Lies Abusive Men Tell Me and Themselves: A conversation with Lundy Bancroft

Season 3 Episode 16

Understanding the complex nature of abusive relationships and the path to empowerment is a critical discussion that deserves attention. In this episode of Genesis The Podcast, expert Lundy Bancroft provides an in-depth look at the hidden mechanics of abuse, alongside the vital role activism plays in the battle against domestic violence.


Lundy Bancroft, with his extensive experience in domestic violence, delves into the deceptions of abusive individuals by describing how abusers manipulate their victims and the system, projecting an image of helplessness to mask their calculated control tactics. Bancroft and podcast host Maria MacMullin don’t shy away from the grim realities of power dynamics within abusive relationships, discussing how society’s responses are skewed in favor of male perpetrators and the challenges this presents to female victims, especially in legal contexts. Bancroft further explores how sexual mistreatment is a common yet frequently overlooked component of domestic abuse. The disparity between the treatment of male and female victims, especially post-separation, reveals a disturbing picture of gender-biased violence and control. Bancroft’s insights are a stark reminder that the battle against domestic violence is far from over and that society’s ingrained misogyny continues to present daunting obstacles to victims seeking justice and safety.


Addressing the societal structures that enable abuse, the episode explores the influence of male entitlement and how it is instilled from a young age. Bancroft & MacMullin suggest that a shift in the cultural narrative is required to dismantle the cycle of sexism and violence, noting the slow progress in changing how boys are raised in contrast to the advancements made in empowering girls. Bancroft touches on a few examples that show how society can perpetuate harmful gender norms that keep the cycle of abuse in motion, including debunking myths about abusive men being good fathers and the intersection of women in sports and domestic violence, highlighting the unique challenges faced by female athletes.


Shifting the focus to the importance of activism, the episode is also a conversation on how the initial momentum of the battered women’s movement has evolved. Bancroft emphasizes that despite significant legal advances, complacency can lead to the breakdown of hard-fought gains. The discussion calls for sustained activism, drawing attention to the need for continuous pressure to ensure enforcement of laws that protect victims. In a powerful call to action, Bancroft & MacMullin urges for a return to grassroots activism, stressing the need for direct challenges to systemic issues. Bancroft advocates for “hell-raising” committees and public demonstrations, emphasizing strategic activism and the necessity of women-only spaces to advance the fight for women’s rights.


This episode of Genesis is not just a discussion; it’s a clarion call for awareness, understanding, and action. It serves as a comprehensive guide to the mechanics of abuse, the gendered nuances of power dynamics, and the relentless drive needed to sustain the activism that supports the battered women’s movement. It reminds us that the fight for equality and safety in the face of domestic violence is ongoing, and it is one that we must all engage in with resolve and dedication.

To listen to this episode of Genesis the Podcast, click here.