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How can professionals tell who is the real victim after a relationship with the Narcissist ends?

Let me start by taking a quote from Dr Ramani.

I believe all domestic abusers are narcissistic, without exception. The capacity to tell someone, I love you, I’m going to care for you, we’re in a relationship. Then emotionally, physically or sexually assault them that’s zero empathy and tremendous entitlement that’s incredible arrogance and narcissism.

In my own experience, narcissists are master manipulators. They lie, cheat, and give false narratives. They will rewrite history, project blame and gaslight their victims. Often the abuse does not stop when the relationship ends, it does not matter if the narcissist discards their victim or if the survivor learns the truth and makes an escape from the toxic behaviour. Survivors of any form of domestic abuse including emotional and psychological abuse or coercive controlling behaviour will be left mourning the loss of the relationship.

A survivor will be grieving. They will be more isolated from family and friends that they shared with the narcissist. Survivors will appear angry at what happened to them. They will blame themselves because all through the relationship the narcissist blamed them for anything and everything. Survivors who make allegations against the narcissist are not believed. A narcissist is a charming, caring, generous man, an attentive father, the survivor is seen as the “woman scorned” she is just spiteful and seeking revenge because he cheated and moved on to a new life. The behaviour of the survivor may also influence the community and professionals involved, as they appear emotionally dysregulated angry, sad, depressed, even to the point that they have no will to live. 

False Victim vs True Victim

The true victim will be suffering anxiety, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress, they will be in fight, flight or freeze mode. Often a true victim will have lost all sense of self.  True victims will go through the grieving process, shock, denial, anger, and moving through to acceptance.  There may be periods of deep sadness, uncontrolled crying, panic attacks, and also verbal anger when they try to express the situation they have experienced. True victims are re-traumatised by the professionals who are meant to support them.

False victim narcissists will be calm, they will be able to communicate the issues that they perceive as them being wronged. They appear smooth cool and detached. A narcissistic false victim will have moved on with their lives. They will declare a new relationship immediately or within weeks of separating. They will not show any respect, empathy or compassion there will be a complete lack of understanding towards the true victim. Narcissists will display an attitude of wanting to win at all costs.

Asking The Victim What Happened


– Foggy. Forgetful. Inarticulate. Shows confusion. Their words and thoughts are all over the place. Chaotic. Disjointed. You can even see them stop and question the absurdity and validity of their own story. In my experience I knew there had been abuse, I did not comprehend how much abuse I had suffered. I knew I had made excuses, I knew I had brushed the bad behaviour under the carpet. The realisation and the understanding came as a huge shock. I never wanted to be seen as a victim.

Even when I went to the Guardia to file a gender violence complaint on the advice of the lawyer I saw, I had no idea how to explain what I had experienced. I told them it was “emotional and psychological abuse”.  When I later discovered that not wanting to report abuse is a significant issue. I read “In Control. Dangerous Relationships And How They End In Murder” by Professor Jane Monkton Smith. She recounts the story of a woman who refused to leave the house and get medical attention when it was obvious to the police that there had been a domestic violence incident. Many women are so fearful or in the case of emotional and psychological abuse “trauma bonded” that they do not want to report their ex-spouse or boyfriend as they still have a deep attachment, thinking it is love.

I Never Wanted Conflict From The Start.

It was never my intention to be in the Guardia station to report a crime of domestic abuse or gender violence as it is known in Spain. I never wanted conflict from the start. I hoped that there would have been meaningful discussions, negotiations and a way forward where I could start over and rebuild my life while still living in Spain with some financial security in retirement.  Instead, I was given false promises, a dangling carrot, fear and uncertainty, threats and intimidation.

When the Court heard the Gender Violence allegations it was reported as one minor verbal abuse. I did not understand what had been put to the Judge. I did not understand how the Spanish Justice system worked. Four months after the first hearing a second hearing took place and three months later the verdict from the male judge was, “case dismissed”. So not wanting to be seen as a victim came true, the Justice system did not see me as a victim.


– They portray their victim as “crazy”. Twist the truth. Fabricate statements. Manipulate the professionals. They will use a technique known as DARVO. Deny any abuse. Attack the real victim. Reverse Victim and Offender. The false victim will have no difficulty at all in reporting the perceived wrongdoings. Narcissists will report false allegations and hope their victim is taken away to a psychiatric hospital or even arrested by police and later imprisoned. To repeat from the Dr Ramani’s quote earlier “zero empathy and tremendous entitlement” plus a lack of morals.

There will be incidents where the false victim will take legal action against the true victim. In Family Courts fighting over property, financial settlements and children. There are many books on the subject of “Divorcing A Narcissist” Check out some of my recommendations.  Other cases have involved narcissists claiming defamation when survivors speak out about their experiences. You can read an article in Equality Now – Weaponizing Defamation Lawsuits Against Survivors, is considered to be secondary victimisation.  When survivors speak out, their experiences are a matter of public interest, as in the defamation case of Lee vs Brown which I followed with interest on Twitter now X.

Life of a False Victim vs Life of a True Victim

The false victim does not share their stories with other survivors. They don’t endure the traumatic symptoms of PTSD. They don’t hang out in support groups. Narcissists have a completely new life, they will have shared images of their new relationship on Social Media and they will still have family and friends around them. The narcissist will not be protesting that they are victimised or that they have suffered any form of injustice. 

On the other hand, the true victim of narcissistic/domestic abuse will not be thinking of jumping into a new relationship. They are looking to heal from the trauma they have no interest in dating anyone new. They would likely want to seek counselling or therapy, which is highly recommended. In my experience, real victims are shocked, hurt, living in fear, broken by the abuse, mostly unsupported, emotionally and financially devastated. The stronger and more courageous victim survivors will speak out, want to raise awareness, and even try to warn the next victim this only happens when the victim has recovered some of their lost confidence and self-esteem which can be a slow process.

True Victims Isolate Themselves

Typically the true victim/survivor of narcissistic abuse isolates themselves and only interact with a few close personal friends or family,  quite often a person has become isolated within the relationship because of the coercive controlling behaviour of a partner. In my experience, I blamed myself after the relationship ended. There were lots of “if only”. Many true victims will be in this position of self-blame. In the relationship, a victim often repeats the words “sorry” to their abusive partner every time anger or rage is directed towards them. Why do victims feel responsible for creating the anger? Narcissists are already angry it is in their personality.

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“Post Separation Abuse, Betrayal & Abandonment, What Type Of Man?”
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