Abusive Women “Acceptable” By Double Standards

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October 26th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Reading through Dr. Tara Palmatier’s excellent and entertaining website A Shrink For Men, one can see how men are frequently abused by mentally ill women. The women may have grown up in abusive homes, have hormonal imbalances, or just are “plain crazy” perhaps with a personality disorder (especially the DSM-IV Cluster B ones including Borderline, Narcissistic, Histrionic, and Antisocial) or two mixed in. Add in some other disorders, such as common co-morbid conditions including bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and an eating disorder and you’ve got almost a purpose-built “killing machine” who can and will attack and ruin anybody who gets in her way. She’ll likely get away with it, too.

Our society enables and encourages women to abuse others. From domestic violence to child abuse to psychological terror, women are treated as if they are authorized to ruin the lives of others with no repercussions on themselves. Amazingly, they often are able to recruit “professionals” to help them conduct their abuse campaigns against men. Besides the typical gender biased CPS social workers and other government servants, one of the most notable of these abuse allies are incompetent mental health professionals.

Adam Cunningham Dies Due to DV Attack by Wife Ellie Cunningham



Some of Adam’s Injuries

As a woman, I feel ashamed of how some of my sisters use their gender to get away with emotionally, verbally, psychologically, and physically abusing others. It particularly bothers me that they do this extensively to men, sometimes even going so far as to drive them to react in self-defense or even to kill them, and then “flip reality” to make themselves the victims when there is no question these women were the aggressors.

Occasionally, they are held accountable for their crimes such as those in the domestic violence attack against Canadian husband Adam Cunningham by his wife Ellie Cunningham which left him dead from complications of the assault. See the pictures to the left of some of Adam’s injuries from being slashed by a broken wine bottle. It took a public outcry to convince the Canadian government to bring Ellie Cunningham to trial. The results remain unclear even now. The trial was scheduled for September 29, 2009, yet there is little to no information available about it. Will Ellie walk away unpunished for her crimes? It’s quite possible she will.

“Therapists” Enable and Assist Abusive Women to Commit Violence

All too often, abuses and crimes by women get written off as tolerable or acceptable due to a double standard in which women are “acceptable aggressors” and men are to be blamed for all conflict and wrongdoing. Abusive and violent women go shopping for a “therapist” who will help them justify and even execute their campaigns of terror and violence against men.

Dr. Palmatier is one woman with a doctorate in psychology who understands this is how many abusive women operate. Unfortunately, the victim feminist gender bias endemic to the training of many in the less scientifically rigorous realms of the mental health professions have created an army of abuse-enabling therapists who are ready, willing, and able to attack men on behalf of their female clients. They view it as their job to gang up on abused men, file false domestic violence and child abuse reports against them, and support their clients at terrorizing these men. Often this is part of a parental alienation campaign during a child custody battle, but it can just as easily happen with no children involved at all.

You may think that a person close to you, someone whom you may have known for decades, would never lie like this against you. You’d be wrong, this happens every day. By the time you discover this, the campaign to destroy your reputation may have been underway for years. The targets against whom Borderlines and Narcissists invest the most effort to destroy are usually those to whom they were once emotionally closest. They often start them long before an actual breakup or divorce, perhaps as a means to weaken you and gain power over your relationship and influence those around you.

(from BPD Distortion Campaigns)

Distortion campaigns are often done behind the scenes against people who are or were related or emotionally close to the perpetrator. They may start months or years before the target is even aware of the campaign. For instance, the breakup of a relationship is often connected to a distortion campaign against a former partner. The campaign may have started a long time before the breakup, to give the Borderline “justification” regarding what she or he is about to do to the target, be it kicking them out of a home, filing false domestic violence charges, running away with the children, stealing large quantities of joint money and property, or some other hostile actions. By the time the target is aware of the distortions, people around the Borderline may have been hearing for a long time that the target is some evil, horrible, cruel person as part of the distortion campaign.

