To hold the woman responsible for her partner’s abuse is outrageous.
Having been in the intimate partner abuse field for over two decades, I continue to be shocked that there’s still confusion about identifying abused women as codependent among the professionals committed to helping them. To see an abused woman as codependent is tantamount to blaming her for the abuse she receives. Such a judgment by a professional she turns to for support leaves her feeling alone, misunderstood, and without the right help for her to make a positive change in her life.
Codependent Vs. Abused
Codependency is characterized as someone who cannot function independently using her own sense of self to guide her; it’s believed that her thinking and behavior are arranged around another person. In an intimate relationship, the codependent individual feels overly responsible for her partner while ignoring her own needs.
In an intimate relationship with a partner who controls and abuses, the abused woman will develop psychological issues in response to the abuse that diminishes her spirit and sense of self—who she is. The abused woman finds it unsafe to express her needs—needs that are legitimate in her own mind.