Manipulation is the single most powerful tool enablers, gate keepers, and abusers use to shut survivors down.

Why? Because it works.

What happens is that survivors step forward to expose the truth, which takes enormous amounts of courage. The problem is, these ‘others’ have their own agenda, so can never allow this to happen. These family members, or friends of the family, usually fall into one of 3 categories:

Enablers People who make something possible
Gatekeepers People who look after, or guard a person (paedophile)
Paedophiles People who are attracted to children

Manipulation techniques they use, can take the form of, but are not limited to: rejection, verbal abuse, reputational damage, and isolation.

What this means is the cycle of abuse is again reenacted. We are transported straight back to phase one where the abuse was initially experienced, and we knew we had to keep quiet. Even though we felt back then it was so wrong, we now have the added confusion of being shut down and made to feel as unwelcome as the abuse was to us!

This Unholy Trinity (Gatekeepers, Enablers and Abusers) will do anything to ensure this is never spoken about or brought into the light.

What that means is they will use any, and I mean any, means available to them to shut us down once and for all.

Have a think about what happened when you tried to share the truth of your abuse through speaking out. Did you notice it was not encouraged or supported? Did you notice that people preferred it wasn’t dealt with, through various ways of silencing you?  For instance, telling you that ‘He or she was a nice person’, or ‘They would struggle to believe it’, or ‘You have had a stressful time lately, are you sure you’ve got this right’?

You have just been DARVOED

Let me explain.

For most survivors we are made to feel bad about what happened to us, usually because it is not welcomed by society generally, but more specifically; The abusers, gatekeepers, and enablers don’t want us voicing it.

It is then almost certain, you will have been subjected to the DARVO Effect (initially coined by psychologist Jennifer J. Freyd in the 1990’s)

DARVO works like this:


This is a common strategy used by the Unholy Trinity to ensure survivors never speak out. It works incredibly well and is always employed to discredit the survivor while gaining support for the abuser.

Beginning with:

Deny Takes the form of aggressive denial
Attack Attack and often a series of attacks are made on the credibility of the survivor
Reverse The roles are now reversed between victim and offender
Victim Becomes the Offender
Offender Assumes the Victim role

Sound familiar?

This can begin when you are a child and feature throughout your life, in a myriad of ways.

You will know you have been DARVOED because of how you feel.

A way to emerge through is to:

  • Allow yourself to recognise what did happen.
  • Breathe through the recognition of DARVO (now you have a name for it).
  • Hand it back through speaking to a trusted person, and seeing it for what it is.
  • Write out some thoughts about it, so you can release it from your mind.
  • Honour what you did to survive what you have.
  • Acknowledge that you have always known the truth and stuck to it. (If you haven’t been able to because of DARVO, that’s ok too).

Keep breathing, smiling and being.

You are one amazing gift to the world, and I honour you.

Gloria Masters
Gloria Masters
[email protected]
1 Comment
  • Avatar
    Tracey Chambers
    Posted at 07:47h, 24 October Reply

    Hi Gloria, I been thinking on how to move forward with healing so I can move forward in like. I stopped fainting many years ago from my PTSD complex with help from a ptsd counselor but I cant afford her today. I realized the only thing I learned is that and the names of my other conditions. Hypervigolence, dissasociation, depression, anxiety ect. Im in Washington state. Can you give me direction as to what to do first? I also never had a birth certificate so it was triggering to see I at end of book could have a passport because I want to travel but I cannot without proving who I am. As I’m going through book what should I think so I dont get sad about not being able to travel?

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