Abuse - How do I know if abuse is my fault?

Gretchen Lawson: I have people who come into my office asking when they've been abused, is the abuse their fault? The answer is no, You are not responsible for abuse that has occurred to you. The responsibility is only on the offender. It is not your fault.

Gretchen Lawson: It is normal to have feelings of guilt and shame. It's normal to have thoughts that it is your fault, and to think, "Could I have done something to prevent this from happening?" It is really important to seek out support as you're processing through abuse, to talk about what has happened, the painful feelings that go with what happened. It is really helpful to have someone or more than someone. It can be helpful in processing abuse to even seek out a support group. To be in a room with other people who know what this experience is like. It can make you feel less alone. It is not your fault. You did not cause the abuse.

For more answers to your questions on abuse, watch these videos:

What are the side effects of abuse?

Will I ever trust someone again?

Need someone to talk to about abuse? TheHopeLine offers free confidential live chat with a HopeCoach to help you with forgiving someone. We are here to listen and support you without judgment.

Terri Henry
For over 30 years, TheHopeLine has been helping students and young adults in crisis. Our team is made up of writers and mental health professionals who care deeply about helping others.
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