Approaching your Abuser

havoca approaching abuserApproaching your Abuser

Taking the decision to approach your abuser will not be easy. It is advisable that you talk this through with a therapist or at least a very close friend. If you don’t have a confidant then we recommend that you do not approach the perpetrator of your abuse.

There are a number of reasons why you might feel like you should contact your abuser:

  • telling him/her how you felt and how you feel now is an important part of the disclosure phase
  • speaking with the person may help you to understand how and why the abuse occurred
  • you may be able to alleviate your fears that others were or are currently being abused
  • you may be interested in turning make the clock and establishing a normal healthy relationship with your abuser.

All of these reasons can be positive and will help to reinforce the fact that you were not responsible for the trauma that they may have caused you.

If after reading the information contained within this website you feel you are ready, then you must prepare yourself for this part of the journey. Here are a couple of stages you might like to go through;

  • Make a list of everything you want to say to your abuser.
  • Practice how you want to the conversation to go.
  • Write to the abuser and prepare them for the meeting.
  • Set out ground rules that you want to stick to.
  • Take someone along with you to act as a mediator or just to listen and give you support if you need it.
  • Ensure you remain in control. You may want the abuser just to listen and not say anything until you expressly give permission for them to speak.
  • Be prepared for him to defend himself and/or minimize the abuse, i.e. “I didn’t hit you that hard.” etc. When this happens calmly reply by explaining the abuse in more detail. Tell the person how it made you feel.
  • You may well leave the meeting feeling as though you accomplished nothing. It will however be a great relief to have finally broken that code of silence which you’ve been obeying all these years.

It is strongly recommended that you always take a friend with you when approaching them, even if they wait in the car. Meet in home territory or if you are uncomfortable with this then meet in neutral territory, somewhere you can talk openly but also somewhere you feel safe.

It isn’t always necessary to confront your abuser in person. You can still do it symbolically by writing a letter that you never send, role playing etc.

If your abuser is unavailable then there are still exercises you can do to help alleviate some of your frustrations. Try the exercises in “starting a journal“.

7 Responses to Approaching your Abuser

  1. AvatarTracy Groves says:

    Do people send letters to their abusers? Are there any legal implications if you send a letter? I don’t feel strong enough to approach my abusers but I want them to know that I haven’t forgotten and to remind them of what they did to me when I was young.

    • AvatarMyra says:

      I would like to write a letter as well. My abuser was sentenced to jail, but the articles I read don’t say where. I have searched a bit, but don’t know how to find him. Good luck on the letter.

    • AvatarHeather says:

      I have been thinking about this too. I am not sure. One big issue I have in confronting my abusers is that they are in their 60’s now, I feel like it may be mean for me to confront them now. Even after all they did to me, all the hurt, I feel reluctant to confront them.

  2. AvatarKatina says:

    My abuser is a frail 85 year old. Why do I feel guilty for wanting to confront him? I’m only one in a long list of children he harmed.

  3. AvatarMike says:

    I want to confront my abuser but I’m afraid it would destroy another relationship

    • Avatarjack says:

      i did confront my abuser just now throw a phone call he was a teacher that abused me since like 11 years when i was child and started my education , i’m 20 years old now( idk 10-14 years ago) he is a 73 years old now and he’s sick… he was hitting and insulting me lived about 6 years in that hell most what i hated is that other kids laughed about me in the past we was a group of 30 or 35
      kids he was laughing while being brutal with each one of us and making laugh to each one another everybody takes a part it was a sicking shit, what so ever i don’t know how to feel now , during the call i said everything that came out in my mind and i didn’t fear or hesitate unlike before as a kid when i couldn’t talk to him back
      i think i grow stronger than i was a kid a fear that lasted 10 years that i wanted to face as i did, i honestly don’t know how this helps me in future or even helps me now , but it’s the only way i could figure or put together to help my self as an adult i have always wanted to become fearless and if that was one of my fears then i faced it, i would gladly do anything that will make me feel better about myself i’m ready now to challenge my shyness and lack of confidence and the only way i know that i’m ready is simply by doing so, i don’t know that the thoughts inside my head will be like about that phone call later, idk if it would fire back or be beneficial to me,,,brain is strange organ isn’t it, however in the phone call i did talk more than he did his literally point of view was
      ” all what i have done to you was meaningless and you should look forward and if your past is bad don’t seek to learn anything from it , there is nothing to learn from it if it was a terrible past i want only for you success and promise me to look only forward”

  4. Avataryousef says:

    i did confront my abuser just now throw a phone call he was a teacher that abused me since like 11 years when i was child and started my education , i’m 20 years old now( idk 10-14 years ago) he is a 73 years old now and he’s sick… he was hitting and insulting me lived about 6 years in that hell most what i hated is that other kids laughed about me in the past we was a group of 30 or 35
    kids he was laughing while being brutal with each one of us and making laugh to each one another everybody takes a part it was a sicking shit, what so ever i don’t know how to feel now , during the call i said everything that came out in my mind and i didn’t fear or hesitate unlike before as a kid when i couldn’t talk to him back
    i think i grow stronger than i was a kid a fear that lasted 10 years that i wanted to face as i did, i honestly don’t know how this helps me in future or even helps me now , but it’s the only way i could figure or put together to help my self as an adult i have always wanted to become fearless and if that was one of my fears then i faced it, i would gladly do anything that will make me feel better about myself i’m ready now to challenge my shyness and lack of confidence and the only way i know that i’m ready is simply by doing so, i don’t know that the thoughts inside my head will be like about that phone call later, idk if it would fire back or be beneficial to me,,,brain is strange organ isn’t it, however in the phone call i did talk more than he did his literally point of view was ” all what i have done to you was meaningless and you should look forward and if your past is bad don’t seek to learn anything from it , there is nothing to learn from it if it was a terrible past i want only for you success and promise me to look only forward”

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