The M3ND Project works to identify and educate on the many faulty cultural and personal structures that make abusive action or inaction possible, especially those that often go unseen, are unnoticed or unknown. To further understand these intricate nuances of abuse, M3ND founder and CEO, Annette Oltmans, conducted extensive research, including interviewing hundreds of victims and reviewing her personal experiences with abuse. During this time, she took note of how regularly she observed the same attitudes and beliefs in perpetrators of all forms of abuse. The M3ND Project names these repeated patterns of behavior the “Pillars of Abuse.” These are the foundational structures that protect abusers from being held accountable for their actions and which sustain covert and overt abuse. Identifying these pillars helps us to recognize abuse when it’s occurring, and in some instances, see where further abuse might happen if preventive measures are not put into place. It is equally important for first responders to understand them so that they can take action to ensure none of the four pillars are creating an environment within their organization that sanitizes the actions of abusers or fosters a situation in which abuse is sustainable.
Chances are you have experienced or seen at least one of these four pillars in your relationship, at home, or in school, church, the workplace or among friends. As you read the descriptions of each pillar, notice if you recall real-life examples you have personally lived through, witnessed or heard. Take a moment to examine yourself to see if any of these pillars negatively influence your action or inaction under specific scenarios.
These four pillars are the foundational building blocks that allow abusers to rationalize their actions to themselves and those around them. When this faulty foundation is maintained, an abuser (sometimes along with first responders) can blind themselves and those around them to the manipulative tactics they use to remain in power and keep the victim within their control. By understanding and recognizing the pillars of abuse, victims can gain clarity and pursue healing. Also, it may greatly facilitate the implementation of accountability measures for abusers, particularly where corporations, churches and other organizations refuse to allow the pillars to protect the perpetrators within them. Remaining aware of these things wherever we go enables us to prevent Double Abuse® and become better advocates for ourselves and others.
If this blog has shed light on a situation present in the life of someone you know, we encourage you to gently caution the individual who could be endangered. Let them know that you are there for them if they need a safe space to talk about what they are experiencing. If the one in danger is you, we encourage you to confide in a trusted loved one about what you are going through and possibly seek professional help with a licensed therapist skilled in abuse or your local domestic violence agency. We don’t want you to have to walk through this alone.
Today, we are asking you to share this blog with three or more of your friends, co-workers, pastors, or others who might benefit from the information here. Or, share it on social media by clicking the link to your platform of choice below. As always, we encourage you to read through the pages or our website www.themendproject.com, which provide information and tools regarding abuse and Double Abuse® to you whether you are a survivor of abuse, know someone being abused or are a first responder who desires to become more equipped to understand and address abuse.