What does DARVO stand for? Learn to recognize abusive patterns

What does DARVO stand for? Learn to recognize abusive patterns

Aug 01, 2023

If you haven't heard the acronym DARVO just yet, it's time! Knowing what DARVO stands for can help you to recognize abusive patterns more easily.


Here's an easy trick to recognize a reaction of an abusive person or structure of power.

It might feel challenging, do you have a person who, when you speak up for yourself and communicate what they did to hurt or abuse you, immediately turns the tables and convinces you that you are the one doing the abusing.

In your gut, you feel you are right, but don't know how to put the thoughts together when time after time they seem so convincing that you are the problem, or that you invited the abuse by not doing what they needed, etc.

If you feel like you're always running into this and don't seem to track the pattern...

Know it is a real thing. An abuser's tactic.


What does DARVO stand for?

So here's an acronym that might come in handy when recognizing this narcissist/abusive person - it's DARVO.

DARVO stands for

Here is an example of what that would actually sound like in a daily discussion:

If you're calling out a narcissist or an abusive person, first, they deny that they've been guilty of your accusations.

They immediately deny what you're saying and turn it your way and ATTACK - "Are YOU crazy?!"

Then they reverse what you are feeling, they put themselves into the role of the victim and turn you into the offender. "No, it's YOU who's doing this. Just because of you this is happening".

And the circle goes on.

Often people won't want to take responsibility for their abuse and will turn it the otherway around.

Definitely add this on your list of red flags to be aware of...

In a conscious, emotionally mature and loving relationship (in any form - not just romantic) this will not exist.

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