After writing about Narcissistic Bluff Men in Part 1, in Part 2 I will focus on Lying Victim Women. Both categories were extrapolated from the many cases I have come across in my work experience; the name given to this category is the result of specific recurring personality traits, behaviours and intentions. I could also discuss other categories, but these two are the ones I most often run into when I write expert witness’ reports.
Lying victim women firmly believe that women in general are inevitably regarded as weak and are therefore pitied by society. In fact, women are still perceived as frail and financially precarious, and, indeed, this is often the case, in spite of their growing emancipation and the opportunities they are offered. The fact that the condition of women is as yet undefined, often exposing them to situations in which they are abused, exploited, and denied guarantees at many levels, is sometimes manipulated by unscrupulous women who take advantage of this situation to gain as many advantages as possible – often exclusively financial – from their separation. Before the court, these women pretend to be financially precarious, to the detriment of two groups of people: their husbands or partners, who themselves fall under heavy financial attacks, and all those women who really do need financial support because their former husbands completely ignore their needs and seek revenge by bleeding them dry.
The show that Lying Victim Women put on almost always requires the involvement of their children, who are used as props/actors to make their case even more credible in order for them to get what they want.
Lying Victim Women, like Narcissistic Bluff Men, follow a script.
Personality: these women are very self-centered and are convinced – almost to a ridiculous extreme – that people will believe anything they say or do and that they will get whatever they want, which is usually money. They spin stories about their partner and go around seeking help from everyone, playing the part of the victim, putting on a performance worthy of a great actress. These women exploit non-verbal language and their body, often paying too much attention to their physical appearance and using any seduction technique to persuade others to believe them. They go so far as to change the way they dress and their hairstyle depending on whom they want to elicit pity or admiration from. However, what is most striking to a keen observer is her coldness, which is in stark contrast with the shaky voice and tearful eyes – which, needless to say, are actually tearless – she displays when she puts on an act.
Behaviours: Lying Victim Women bring into court confused and chaotic stories about their husband’s behaviours, aimed to humiliate and abandon them. They display no papers proving that they cannot find a job or that they were recently fired, they hide off-the-books jobs and bank accounts which they blatantly deny belong to them even if the husband presents to the judge documents proving otherwise. Or they demand sums of money that the husband cannot afford to pay, almost reducing him to indigence. In order to prove that they were used to leading a life of ease, they produce pictures of trips they went on even before they were married, holidays in beach resorts, maybe even of them wearing a bikini, as if to say, in between the lines, “look at what you’re missing!”, and receipts with no dates or stamps proving the purchase of furniture or household maintenance work done during their marriage. Finally, their pièce de résistance: they demand sole custody of the children, accusing the husband of seriously abusing them, producing evidence of violence that never occurred or making trivial, blatantly contradictory accusations: he works too hard and neglects the family, he worries too much about the kids and becomes stifling, he demands to have a say in the kids’ choices in education, not giving them the freedom to pursue what they enjoy most. In order to make their stories really credible, these women insist that their children be heard in court; needless to say, the kids have been duly prepped, for they know that their father will cough up quite a bit of money if they are placed under their mother’s sole custody. Children attracted by dreams of power and freedom, hostile towards their exceedingly intrusive and stingy father – as he has been described to them – are willing to speak to the judge or the independent technical consultant in order to support their mother; they do not understand the pain they inflict on their father at that moment.
Means used and objectives: the most powerful means that such women use is their children to blackmail or elicit guilt feelings in their husband, who would do anything for his kids. Ignoring the damage they cause to their children and the predicament the man is faced with as a husband and father, these false victim women pursue only one goal, which is to get money out of their former partner and seek revenge.
Sadly these women take hold at first, but over time their contradictions, their unmotivated fierceness and the children’s unjustified hatred towards their father could make their pretense, built on lies and slander, falter. In such cases, one has to be very careful to thwart behaviours that would leave very strong marks in children who would be left without a father and in men who are beleaguered on all fronts.
Dott.ssa Stefania Jade Trucchi