He lies. He bullies. He threatens. He calls women names.

Also? Trump’s persona, his demeanor, his shtick dovetails alarmingly neatly with that of the domestic abuser. I don’t think I’d thought of it exactly that way before, but reading it caused zero surprise. Of course it does.

Or, another way of putting that is simply what I and many others have said often, which is just that he’s a bully. His bully characteristics are blindingly obvious. Naturally a bully and a domestic abuser are going to overlap neatly.

He lies. He bullies. He threatens. He calls women names. And he’s the Republican nominee for president.

Donald Trump and his bombastic, truth-free persona is still baffling to many. But for one select group of people ― survivors of domestic violence ― Trump is immediately and intimately recognizable.

He reminds them of the men who ruined their lives.

“Trump is triggering so many abuse and rape victims including me,” Angel Marie Russell wrote on Facebook after the first presidential debate. “His behavior is almost exact to my abusive exes. It’s terrifying. I can’t even watch him.”

While domestic abuse is often characterized as acts of physical violence, it’s more accurate to understand it as a cluster of specific behavioral tactics that abusers employ to control, intimidate and coerce victims.

Many of the behaviors that Trump exhibited at the first presidential debate were strikingly similar to those used by abusers, said Rus Ervin Funk, a consultant for several domestic violence non-profits who has worked closely with men who batter.

“His efforts to control Ms. Clinton and the dynamics of the debate (through his interrupting, his talking over and more loudly than Ms. Clinton) coupled with his very well-developed ability to evade accountability of any kind certainly reminded me of how men who batter operate,” he said.

And then there’s the gaslighting.

On multiple occasions during the debate, Trump denied saying things that he had said before, such as when he claimed he never supported the Iraq war or said climate change is a hoax, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

This willingness to aggressively deny objective truths is a form of emotional abuse, called “gas-lighting.” Gas-lighting can cause victims to doubt their own memories and perceptions, and make it hard to distinguish fact from fiction.

And this man is wildly popular. That tells us something.

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