Our expert says:
Gosh, but I wish we all had good answers to such an important questioj, Hope* ! And while I agree that any form of deliberate cruelty could be called evil, in a way that's just a circular argument, as we could equally well describe evil as deliberate cruelty. I agree with anon that abuse, like rape, and many other social patholgies has a lot to do with "about power, control, manipulation and domination", and the abuser gets their kicks more from the sense of power over someone else than from the specifics of whatever they do to them. And while it is true that SOME formerly abused people eventually become abusers ( most do no, of course ) the puzzle is more than ANYONE could abuse after having experienced it --- but I suppose if the abuse made you feel persistently powerless, perhaps the experience of exerting coercive power over someone else could seem to counteract that, though obviously it is ineffective, as abusers tend to abuse recurrently, so it doing so doesn't solve or relieve nything for them. I think it tends to happen when inner feelings of helplessness and anger predominate and overwhelm.
And as for blaming the victim, well, most aggressive people prefer to blame anyone or anything other than themselves. I wish I had better answers
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