An article from the New York Times by Benedict Carey examines how abusive relationships often begin, underscoring the self-doubt and shame victims frequently feel.
The article quotes psychologist Patricia Pape who offers:
“It often starts in a very insidious way,”… “He says, ‘Don’t put Sweet-and-Low in your coffee, it’s poisonous.’
“Then, ‘When you wear that nail polish, it makes you look like a fallen woman,’ and ‘That skirt is too short, it’s too revealing.’ Or, ‘I don’t think you should see her, she’s not good for you.’
“You wind up in a situation where he’s telling you what to wear, what to eat, who you can see, how to behave.”
Each small adjustment made by the victim reinforces this control.”
Read “How Abusive Relationships Take Root” here