Thursday Thought — My abuser is not as bad as others are, so is it really abuse?
My husband is abusive, but he isn’t nearly as bad as what some others have experienced. For example, he has never hit me. So, would he still be considered an abuser?
All abusers are characterized by certain fundamental attitudes which are the elemental building blocks of what we define as abuse. Without these, a person is not an abuser as we have defined the term: entitlement/superiority, power, control, and justification.
. . . We must also emphasize that not all abusers operate at the same level of intensity. Abuse functions along a scale or range (“spectrum,” as Bancroft labels it), from lesser to greater. This is vital for us to understand [because] it will enable us to recognize abuse for what it really is, even in what appears to be the “less serious” cases. We need not find the most severe abusive tactics before we can conclude that a man is an abuser. (While some abusers physically beat their victim, others are passive abusers — refusing to work or take responsibility for example).
Jesus said that the man who actually commits murder and the man who hates someone in his heart are both murderers (Matthew 5:21-22). While we would all rather be murdered by the second man than the first, the reality is that the essential heart of murder is present in both men. And so it is with abuse.
(From Ps Jeff Crippen’s book, A Cry for Justice [*Affiliate link] pp.93-94)