- Dehumanization, diverting attention away from acts of abuse by claiming that the abuse was justified based on another person’s bad behavior (typically the victim).
- Grooming for abusive power and control by soliciting sympathy from others in order to gain their assistance in supporting or enabling the abuse of a victim (known as proxy abuse).
It is common for abusers to engage in victim playing. This serves two purposes:
- Justification, to themselves, in transactional analysis known as existential validation, as a way of dealing with the cognitive dissonance that results from inconsistencies between the way they treat others and what they believe about themselves.
- Justification to others as a strategy of evading or deflecting harsh judgment or condemnation they may fear from others.