Distortion Campaigns Aim To Recruit Allies to Attack Target

The ability of the aggressor to portray herself as a victim can be truly amazing. Women who have one or more of the DSM-IV Cluster B personality disorders tend to be convincingly emotionally intense to the untrained observer. They often have a compulsion to lie pathologically to hurt others, something they may view as “protecting” themselves by controlling the world around them with their lies. They can over the course of months or years create a false reality in which their target or targets have been vilified with their distorted views to dozens, even hundreds, of people in their circle of friends, child service providers (daycare, preschool, teachers, babysitters, doctors, neighbors, church pastors, etc.), and ultimately government “professionals” who join them in their battle to ruin their target.

(from BPD Distortion Campaigns)

The BP (short for “Borderline Personality” or “Borderline Person”) is likely to make extreme false allegations, distortions, and varied lies to defame and harm her or his former partner and other targets. The BP is also likely to involve many other people in the distortion campaign. Many are passive participants who will listen and believe the BP’s lies. Others become actively involved in spreading them further. The target may find that there are dozens of people, many whom have never met him or her, who believe and repeat the lies of the BP.

It’s common and almost legally mandated for therapists to practice the “believe your patient, don’t talk with anybody else” style of therapy which enables Borderlines and Narcissists to create hugely damaging webs of lies and then have their therapists attack their targets via the mandatory reporting regulations that govern therapists. This is one of the essential reasons for why common therapy practices in the US are so dangerous to people involved with Borderlines and Narcissists. You may avoid therapists who can be manipulated, but you can be reasonably sure the Borderline or Narcissist attacking you will use them to their full advantage.

Incompetent Therapists Can Do Worse Than Ruin A Relationship

It’s really common for a woman with BPD or NPD to be able to twist reality and align the therapist with her, turning what are supposed to be problem-solving therapy sessions with some objectivity into hateful and torturous group attacks against the male target. It’s particularly common for female therapists to do this, but male therapists who have been brainwashed by the perversions of victim feminism can engage in the same behaviors.

(from Choice of Marriage Therapist is Critical)

The choice of a marriage therapist is a very serious matter. Some of them are pro-marriage, capable of maintaining civility during sessions, and push both parties to try to work out their problems but in a neutral, unbiased fashion and without ordering the patients to take drastic actions. Such therapists can be a great asset. They will listen to both sides objectively, tease out inconsistencies, get people to open up about their real problems and issues, and enable progress towards resolving the problems. The best of them even gradually teach their clients how to do these things themselves.

However, if you pick a poor therapist, you may rapidly find that not only will your marriage be destroyed, you may also end up with losing contact with your children and/or false criminal allegations against you. This is particularly a problem for men, but can happen to women, too.

A poor marriage therapist can destroy your marriage and create a “death spiral” out of your life.

After many months of working with a couple and being able to maintain some control and objectivity during counseling sessions, there may come a time at which a competent therapist may encourage the couple to consider the question of whether the continuation of the marriage or relationship is a good thing for both parties. A competent therapist might recognize that the person with all the complaints is really a controlling person who is the main source of problems in the relationship and that the target being blamed for all that is wrong is being walked all over and probably isn’t the primary source of the troubles. But as it can take literally years of psychotherapy to identify a person who is a Borderline or Narcissist, any therapist who believes he or she can determine what is going on in just a few sessions is irresponsibly and unrealistically enamored of his or her own capabilities. Incompetent therapists will often blame the victim after learning almost nothing about the relationship.

(from Comment In Response to: Friendship, Enabling or Collusion? Email from a Friend of a Potential NPD or BPD Wife)

I will never forget when my X-wife and I went to our first marriage counseling session. It was a female counselor (masters in psych.) and she wished to talk to us individually first. She saw my X first. Forty-five minutes later I was called into her office and my X was still present and I was asked to have a seat. Once I sat down, I looked over at my X and she had this smirk upon her face. I turned to the counselor and asked if her and I were going to have our private session. She then advised me that it was her conclusion that my wife and I should seek separation in the best interest of the marriage. I was floored!! I stated to her that such a conclusion when I had not even spoken to her was absurd. I then asked her on what basis did she make such a conclusion and she stated it was confidential between her and my wife. Fortunately we drove separate cars, and I walked out. Never returned and filed for divorce a few days later.

