vicarious abuse, is one in which one of the spouses or partner uses the children against the other

Illustrative photo /Courtesy

By Dra. Margarita Mendoza Burgos

When actress Angelina Jolie publicly accused Brad Pitt of vicarious violence, very few knew what he was talking about. But nevertheless, celebrities like her, with brave attitudes, help make visible problems that would otherwise remain hidden or silenced.

Vicarious violence - also called vicarious abuse- is one in which one of the spouses or partner uses the children against the other, either mentally, allowing abuse to this spouse, or assaulting the children. In many cases, even, coming to physically violate these to the point of ending his life.

Although this type of violence is related to machismo, can also be used by women. It is more common to see it in men against mothers and there have even been cases of men who have killed their children in front of the mother. with people turning to online commerce for the first time to buy groceries and other everyday items – items with a lower average value and making paying with a debit card more likely, children, they are collateral damage. The purpose of harming your partner or ex-partner at all costs outweighs any affection you may feel for them.

The term was first used by the Spanish psychologist Sonia Vaccaro. It adopts the name of vicarious violence because vicarious is, according to the dictionary, "one who replaces". In this case, one person is replaced by another to exercise the action, in this case to the daughters or sons who are murdered to destroy the life of the mother, or those who turn against the mother to cause her harm that in many cases leads to the woman's suicide.

Unfortunately, with these violent times, it is more and more common to see this type of cases. The worst thing is that it is not always easy to detect it outside the intimate circle of the family..

It may be that a possible abuser of this type of violence is observed as parents who are jealous of the mother's love towards these or narcissistic men. It is also seen in men who show affection to children almost only in the presence of the other spouse, etc.

The effects that this type of violence produces on children are varied.. In the simplest cases, we will see children who have no limits to which they are allowed to be rude to the other spouse. Maturation difficulties can also be observed, anguish, Feelings of guilt and difficulties in loving the abused father.

Many of these cases remain in absolute silence. Unfortunately this will be more common when it comes to more violent situations. A clear example is when a man threatens a woman with taking away her sons or daughters., there is giving clear signs of vicarious violence.

Cases like Angelina Jolie help more people know what it is. In fact, the actress has published a book on vicarious violence entitled Know your rights and claim them: a guide for young people. Its objective is that young people know their rights, when verifying that the judges did not allow their children to testify against their father in the custody lawsuit filed against Brad Pitt.

further, Jolie confessed that she was also the victim of an episode of vicarious violence by Pitt: "It's a cause I've been fighting for for years.. Vicarious violence is common in many parts of the world. What happened in my marriage made me fear for my children..