Home » Lotus » Grow » Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer. Which one are you? (part 2– The Persecutor Role)

Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer. Which one are you? (part 2– The Persecutor Role)

written by



Relationships, can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

We are all aware when something is not functioning right in our interactions with the others, but very few of us are aware of the role that we play in it.

 Victims, dominators, saviors 

According to scientist Stephan Karpman’s Drama Triangle Theory, unless we act consciously, we always play the same roles in our relationships, roles that we have created early in our lives and that stick with us and affect the way we are handling human interaction.

The three main roles are:

  • The Victim, (read more on the Victim profile here)
  • The Persecutor-the person who forces the victim and pressures her and
  • The Rescuer-the seemingly good person, the hero who saves the victim

This should help one easier understand the classic story of the abusive man and the woman that endures physical and psychological violence without getting out of the destructive relationship; or even encourages it by keeping on coming back to the same abusive, self-degrading relationship dynamic.


The Persecutor

Do you personally know any cases of abusive relationships? Have you ever wondered what motivates the abuser in that relationship? Did you ever wanted to know what hides behind their heartless behavior? Here is a little insight some of the reasons that drive the persecutor to take on this role.

What is a persecutor?

A persecutor is a person who:

  • bosses people around
  • gets overly critical and sarcastic
  • loves exercising power over the others
  • is constantly dissatisfied with the actions of others
  • makes others feel unworthy and unsure about themselves.
  • gets aggressive and abusive.
  • puts up impossible challenges that others usually fail at or find impossible to accomplish.
  • creates a state of terror and submission
  • make others feel helpless and dependent on their person

 Persecutor characteristics

The persecutor, contrary to the victim or the rescuer, would never admit to his or her status. Almost no one thinks of himself as a persecutor; and still there are as many victims out there as there are persecutors.

Persecutors work on a very simple principle. Destroy the self-worth of the other in order to get him in a state of dependency.

They criticize harshly, they offend deeply, they bruise egos and sometimes also bodies in order to get a reaction.

This role can cover from the violent husband, to the princess-like girlfriend that is never satisfied with anything. It has many tonalities and techniques but usually one main cause behind it.

Persecutor handling

The persecutor, contrary to popular belief, is not a monster but only a hurt and insecure person.

The persecutors have usually an extreme low self-worth and a fear of being abandoned or out of control. This is why they are trying at every cost to reduce the ego of their victims even lower than their own, in order to keep that person captive for as long as possible.

Usually the persecutor was hurt in the past and was probably at one point in the role of the victim, so he/ she knows what being really down means and is trying to put his or her victim there, in order to avoid being hurt ever again. Through this, in his or her impression he/she has a control over that person and over the situation.

 Threats and escalations

  • permanent inner strain and tension
  • self-contempt
  • psychical and psychological abuse towards the others
  • isolation
  • fear
  • paranoia
  • social exclusion and repulsion from the society


 Are you a persecutor? How can you stop?


  • The first and most important step, in order to stop being a persecutor is accomplished by acknowledging that you are a exercising this role, although many times you do not realize it.
  •  The second step is to realize that yours is a confidence problem and that is has little to do with the other person and more with your own insecurities.
  • Try to find out what exactly is making you unhappy and where do your fears lie.
  • Try to gain self-confidence for yourself and understand that the peace of mind that you need is actually something you need to gain on your own without the help of anyone else.
  •  If necessary, release your victim. The sick dynamic that was once created is almost impossible to break so just try to free yourself and them and start fresh.
  • Let go of control. Let go of dependency! Nothing will happen!
  •  Exercise tolerance and work step by step on having healthy relationships with people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.