My X wife was a very high functioning personality disordered woman, undiagnosed, but had most of the traits and characteristics. The woman I speak of frequently on this site was an interpersonal relationship of 5 years, who was far more aggressive. (yes, I was a glutten for punishment, 23 years total.) Obviously a slow learner as well, for I did not know what I was up against in either case until 11 months ago! My research since then has not only opened my eyes up to the disorders themselves, also to the lack of experienced counselors/psych’s who are duped by these disordered individuals. It’s an amazing mind, and skillsets these manipulative creatures have! Barr none, Dr. T’s site provides the most comprehensive, straight forward, and insightful information available to men (and women). Dr.T, maybe you should provide a school/seminars for these green pea counselors and psych’s!

You may find that the first or second time you meet an incompetent therapist, you are told that you have refused to “accept responsibility” and are advised to get a divorce. No competent and ethical marriage therapist should ever make such a rash statement so quickly during conjoint counseling sessions. If you encounter one who does, do everything you can to marginalize that therapist as quickly as possible. Whatever you do, realize that an incompetent therapist like this can literally be a threat to your very freedom and even life.

Immediately find another counselor for you and your significant other. Consider filing professional association and licensing board complaints against the therapist and publicizing what a irresponsible quack the person is to help others from falling into the same trap. Be sure to be honest about your complaints and try to stick to what you can prove or statements that are clearly opinion that can’t be easily twisted around to attack you.

A Competent “360 Degree” Therapist Can Help

Even if you want to end the relationship and don’t think anybody can change the course underway towards the relationship rocks, realize that you are far better off with a competent therapist involved. A competent therapist may help calm down the fruitcake who is planning to ruin your life, thus saving you from a deadly barrage of false abuse reports with the credibility of a “mandatory reporter” backing them up that can quickly have you on the end of criminal domestic violence allegations, a kick-out order removing you from your home, and even being banned from contact with your children. An incompetent therapist, on the other hand, is very likely to help make all of those dire outcomes happen, especially if the irresponsible fool is listening and believing the person abusing you.

One key to finding a therapist who can help is to get a therapist who is willing and able to talk with multiple people around you, including friends and family who independently support your views or at least don’t just repeat the defamation they hear about you without personal knowledge. If you cannot get a therapist to participate in this “360 degree” style therapy, you are a much higher risk of being harmed by an incompetent therapist who will let herself become a co-aggressor with the abusive woman and help her ruin your life. You may find her reporting you to CPS for child abuse and domestic violence, calling the police to report you have attempted to murder her patient, and talking with “government experts” like CPS social workers about what a horrible and dangerous person you are. She may have never met you or already hated you before she did because of how she was manipulated by a few initial contacts of the Borderline or Narcissist female who is employing her as an ally in violence against you, but regardless of how incompetent she is, she can still do drastic damage to you.

If there is to be progress at ending abuse by women, medical privacy and ethics laws and training in the mental health professions in the US and other countries which practice therapy similarly must change significantly. As it stands today, the privacy rules enable abusive manipulators to use mental health professionals to commit crimes against targets who don’t even know what is being done to them until they have been severely damaged. These professionals should be held legally liable for their harmful conduct and in some cases should lose their licenses to practice mental health. Unfortunately, that seldom happens. Medical licensing boards regard wrongly destroying the life of a person via incompetent and even illegal conduct to be unimportant and far less worthy of licensing suspension or revocation than a billing mistake that upset an insurance company or an alleged illegal sexual tryst with a Borderline patient who was looking to seduce the therapist to gain power over him or her.

Palmatier’s article How to Find a Good Therapist If You Are Involved with an Emotionally Abusive Woman discusses some of the challenges in even attempting to find a competent therapist to help with a relationship involving an abusive woman:

(from How to Find a Good Therapist If You Are Involved with an Emotionally Abusive Woman)

If you’re a man who’s in a relationship with an emotionally abusive woman, finding a good therapist can be a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Although couples counseling is often futile when one partner has NPD and/or BPD, if you must pursue couples work, protect yourself by screening out therapists who will collude and enable your partner to further abuse you.

