In his groundbreaking book, Why Does He Do That? abuse expert Lundy Bancroft categorizes the ten types or faces of abuse that he observed in his years of counseling two thousand men who were found to be abusive in their romantic relationships.
While Bancroft did not focus on abusive women in his book, he stated that abuse consists of assaults on self-esteem, a lack of respect for the other person, controlling behavior, and undermining independence.
It would be foolish to think that only men can be abusive (just as it would be to think that abuse only occurs in heterosexual relationships since the victims in the book are women) but in deference to Bancroft, I decided to honor the specificity of his work.
If you are a man reading this (or Bancroft’s book) bear this in mind. Yes, women can be abusive but these findings were of abusive men. I’ve found that women can easily apply to all but one of the types listed below.
What is of more importance is noting that these ten types are not ten distinct types of people, but are the ten faces that any abuser can have. This means that one will see a certain abusive side in a certain context, and then see another abusive side in a different context.
It is of the utmost importance that this is remembered because as common as abuse is, it is not well understood. Bancroft demystifies the phenomenon of abuse throughout his book because it is due to a limited understanding of abuse that gives rise to sentiments such as, “if the relationship is so bad why don’t you leave?” and “if I do this act in the right way, I will escape mistreatment.”
1. The Demand Man
This face of abuse is about entitlement. Specifically, there is little to no reciprocity, and when the Demand Man does something for their partner, they will never shut up about it. Their one act of kindness deserves at least one hundred acts of kindness from you.
True to the name, the Demand Man makes a number of demands that must be accomplished at a specified time. However, if anything is asked of him, he will be offended. This person must have his or her own way and will not tolerate any inconveniences, otherwise a punishment will be doled out.