What is Trauma Bonding? Causes & Signs

What is A Trauma Bond?

A trauma bond is a connection between an abusive person and the individual they abuse. It typically occurs when the abused person begins to develop sympathy for the abuser.

When Can Trauma Bonding Happen?

Trauma bonding can occur in any situation that involves one person abusing or exploiting another. Example: – Domestic abuse – Child abuse – Elder abuse

Signs of Trauma Bonding

Agree with the abusive person’s reasons for treating them badly

Distancing themselves from people trying to help, such as friends, family members, or neighbors

Signs of Trauma Bonding

Be reluctant or unwilling to take steps to leave the abusive situation or break the bond

Become defensive if someone attempts to stop the abuse

A person bonded with their abuser might say, for example:

“He is only like that because he loves me so much — you would not understand.”

“She is under a lot of pressure at work, she cannot help it. She will make it up to me later.”

“I will not leave him, he is the love of my life. You are just jealous.”

“It is my fault — I make them angry.”