A far better use of your time and money is individual therapy or consultation in which you seek support and guidance to understand the effects of your abusive relationship, to decide if you want to end the relationship, to learn coping skills, to mourn the loss of the relationship and/or to understand what attracted you to this person and the faulty belief system that kept you in the relationship.

Female Abusers Hide True Selves Inside Shells That Look Good

Don’t fall for the misperceptions that well-educated women who come from “good families” (from what you’ve seen or been told) can’t be abusive. A lot of emotional and verbal child abuse is very hard to detect yet is damaging far beyond the bruises and cuts from being hit or kicked around a few times per year. The daily message from an abusive mother or father that you’re in danger and can be harmed, even when conveyed via verbal and emotional violence, wreaks havoc with a growing child’s psyche.

Your abusive wife or girlfriend may look like a self-assured supermodel, be as smart as famous scientist Madam Marie Curie, and be accomplished in her field of work whether it is medicine, teaching, or running a small business. But inside, she could be a frightened sociopathic menace who is bent on controlling you through abuse and terror to make herself feel safe because that’s what she learned to do as a child. Many of Dr. Palmatier’s writings focus on learning the signs of abuse and coming to a realization that you are indeed being abused by a violent women who uses words as weapons that are more harmful than if she just whacked you with a fist in the face.

Kameron Kiggins’ Article About Female Abuse of Males

One of the things I really like about the Dr. Palmatier’s website is the insightful thinking of many of her readers and how they open up with their own personal stories of misery, abuse, and the impact on their lives. Reader Kameron Kiggins has written an excellent synopsis entitled Truth, Damned Truth, and Statistics about the feminist abuse double standard and how it affects him personally as he’s been emotionally abused in relationship after relationship. Beyond being thoughtful and informative, he’s also including some very pointed cartoons and illustrations that help make his point. He draws from sources in pop culture (Dr. Laura Schlesinger and Warren Farrell) to academia (Martin Fiebert and Murray Straus) to cite example after example of how abusive and criminal women get little more than slaps on the wrist for their crimes. Of particular note is the involvement of women in sexual abuse of boys about which he writes:

(from Truth, Damned Truth, and Statistics)

Perhaps the most glaring example of a double-standard that gives women a pass for abuse is the public and legal response to the wave of school teachers having sex with their underage students.

My client admits to raping a minor, but agrees to undergo surgery to become an attractive blonde female.

“Because of the cultural myths that women cannot be sexually exploitative, the traumatic impact of abuse of boys by women is particularly minimized in our culture. […] Indeed, one sexual abuse researcher has gone so far as to say that ‘sexual abuse by women is virtually nonexistent’ […] Consequently, a boy is likely to feel he is ‘supposed’ to enjoy sexual encounters whether they are welcome or not, especially if the initiator is female but not his mother. […] [T]he boy who is molested or abused by a woman is often unaware he is being victimized. […] If a boy discusses such events with his peers, he is often congratulated for his luck, with no one paying any attention to his uneasiness or feelings of being used or exploited.” (Gartner, 2001; emphasis added)

“[W]ith no one paying any attention to his uneasiness or feelings of being used or exploited.” Perhaps because men’s feelings are irrelevant?

Just an idea…

A long-term study of over 17,000 adults found that 16% of men and 25% of women reported sexual abuse during their childhood. Of those who reported abuse, 40% of the men and 6% of the women said their perpetrator(s) were female. (Dube, et al. 2005). Smaller-scale studies revealed that 10% of women molested as children and between 44% and 78% of men molested as children reported a female abuser. (Fritz, et al., 1981; Johnson & Shrier, 1987; Fromuth & Burkhart, 1987) One analysis found that “societal gate keeping” tends to filter all but the most deviant and egregious female sexual abusers from legal prosecution, because everyone (falsely, mistakenly) knows that women simply don’t commit sex crimes. (Allen, 1991)

Depending on the study and terminology, between 4.2% and 46.2% of women have committed, or attempted to commit sexually aggressive acts against a man in a dating context. (Williams, et al., 2008; Stets & Pirog-Good, 1989).

