The action results in the victim forgiving the abuser who usually promises to change, but the cycle is repeated.
No one set of behaviors is engaged in by an abuser. However, certain behavior is linked in the relationship and expectations by the abuser. Abusers may isolate the victim by talking the person into moving away from family and friends. Outside relationships between the victim and others are lessened over time. The abuser can be charming and may present as friendly and good-natured in the community. However, when home and angered or experiencing a shift in mood, he or she becomes agitated at the victim and takes his or her emotions out on the victim. He or she may be very controlling and jealous. Some abusers are not charming and demonstrate their violent behaviors beyond the home.
The most confusing aspect of spousal abuse is the interdependence that develops that perpetuates the abuse. Of course, some abusers are extremely dangerous and will track down and kill a spouse, while others play a cat-and-mouse-like game destroying the victim's feeling of self-worth.
The information that I provided concerns spousal abuse. In children who are victims of abuse, one may see very different responses. The child may act out, withdraw, lie about the injuries, engage in protective behavior towards the abuser, or develop health problems.
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