What is a smear campaign?
"A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is a metaphor for activity that can harm an individual or group's reputation by conflation with a stigmatized group. Sometimes smear is used more generally to include any reputation-damaging activity, including such colloquialisms as mud slinging." (Wikipedia). It means to attack someone's reputation; attempt to defme another; character assassination.
What Happens To People Who Are Victims Of Smear Campaigns?
Here are some of the examples of the results:
They are alienated from their family and friends.
They lose contact with their children for months or even years.
They lose their jobs.
They have restraining orders placed upon them based upon false accusations.
They end up in prison due to false accusations
They develop severe mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and others.
Some commit suicide.
Smear campaigns destroy people’s lives, even becoming lethal. This is particularly the case when the people around the victim do not understand how emotional abuse works. The victims of smear campaigns need extensive support from others in order to survive such an experience without life-altering damage. Most people have trouble understanding how severe, damaging, unrelenting, and widespread these campaigns can be.
And many of the victims of distortion campaigns consequently are left without effective support systems and suffer far worse damage than might have been the case if their friends and family understood they are being victimized.
The smear campaign also tends to damage many relationships outside the home. Divorce situations in which the children are taught by an emotional abusive parent to hate the other parent based upon lies is very common. This is also known as “parental alienation”. Parental alienation can be so severe that it may permanently damage the relationship between the target parent and the children. It is important to keep in mind that parental alienation is a form of emotional child abuse.
The damage does not stop with the immediate family. It tends to spill over into all relationships around the target as the target is accused of crimes, immoral and unethical behaviours, embarrassing incidents, and so forth. Your siblings, parents, new spouse, friends, and employers may all suffer serious damage from the distortion campaign. You may be unable to function normally, have insomnia and other sleep disorders, not be able to work normal hours or focus on work, and even feel afraid to been seen in public. This may be a time during which those around you have to band together to help you in a safe setting.
However, by doing so, your support system itself may become a new target for them. It is not unusual for abusers to proceed to attack people they see as helping you. As a way to protect everybody, it may be useful to minimize knowledge that they obtain about the people around you. You and those who support you may need to become very secretive about your lives in order to protect yourselves from ever-widening and intensifying attack by them.