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Darvo Abuse

DARVO Abuse is a form of gaslighting. Perpetrators of DARVO reverse the victim and offender roles by claiming victimhood and falsely accusing the person they harmed of being abusive.

DARVO is a victim-blaming tactic manipulators use to avoid being accountable for the harm they cause.

DARVO is a mechanism for scapegoating. It can have a devastating impact on the mental health of victim-survivor, causing catastrophic psycho-social wounds.

Consequently, someone who has been targeted for DARVO abuse may develop chronic anxiety, major depression, or post-traumatic stress.

DARVO is an acronym for Deny, Attack, Reverse, Victim, and Offender. It was first coined by Jennifer J. Freyd, Ph.D. She is a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon and the founder of the Center for Institutional Courage.

Dr Freyd explains, “The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim – or the whistleblower – into an alleged offender.”

Consequently, someone who is the target of a DARVO campaign undergoes the devastating process of scapegoating.

Without a doubt, survivors can experience paralyzing shock and awe at the sheer audacity of the perpetrator’s false claims of victimhood.

Moreover, DARVO inflicts psycho-social wounds and trauma especially when the perpetrator’s deception successfully destroys the credibility of the true victim.

Indeed, the perpetrator uses inherent bystander biases to spread an effective scapegoat story about the victim.

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