(Found this languishing in my drafts from 2016)
You ever have one of those moments where suddenly everything clicks into place? Where you discover a new term or concept that crystallizes a troublesome issue you’ve been dealing with? While reading commentary on an unrelated subject, I encountered the term DARVO:
DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim — or the whistle blower — into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.
Talk about a moment of truth. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve encountered this tactic when dealing with gun control proponents.