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Taking responsibility for changing your abusive relationship


It’s easy to minimise your actions. Maybe you think what you’ve done ‘isn’t that bad’. Maybe you’re making excuses.

Or maybe you’re finding the courage, now, to face up to what you’ve done and the effect it’s having on people you care about. Maybe you’re feeling guilty or ashamed of how you’ve behaved.

It can hurt to admit that what you’ve done is not okay. But by doing so and choosing to change, you’re taking responsibility for your actions, and are on the road to change.

If you don’t take responsibility for your violence or abuse, it’ll be impossible to change.

Have you ever found yourself:

Minimising your actions?

“It doesn’t happen often.”
“I’m not a violent person.”
“My partner bruises easily.”
“It was just a little slap.”

Blaming your partner?

“She pushes my buttons.”
“He knows what I’m like.”
“She nags me.”
“He never listens to me.”
“She doesn’t do as she’s told.”

Playing it down or blaming your partner makes it easier for you to live with your abuse and avoid accepting responsibility. But until you face the seriousness of your actions, you can’t begin to change them.


Abuse is a decision. There are many different options open to you.
Just because you’ve been violent and abusive in the past doesn’t mean you have to be again.

Get help and support

Call the Respect Phoneline. We’ll listen, discuss your situation and help you come up with strategies for change. We can also direct you to local domestic violence prevention programmes.

Monday–Friday 10am-5pm


Freephone 0808 8024040

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