Jailhouse Phone Calls Reveal Why Domestic Violence Victims Recant
The article uses "he/him" for the abuser and "she/her" for the victim.
After analyzing the calls, the researchers identified a five-step process that went from the victims vigorously defending themselves in the phone calls to agreeing to a plan to recant their testimony against the accused abuser.
Typically, in the first and second conversations there is a heated argument between the couple, revolving around the event leading to the abuse charge.
In the second stage, the perpetrator minimizes the abuse and tries to convince the victim that what happened wasn't that serious.
"The tipping point for most victims occurs when the perpetrator appeals to her sympathy, by describing how much he is suffering in jail, how depressed he is, and how much he misses her and their children," Bonomi said.
"The perpetrator casts himself as the victim, and quite often the real victim responds by trying to soothe and comfort the abuser."
In the third stage, after the accused abuser has gained the sympathy of the victim, the couple bonds over their love for each other and positions themselves against others who "don't understand them."
The fourth stage involves the perpetrator asking the victim to recant her accusations against him and the victim complying. Finally, in the fifth stage, the couple constructs the recantation plan and develops their stories.
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