Distinguishing What is Love on Valentine's Day

Candies, flowers, hearts - when it comes to the month of February, love is in the air. 

For some victims, this can be a confusing emotion. 

"We hear from many people who are in abusive relationships, and even those who have left relationships, but say that they love their abusive partner. They wonder, “Why do I love someone who has hurt me so much?” It can feel strange, confusing, and even wrong to love someone who has chosen to be abusive. While these feelings can be difficult to understand, they aren’t strange and they aren’t wrong. Love isn’t something that just disappears overnight. It’s a connection and emotional attachment that you create with another person. Love comes with a lot of investment of time, energy, and trust. It’s not easy to just let go of a life you’ve built with someone, whether they’re abusive toward you or not."

The National Domestic Violence Hotline contains useful resources for anyone feeling confusion this Valentine's Day. They outline answers on whether you should forgive your abuser, how can you talk to your abuser, and why are you struggling with feelings of love for an abusive partner. 

Above all, they remind us that "Love is something that is safe, supportive, trusting, and respectful. Abuse is not any of these things."

If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact the hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text START to 88788.