Cancelled flights.

Falling stock prices.

Closing schools.


On the verge of a global crisis, many people are demonstrating their ability to handle emergency situations.

In some cases, stores are being emptied of basic necessities, like toilet paper.

In others, people are calling for a closure of schools and other public gatherings.

Betrayal Trauma Recovery will leave the handling of the national emergency to the authorities and focus on helping women everywhere learn what abusive behaviors they should watch for in this time of crisis.  

Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery, warns that in times of crises abusers may escalate and their victims should watch for an increase of abusive behaviors.

“A lot of women have trouble, and abusive episodes happen, when they’re on vacation or on the weekend or other times they’re with the abuser full time. He doesn’t have an outlet to act out or get out of family duties. Generally speaking, abusers will do anything they can to get out of doing anything or a situation they feel uncomfortable with.”

-Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

Oftentimes, they’ll use work as an excuse and when their victim “complains” about how much time they’re spending on work, the abuse will come back with remarks such as, “You don’t respect my work,” “You don’t respect me,” or “My job is important.”

Unfortunately, during this time, as major events are being cancelled, schools are closing down and people are being asked to work virtually, a woman may find herself feeling stuck with her abuser and see more abusive behaviors come out.

Some men will be good and reliable in a crisis and others will become more abusive.

This comes from their loss of power and control.

Anne explains this phenomenon.

“Abusers get their power from ‘power over,’ while healthy people get their power from a sense of mutuality. Like ‘We’re on a team, working together. We have mutual respect for each other.’”

-Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

In other words, a healthy person gets their power from both partners working for the relationship.

An abuser, on the other hand, gets his power from having control over his partner.

Abusers thrive on power over and control over others. A healthy relationship thrives on mutuality and both people having personal power.
An abuser gets his power from having power over someone.

In a crisis, an abuser may feel a lack of control. When this happens, he may try to start a fight with his victim over things that seem pointless, like cereal.

Anne explains.

“This may be because they’re flailing in their sense of self, because they have no personal power, unless they feel like they can control someone else. They are not in control of themselves.”

-Anne Blythe, founder of Betrayal Trauma Recovery

During this time of crisis, Betrayal Trauma Recovery wants you to continue to stay safe and hold your boundaries.

If you are noticing an increase in abusive behaviors in your husband or just beginning to see the abusive behaviors or just need a safe place to talk about your experiences with abuse and betrayal, Betrayal Trauma Recovery is here for you.

Whether you join from your closet, your car, or your bedroom, Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group is that safe place. With more than 15 sessions a week, it’s easier than ever to find a BTR Group session that fits your schedule without having to leave your home. Each session is led by a Certified Betrayal Trauma Specialist.

Full Transcript:

Welcome to Betrayal Trauma Recovery, this is Anne.

It’s early in the morning today. Everyone is concerned, for good reason, about the coronavirus outbreak, and all the flights that are cancelled and the stock market and people being quarantined and employers telling people to work from home, etc.

I wanted to talk about how men who exhibit abusive behaviors, tend to escalate during a crisis—although they may put on the opposite, they may be really, really good during a crisis. It could be any of those things. Just to prepare you, especially if you’re quarantined with a man who’s exhibiting abusive behaviors.

A lot of women have trouble, and abusive episodes happen, when they’re on vacation, or on the weekend, or other times when they might be with the abuser full-time, and he doesn’t have an outlet to either go act out, or something to excuse himself or get out of family duties. Generally-speaking, abusers like to use any excuse they can to get out of housework, or things they don’t want to do, or to get away from a situation that they feel uncomfortable with.

Abusers Can React To Stress With Abuse

Work is a really good excuse, so we hear a lot of abusive men saying things like, “You don’t respect my work,” “You don’t respect me,” “My job is important,” “I need to be able to work in peace.” We know that that’s an issue.

If you are about to be quarantined with a man exhibiting abusive behaviors, just observe what happens. If they don’t have an outlet to be able to use their “drug” (porn, masturbation, etc.), they may create a fight so that they can get away to use their drug. That’s not your fault. They want to blame it on you, but don’t buy it.

You’re going to notice things that you didn’t notice before. For example, I have a friend whose ex-husband remarried. It was going really well and she was a little confused. She was like, “Wow, he was extremely abusive to me, but this new marriage seems to be going really well. They’re active in church, things look good.” His new wife travelled for work, so she was gone frequently and things were good.

Then, about seven years after they got married, the new wife got pregnant with twins. Within a couple of years, they were divorced. Because once the new wife didn’t travel anymore and she was at home, she recognized what was going on. She was interacting with her husband more and started recognizing that, “Oh, these abusive behaviors are not working for me,” and they got divorced.

Abuse Does Not Care About Crisis

We see that a lot, so just be on the lookout for that. I know that’s really scary to say. I know a lot of you have thought, “Can I really count on this man during a crisis?” Well, the crisis is here and you’ll be able to see.

We are here during this time. Thank goodness I created BTR this way, so that no matter what happens, we are safe. We can help you. You can join Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group from your closet. You can just go get in your parked car and lock the doors and have a safe space, you don’t even have to go anywhere.

We’re not going anywhere, we’ll be open, you can join us, like I said, if you have to be in your room and lock the door, or whatever you need to do to get some semblance of peace. You can see our Daily Support Group schedule, we have three sessions today, at Go to Services, and click on Online Support Group.

Know that, during this time, I’m praying for all of us, that this can be a way to help recognize if we’re not safe. This might be the miracle that you’ve been praying for, you never know, that you can start recognizing what’s really happening and get to safety. It might enable you to see that what you thought were abusive behaviors, weren’t really—I don’t really know what your situation is, but I do know that during your crisis time, things can get very tricky.

When abusive men feel a lack of control—because they get their power from power over and healthy people get their power from a sense of mutuality, “We’re on a team, we’re working together. We have mutual respect,” but abusers get their power from power over.

If they’re feeling a lack of control right now because of the stock market crashing, because they can’t go to work for other reasons, they’re going to try to get their power back, so you’re going to see some abusive behaviors coming up.

They may try to pick a fight over something that seems mundane. It might be an argument over cereal. It might be just strange things that they try to assert themselves and take a stand for something that seems pointless.

That may be because they’re flailing in their sense of self, because they have no personal power, unless they feel like they can control someone else. They are not in control of themselves. Watch for these things.

This might be a good time to listen to The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans or Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft or Healing from Hidden Abuse by Shannon Thomas. We have a lot of books on our Books page, You can go there and it will link you directly to Amazon.

If you’re in close proximity with someone exhibiting abusive behaviors and you still want to get educated during this time, an audiobook is a great way to go. It will link to Amazon and you can get it on Audible, you can have it delivered to your home.

I’m making a list right now, of things that I need to get at the grocery store, just in case we’re quarantined. I have on my miracle board, what do I need to do to protect my family? I’m praying and thinking about this and I’m praying for all of us, during this scary time that may resolve itself rather quickly, within three to four months, or this may be a really long trial for all of us. We don’t know yet, so keep calm and carry on, I guess. Know that my love is with you and, until Tuesday, stay safe out there.

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