The Con

The con is a term useful for referring to the entire package of denial, hiddenness, pressure, dishonesty, and crazy-making that surrounds domestic abuse. The con is not only a way for a primary aggressor to avoid responsibility. It is that, but the con is also necessary in maintaining domestic abuse, because without it the survivor would be effectively helped by the community.

The criminal justice system, while wary of being conned in a general way, is very susceptible to most specific conning behavior because the system only acts when facts can be demonstrated beyond a doubt. The purpose and effect of most conning behavior is to sow doubt. Sowing doubt where clarity should be easy, is a power behavior.

Over time the con shows itself, because actions don't match the words. However, with experience it is possible to spot the con immediately. The determination is necessarily subjective, but in practice it becomes an easy one.

One key element is the voice. With 'the con', the voice has a slightly raised ungrounded quality. It is not possible in print to demonstrate the audible difference. However, anyone who first listens to someone that they know is trying to con them, and then listens to someone they know is sincere, will start to pick up on it. Probably most experienced people intuitively sense the difference but they are not used to using gut feelings to guide action. The con takes the following formats: Denial, Insincerity, Compartments, Justification, Minimization, and Gaslighting.