DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim — or the whistle blower — into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility and blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.
Institutional DARVO occurs when the DARVO is committed by an institution (or with institutional complicity) as when police charge rape victims with lying. Institutional DARVO is a pernicious form of institutional betrayal.
Anti-DARVO refers to ways to reduce the negative impact of DARVO and also more constructive responses to allegations.
–What is DARVO?, Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD
Jennifer Frey’d professional services are based on research conducted over many decades in her laboratory as well as the laboratories of her former students and colleagues. This research includes investigations of interpersonal and institutional betrayal trauma, perpetrator strategies, and how to help address each of these challenges. About the Research — Jennifer Joy Freyd, PhD. (jjfreyd.com)
What does the acronym D.A.R.V.O. stand for?