WATCH OUT FOR 10 KEY POINTERS
making others believe in that insanity.
It enables the gaslighter to take complete control of their victim, because noone will believe them when they ask for help.
Ten key signs, detailed right, have been identified by women’s organisations so potential victims can spot the dangers posed by gaslighters.
The chief executive of Women’s Aid, Katie Ghose, said the tactic can be so subtle the victim may not be aware of it.
She said: “From our work with survivors, we know perpetrators of domestic abuse will use every tactic available to them to try to exert power and control over survivors.
“Gaslighting is one tactic of coercive and controlling behaviour that aims to make survivors doubt themselves, their perception of events and even their own sanity, with devastating consequences.
“Gaslighting is a subtle form of domestic abuse that is, by its very nature, sometimes difficult for survivors to recognise and build up the confidence to They tell blatant lies, with a straight face. Telling you a huge lie means from then on you’re not sure if anything is true, keeping you in a confused state.
They deny ever saying something, even when you have proof. It makes you start questioning reality.
They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition. Attacking something you love the most, such as your children, shakes your foundations.
They wear you down over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often, until the heat is unbearable – so even the brightest person doesn’t realise they are being gaslighted until they are fully immersed.
They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you. At one time they cut you down and the next they praise you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of unease and also keeps you dangling on their hook.
They use confusion to weaken you. People like stability and a sense of normality. Keeping you constantly on edge or confused helps to keep you in a weak state.
They project their actions on to you. If they are a cheater, they will accuse you of cheating. This means you are distracted from the gaslighter’s behaviour while you are defending yourself.
They form a team to rally against you. Gaslighters are masters of manipulation and will refer to other people who agree with their interpretation. Examples would be: “Your mum knows you’re like this” or “This person knows you’re useless too.”
They tell you everyone else is a liar.
It helps protect them, should anyone try to support you, but also makes you question your reality and keep you confused.
They tell you or others that you are crazy. This is the ultimate weapon – it means if you try to speak out about the abuse, no-one will believe you. escape from.” Women’s Aid works with Refuge to run a helpline to support women struggling to get out of a controlling or abusive relationship.
Ms Ghose said: “Some of the gaslighting techniques that abusers use to control and exert power over survivors include calling into question her memory of an incident, trivialising her thoughts or feelings, accusing her of lying or making things up, denying things like promises that have been made, and mocking her for her “misconceptions”.
“This form of abuse can be subtle, therefore some of the signs to watch out for include: if you are second-guessing yourself all the time, feel confused,