6 Signs That You May Be A Victim Of Perspecticide

How does one get stuck in an abusive relationship? Why don’t they just leave? This is something many people wonder when watching movies about spouses staying in a toxic marriage or hearing the news of a nasty custody battle within someone’s family. It’s difficult to understand how a person can’t see through the lies and deception and have the strength to say “no more.”

If you’ve never been the victim of emotional manipulation, then you may not know just how intense of an effect it can have on your thoughts, personality, and sense of self-worth. Abused partners lose their ability to think, feel, and act, which is a result of “perspecticide.”

A victim of perspecticide becomes a shell of their former self and numb to the reality of the situation they’re in. It is a strategy of coercive control that may include manipulation, stalking, gaslighting, and physical abuse.

How do you know if you’re a victim of perspecticide?


A healthy relationship is not 100% perfect, but it feels good and effortless. An unhealthy relationship is exhausting, confusing, and overwhelming.

An abusive partner’s mission is to control you and make you think the way they do. Your opinions and views on topics are irrelevant to them and you lose your voice over time. You may feel obligated to make them happy by doing what they wish, but this is never enough. The abusive partner will continue to isolate you from your family and friends and put you through physical/emotional/sexual abuse. It never stops. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

There are some major signs that indicate a relationship that is a victim of perspecticide.

1. You Doubt Your Self-Worth

An abuser’s first target is your self-worth. You are not easy to control if you speak up for yourself and make your own decisions. An abuser will make you doubt your talents, opinions, choices, interests, and beliefs. This can result in feeling ashamed and unworthy, and you may find yourself giving in to your abuser’s lies.

2. Your Thoughts, Feelings, And Perspectives Are Erased

An abusive partner will try to destabilize you to feel in control, which is often achieved through physical or psychological means. By interrupting your daily routine to make sure your sleep patterns are disturbed, gaslighting, ignoring your feelings, or responding with violence, your partner exhausts you into submission.

3. You’re Isolated From Your Family And Friends

If you find yourself losing touch with your social circle and seeing your family less and less because your partner does not approve of you spending time with them, then this is another clear sign of perspecticide. The goal is to make you feel less independent and strong, which is exactly what limiting your time spent with people outside of your abuser does. You are easy to control if you do not have any outside influence.

4. You’re Micromanaged

Abusers want to decide what you wear, where you go, what you eat, when you sleep, where you work...the list goes on. If you can’t go shopping without your partner accompanying you to decide what you buy, or frequently receive unsolicited comments about your body and habits, then your partner is trying to push you to question yourself and eventually give in to their demands and ideas.

5. Defining You

An abuser wants to make you feel bad about yourself. By telling you that people find you gloomy or uninteresting (most of the time these comments are completely fabricated) they make you lose self-esteem and begin to doubt your nature. This, coupled with being isolated from your friends and family, may make you feel like there’s no point spending time with anyone besides your partner, which is what they want.

6. They Create The Relationship Rules

An abusive partner decides the rules of the relationship (which are often unreasonable) and if you do not abide by them, then you are seen as a selfish partner who must face the consequences. This is often interspersed with kindness and affection so they can make you feel guilty if you’re not reciprocating. A phenomenon called trauma bonding.

Victims of perspecticide go through many stages of gaslighting and may feel disoriented and confused about themselves and the situation they’re in. If you feel like you’re in an abusive relationship, do what you can to reach out to your friends or family to get help. Your abuser will NOT change, this is important to remember. Life is too short to be trapped in a relationship with someone who is not worth your love and kindness, so do yourself a favor and cut ties immediately. Remember that everything is temporary and can be fixed.

Please share this article with your family and friends. These words may help someone in need.