Overcoming the effects of physical and psychological abuse is not an easy task. First one has to stop running away from facing what has really happened. Also one has to stop fighting the wrong battles against other people on whom we take out or anger. But even more important, we must muster the courage to look inside and acknowledge the pain and damage caused by the abuse. This process may sound very rational, and in fact we need our rational mind to control the process (if available with the help and encouragement of others), but we will face suppressed emotions that may burst forth like a high pressure fountain. Initially when the dam bursts it may be totally overwhelming and things may be turned upside down but eventually the waters of our emotions will subside and become more manageable. Once we have come to acknowledge what has been done to us, and have relived the injustice and pain of it all, we may also get to the point where we look at our own complicity and wonder “why did I allow my abuse to go on for such a long time?” or “what is wrong with me that I allowed this abuse to happen to me?”. This question is certainly inevitable if the abuse took place within the context of adult relationships. This may have been in a family setting, in a community, at the workplace or even in a religious setting. We may attempt to answer this question superficially by pointing at feelings of insecurity, lack of self-respect, our inability to set boundaries, ignorance, confusion, denial and so on. However, if we do so we may do ourselves a further injustice by not giving ourselves the credit we deserve. Most of us do not stay in abusive situations because we are too insecure, or too ignorant or too much in denial to see it. Neither do we stay because we are too proud to admit that we are being abused. In fact most adults who are in abusive situations know that this is so and yet they consciously decide to stay. The reason we decide to stay in abusive situations is not our inability to acknowledge the evil we face, but it is actually the good we recognise in the abuser. We see beyond the mask of aggression and abuse and recognise that there is a lonely, weak and hurting person hidden inside. We hear the silent cry for help and our instinct tells us that the abuser actually needs us. And we are partially right: The abuser does need help! But the help the abuser needs can never be given by the abused! In fact we are not helping them or ourselves in this manner. By continuing to allow the abuse we facilitate them going from bad to worse while we are getting hurt in the process. Our problem may not be so much that we are too weak, but that we have had too much confidence in our ability to be strong, and that by enduring the abuse we could somehow bring about the needed transformation in the abuser. By the end of the day we must boldly acknowledge our limitations but we must also give credit where credit is due and affirm our good intentions even if they were exploited and used against us. Our willingness to help, and our desire to see the abuser healed was honourable and good, we were just not the right person to help them. It is now important we keep a safe distance and leave the abuser’s therapy to another professional who is not as emotionally involved and consequently not as easily manipulated and abused.