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DARVO stands for "Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender," a concept often used in the discussion of narcissistic abuse and other forms of emotional manipulation. It was formulated by Jennifer J. Freyd, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, as a way to understand the reactions of perpetrators when they are confronted or held accountable for their actions. In a DARVO situation, the perpetrator denies the behavior, attacks the individual doing the confronting, and then reverses the roles of victim and offender, positioning themselves as the wronged party and the actual victim as the perpetrator.

The DARVO response is a classic tactic to confuse the accuser and other people involved, often making it difficult for the victim to get the emotional or legal support they may need. The tactic is often effective because it puts the accuser on the defensive, thereby diverting attention away from the original issue. This manipulative strategy can be highly damaging, as it fosters self-doubt, guilt, and confusion in the victim, making it even more difficult for them to speak out or seek help.