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In the book “Why Does He Do That?” Lundy Bancroft outlines ten types of abusers. You can see the brief description of each type in my previous post on identifying types of abusive men.
Today we are going to dive more into the mindset of the Terrorist
The Attitudes That Drive the Terrorist Abuser
The Terrorist thrives on creating fear. His worst trait is that he takes great pleasure in frequently reminding his partner that he could physically dominate or even kill her. He doesn’t even have to hit her, the threats and bizarre behavior are enough to have her terrified.
A Terrorist might make direct threats, but usually their fear inducing tactics are more sinister. He’ll tape a news article on the wall about a wife who was killed by her husband, kill an animal, pull out his gun to clean it when they are arguing, etc.
The Terrorist is both highly controlling and extremely demanding. These traits are essential to keeping his partner in a state of fear.
The Terrorist is unique in the abuser world in that he actually takes great sadistic pleasure in his abuse. Most abusers rationalize because they are actually ashamed of the way they treat others. The Terrorist, however, thoroughly enjoys making his partner miserable.
Another unique aspect of the terrorist is that he was likely to have been extremely abused himself as a child. This creates a complex collection of psychological problems that are extremely difficult to resolve.
The Partner of The Terrorist
The Terrorist’s partner lives in a constant state of fear. She is afraid to even ask for help because of how he may react. This keeps her very isolated.
The Partner of the terrorist may focus all her energy on getting him help for the issues stemming from him being abused. IT is important for her to understand that THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. She can not heal him, he must want it for himself.
The top focus for the Terrorist’s partner should be getting safe. This is very difficult, however, because of her fear. The trauma from living in this type of environment makes it difficult to think clearly about an exit strategy.
If you are the partner of a terrorist please remember that most women DO get out. The first step to creating a solid exit strategy is to reach out to an abuse hotline as soon as you can safely do so. There are several resources listed at the end of the types of abuser’s post.
Do You Know A Terrorist?
If you are afraid of your partner then you are living in abuse. It’s that simple. There is no maybe about this one. There is no way to have some of these traits without beign abusive. Please do not try to rationalize their behavior. You are in danger.
If you know anyone who is afraid of their partner please be there to help them. Do not judge, or instruct. Be a supportive shoulder to lean on and a safe place to run to when escaping. When she is on her way out the Terrorist is likely to escalate his actions. The only way to stop him, and save her life, is to put up firm boundaries at the very beginning and send him a strong message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. Legal action will be necessary.
If you believe that you are in an abusive relationship please reach out and seek help using the resources at the bottom of the abusive types post here.
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