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4 Reasons Why Victims Blame Themselves For Domestic Violence


Domestic violence can occur between spouses, former spouses, domestic partners, and people in other types of relationships. In addition to the heavy emotional toll it takes on victims, domestic violence can result in serious injuries and may eventually prove life-threatening. In some cases, fear of financial insecurity and the emotional trauma they suffer makes leaving more difficult. In others, the victim may actually blame themselves.

When Victims Blame Themselves For Their Abusers Actions

According to the Mayo Clinic, it is common for victims of domestic violence to at least partially blame themselves for the situation. This is often due to the way that domestic abuse eats away at the person’s confidence and self-esteem. They may even blame themselves for what is happening in the relationship. The following are four common reasons this can happen:

  1. They believe their partner. Abusers generally fail to take responsibility for their actions, instead blaming the victim for their loss of control. After months or years of hearing this message, victims often begin to believe it.
  2. Their partner is considered ‘nice’ or ‘normal’ by other people. Domestic abuse is about control and manipulation. As a result, many abusers end up being very charming and are often well thought of among friends, family, or in the community. This can lead victims to blame themselves and to think the situation is a result of some shortcoming on their part.
  3. People they do tell downplay the situation or refuse to believe them. Sadly, there are times when a domestic violence victim will confide in a doctor, therapist, co-worker, family member or friend, only to have the person downplay the incident or not believe them. This only reinforces the idea that the victim themselves is to blame.
  4. There have been occasions where they acted out against the abuser. Everyone loses their temper sometimes. For domestic violence victims, episodes where they yelled, slammed a door and stormed out of the room, or took some other type of action against the abuser may be viewed as justification for the abusive behavior.

Help For Domestic Violence Victims

There is absolutely no justification for domestic violence. The problem is with the abuser, not with anything the victim said or did. There is also no definite way to get an abuser to stop. They have to admit they have a problem and take the actions needed to address it on their own.

If you are in this situation, it is important to know help is available. An Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence can provide the following protections:

  • Prohibits the abuser from contacting you in any way;
  • Requires them to obtain counseling and to check in with the court regularly;
  • Grants you the rights to property, such as homes and vehicles;
  • Grants you full rights to child and financial support.

Let Us Help You Today

As an experienced Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney, Vanessa L. Prieto can help you take the steps needed to protect yourself. Call or contact our office online today to request a confidential consultation.


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