Domestic violence by proxy is a pattern of behavior rather than a set of specific actions. The underlying motives for abusers are power and control. While in the relationship, the abusive person can abuse in more ways than one, usually directly. Once separation occurs, the children become the most effective means of abuse.
According to this theory, the abuser knows they are abusing and the actions are specific and intentional. Other people, such as therapists, attorneys, or child protection agents, are often duped by the narcissistic person’s behaviors and may come out against the non-abusive parent. An abusive parent may even end up with primary custody of children as a result.