In many cases of abuse there are severe threats for the consequences of either telling (see also Secrets) or resisting. There are also threats for impending physical, emotional, mental, spiritual (...) abuse.
Threats create resentment and anxiety (amongst other things). From the "Wait til your father comes home" to the "...or I will hurt something you love..." types of threats, there is a very basic conflict that occurs when someone is threatened, between escaping --even if it means more punishment-- and giving in.
Threats are sometimes worse than abuse -- it gives you time to think, to worry, to plot, to prepare, to dissociate, to fester, to try to escape -- all sorts of mental and emotional mayhem. Threats can also set up patterns for ritualized abuse scenarios. (Rane of Crisses)
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