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Thought Spot

"DARVO" Information

Posted on June 21, 2017 at 4:10 PM

An Overview, by Dr. Pamela Pine

"Exploring DARVO [Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender] aids in understanding how perpetrators are able to enforce victims’ silence through the mechanism of self-blame." Important information coming from researcher Jennifer Freyd!

"Dear Colleagues [writes Jennifer to Pamela Pine and others on June 1, 2017],

I usually wait until we have the final print version of a new publication before making an announcement but in this case the material is so timely that I want you to know the “Version of Record” of this paper is published on-line and it is Open Access too. Please spread the word to those you think who would be interested. The only difference between this version and the final version will be the addition of specific volume, issue, and page numbers.

Harsey, S., Zurbriggen, E., & Freyd, J.J. (in press). Perpetrator Responses to Victim Confrontation: DARVO and Victim Self-Blame. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma. DOI:

Published OPEN ACCESS online: 01 June 2017

Perpetrators of violence often use a strategy of Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender (DARVO) to confuse and silence their victims. Although some previous research has examined the individual elements of DARVO, this is the first study to directly examine DARVO as a unitary concept and to investigate how it relates to feelings of self-blame among victims. Subsequently, 138 undergraduate students were asked to report on a time they confronted an individual over a wrong-doing. DARVO was assessed with a new measure constructed for this study. Analyses revealed that: (1) DARVO was commonly used by individuals who were confronted; (2) women were more likely to be exposed to DARVO than men during confrontations; (3) the three components of DARVO were positively correlated, supporting the theoretical construction of DARVO; and (4) higher levels of exposure to DARVO during a confrontation were associated with increased perceptions of self-blame among the confronters. These results provide evidence for the existence of DARVO as a perpetrator strategy and establish a relationship between DARVO exposure and feelings of self-blame. Exploring DARVO aids in understanding how perpetrators are able to enforce victims’ silence through the mechanism of self-blame.

For other current papers available on-line in either final form or accepted form see:

For more on DARVO see"

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