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DARVO (deny, attack and reverse victim and offender) is a tactic often used by narcissists and other characterologically disturbed individuals. Basically, the narcissist accuses their victim of being the aggressor while the narcissist claims to be the victim. It’s a combination of gaslighting, projection, blame shifting and smear campaign. And it is crazy-making if you’re on the receiving end of it.
Dr. Tara Palmatier, PsyD explains:
A major point the doctor makes is for the assistance of those wondering how to tell a genuine abuser when they are both accusing the other of abuse if accusations follow after divorce or separations:
It follows that at least one party does not feel safe. If the accuser believes the allegations to be true then the accuser will feel unsafe. If the accusations are untrue then the target of those accusations will feel unsafe.
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Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Her website is here.