Traumatic Bonding: “Bonded to the abuser”

It’s important to understand that there are multiple factors that can positively and negatively contribute to the trauma that has already occurred. These risk factors can either protect us from the trauma or plunge us deeper into it. Some of these factors include:

Risk factors:

  • low socioeconomic status,
  • substance abuse,
  • poor mental health or emotional reactivity,
  • financial difficulties,
  • poor coping style,
  • others reaction to the trauma,
  • no support system
  • lack of employment,
  • being bullied or harassed,
  • living in situations that increase one’s exposure to trauma,
  • low self-esteem,
  • lack of identity,
  • domestic violence or abuse, and
  • poor academic performance
  • homelessness

Risk factors that are combined can trigger “complex trauma” such as a child who has witnessed their mother being physically abused by his/her father, is struggling with homelessness, low income, depression, anxiety, and substance abusing parents. These risk factors together can create a complex situation that may require months to years of therapeutic support. But the following protective factors can help build a layer of resilience:

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