The DARVO tactic is used by perpetrators when called out, they accuse their victims of victimizing THEM when their victims speak out.
Reverse Roles of Victim and Offender
Labelling criticism of a power imbalance as an attack is part of the DARVO mechanism, described by psychologist Jennifer Freyd. In the DARVO maneuver, a criticism or accusation is denied, the whistleblower attacked, and the roles of victim and aggressor are reversed.
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What is DARVO?
Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD
Fellow 2018-19, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford Univerity
and Professor of Psychology, University of Oregon
Definition of 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
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 and blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.