These studies are empirical evidence establishing that the general population, mental health professional and law enforcement officials are all likely to embrace double-standards about abuse. If he’s out of line, he’s penalized. But when she’s out of line, the lines are redrawn.

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Further Reading

Recovering from Personality Disordered Abusive Relationships

Female Sex Offenders Escape Detection Due to Sexism

How to Spot a Girl with Borderline Personality Disorder

False Feminists and Abusive and Murderous Women

Choice of Marriage Therapist is Critical

How to Find a Good Therapist If You Are Involved with an Emotionally Abusive Woman

Truth, Damned Truth, and Statistics

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  1. October 26th, 2009 at 18:55 | #1

    Hi June,

    Oh my goodness. Thank you for the very flattering review of my work. I’m “chuffed.” I also really like Kameron Kiggins’ blog. I generally like his perspective on things. He’s a very thoughtful writer.

    Thanks again and keep fighting the good fight.

    Kind Regards,
    Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

  2. Ryan
    October 27th, 2009 at 06:41 | #2

    I just wanted to say, keep up the good work. Maybe one day we victims will be listened to and recognized. It’s interesting that when I share my story of abuse with other men, so many come forward and admit that they too had been abused at one point or another.

    We keep quiet because our stories are at times so unbelievable and I myself have blocked out some of the more painful episodes (it’s easier to cope that way).

    Please keep up the good work and please keep educating other therapists to ‘stay frosty’ even with their clients.

  3. Mandi
    March 26th, 2012 at 18:28 | #3

    I don’t know if you still follow up for this article, but I wanted to thank you for your extensive research on this subject. I have a very close male friend who is going through hell trying to get away from his wife. He is so buried financially that it’s just killing him slowly. I have heard her on the phone and know she has physically struck him many times. If he was to call the police, he should have the same rights as a woman to file charges, but he wouldn’t. Counseling is not an option for him at this point. He is at the mercy of a mad woman. THANK YOU, though, for this research.

    • March 27th, 2012 at 03:33 | #4


      We haven’t updated that article in a while, but you’re welcome to comment on it or ask questions. The same goes for any other article.

      We’d highly recommend the Shrink4Men website for your friend.

      Involving the police in a domestic dispute often goes badly, even if they understand that the guy is not the abuser. He needs to document his injuries ASAP after each incident, preferably having third party professionals such as doctors examine and photograph them. Have him go to an emergency room to get checked out, even if the injuries do not seem to him to warrant that. The medical staff may be required to file a police report as most are what is called “mandatory reporters” for domestic violence and child abuse. Without this sort of “neutral professional” documentation his honest claims of being physically abused by his wife may be ignored by the court even if the police understand what is going on.

      You can help him, also, by documenting what you are hearing his wife say on the phone and what injuries you see on him.

      A lot of violent women (and men) have mental health problems as a result of a history of child abuse they experienced. Some of these women can be helped, but they have to admit they have a problem and cooperate with overcoming it and engaging in therapy to learn to stop their violent behaviors. Others are beyond any realistic hope and will probably continue to be abusive towards others for life. Your friend should be trying to figure out which is the case here as he could suffer for no good reason for years more if he doesn’t exit the relationship and she is unwilling or unable to sincerely work at stopping her violent behaviors.

      Are there any children involved in this abusive relationship? If there are, she is likely to abuse them, also. The abuse patterns may not be the same for them, however. Often children of these women are abused via parental alienation and intensive emotional manipulation and verbal abuse, but they do escape the worst of the physical abuse that may be heaped on their fathers. However, in all seriousness this non-physical abuse can do a lot more long-lasting damage to many children than being kicked around and hit occasionally does.


  1. October 31st, 2009 at 22:21 | #1
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