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Trauma Bonding: Why Do I Feel Attached to My Abuser?

“Hello there! I’m here to provide you with a bit of information on why you may be feeling attached or affectionate towards the person or people hurting you to normalize these states of mind and help you feel understood during your journey of growth and healing. I would like to remind you that suggestions on this post should not be taken as medical advice, therapy, or as a one-size-fits-all approach. Keep in mind that every individual’s journey of experiencing and navigating through stress or trauma is distinctive because you are one of a kind and no person is truly like you! Experiencing abuse in any form is NOT OKAY, but what you are experiencing as a result of abuse is valid. Please know that healing is not a formula and is not for anyone else to define for you. You do you, and you follow all that you need to follow, to help yourself. If you need additional resources or just someone to talk to, feel free to reach out to Imaara Foundation."

(Image source: Gadgets 360)


Written By: Kashmeera Balamurale


Have you experienced a psychological response to any kind of abuse or abusive behavior and/or a peculiar sense of attachment and/or affection displayed by victims/survivors towards their perpetrators?


Theoretically, this experience or state is called a trauma bond.


Trauma bonding can develop within days, weeks or even months, depending largely on each individual. Such an intense bond can occur across various relationships such as:

  • between members of a family

  • amongst friends

  • in romantic relationships; and

  • at workplace (Zoppi, 2020)

Not everyone who experiences abuse develops trauma bonding.


Is trauma bonding the same as stockholm syndrome?

Stockholm syndrome is a type of trauma bonding, relevant in captive and/or hostage situations. However, this dynamic now encompasses other areas too - sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, child abuse, human sex trafficking, etc. (Zoppi, 2020).

How can I recognize a trauma bond?

Are some people more vulnerable to experiencing a trauma bond?

What causes a trauma bond?

What does a trauma bond cycle look like?

Are you planning to leave a trauma bonded relationship?

Here are this write-up's references:



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