"Chronic immersion in emergency emotions results in physical or mental illness and a gross weakening of ones personal power."
- Dr David Hawkins
Abusers intuitively, if not explicitly understand exactly this. The consistent, but random creation of emergency emotions in another if key to maintaining abuse cycles.
Furthermore abusers do most often attack people who are already weak, I would not call that a rule though, as some of their most appealing targets are people who frustrate their pride. Abusers themselves are well acquainted with the link between pride and shame. Pride has to do with creating in a person a need to prove or justify themselves. Any time you can get put someone in a state where they need to prove themselves, pride, they are ready to fall to shame. There's thousands of ways that this cycle works out, but the prototypical may be the abusive husband who challenges his wife to conquer her fears, guides her growth to a position of pride, and then sabotages her or somehow takes away her accomplishment. The key virtue that no abusers have, true abusers, is courage. That is what makes courage so powerful. If one puts courage to work with a state of neutrality instead of acting out of fear or anger, and does so continuously, the abuse cycle can be witnessed, and then dealt with. It's not a guarantee of success, that's true.
I will update this brief introduction at a later date, discussing the desire cycle that actually is a condition of the abused and abuser. The cycle that I mentioned leads one to that most vulnerable, spirit crushing potential. Pride.