Apologies are verbal statements that recognize another person has experienced a small injury or inconvenience. For instance it is customary to apologize when bumping into someone on the sidewalk or when causing someone a small delay by being unprepared. Apologies are meant to convey that the behavior was either not intentional or not characteristic of the person giving offense.

In the hands of a primary aggressor, however, an apology becomes an attempt at a self-granted pardon. Power and abuse behaviors are both intentional and characteristic of primary aggressors, who have learned to exploit the impulse in survivors and others to feel they must 'accept an apology.'  These apologies rarely represent a change of heart but rather just a desire to evade consequences. In the absence of substantial amends and willingness to cheerfully accept all the consequences of their behavior, apologies are insincere and manipulative. Pressure for the survivor to accept an apology is clearly more abuse.