It’s Not Your Fault

National Relationship Abuse Hotline
Toll Free Phone: 800-799-7233 / 800-799-SAFE
TTY: 800-787-3224

If you are being abused by your partner, you may feel confused, afraid, angry and/or trapped. All of these emotions are normal responses to abuse. You may also blame yourself for what is happening. But no matter what others might say, you are never responsible for your partner’s abusive actions. Dating abuse is not caused by alcohol or drugs, stress, anger management, or provocation. It is always a choice to be abusive.

Relationship abuse is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors used to maintain power and control over a former or current intimate partner. Abuse can be emotional, financial, sexual or physical and can include threats, isolation, and intimidation. Abuse tends to escalate over time. When someone uses abuse and violence against a partner, it is always part of a larger pattern of control.

Please see our Definitions page, Sexual Assault Frequently Asked Questions, and Relationship Abuse Frequently Asked Questions pages for more information.