Do abusers know what their actions do to others?

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Abuse can be seen in many different lights. Some abusers act physically on their victims, preferring to intimidate or force people into submission. Other abusers may use phycological methods of abuse, such as gaslighting, undermining or bullying.

The common question people ask is, especially people whose significant other is acting aggressively, “do abusers know their actions hurt the people around them?” It can be thought that abusive people do have some kind of self-awareness that tells them they’re taking advantage of others, but that doesn’t mean every abuser sees their actions as such.

Here’s what you should know:

Some people are raised in violent environments

Abusers aren’t born to act aggressively and controlling. One psychological belief is that people are born with an inherent genetic nature that affects how we develop a personality and people’s personalities are, ultimately, formed through their experiences, environments, interactions, social relationships and surrounding culture – otherwise known as nature versus nurture.

So, in theory, people aren’t born evil and are abusive because they were raised in environments around people who likely abused them or taught them controlling tactics. For example, a child, whose mother was controlling of their actions, may grow up to be controlling over their children’s actions. Or, a person who assaults their spouse may raise an adult who, in turn, assaults their spouse.

Additionally, many common social and cultural beliefs have changed over the centuries. It was once highly believed that women should stay at home and tend to their husband’s every need, otherwise, they may face some form of punishment. Today, this view may be looked down on and seen as abusive.

Because of this, it can be hard for people to realize that their actions negatively impact the people around them when they were raised not to see differently. Abusers aren’t raised to realize the consequences of their actions.

However, people can change. It often takes time for abusers to turn over a new leaf. But, people can’t change without help from others and may need to know their legal options when looking to start again.