Don’t ask, “what is wrong with this woman?” Ask, “what has happened to this woman?”

When helping professionals focus on “what is wrong” with a woman who has experienced abuse, they miss the point entirely and usually do more damage to the woman. We see this often. Women who have been impacted by abuse are seen to have something wrong with them because they are anxious or depressed or self-medicating in one way or another. These are all normal reactions to abuse! The helping professional or supportive friend needs to ask  “what has happened to this woman?” not, “what is wrong with this woman?”

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