Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Shame shifting – from perpetrator/offender/abuser – to victim. I see clearly how much this goes on.


‘Shame shifting’.

A common occurrence in society. Prolific behaviour within dysfunctional/disordered/toxic families. A much utilised tool for spiritual abuse by many church/religious people.

I see this all very clearly.

I’ve always ‘known’ instinctively how wrong this is. Always felt it. But, didn’t have the understanding or ability to put words to it.

I do now.

Shame is about feeling like a bad person. Being made to feel like a bad person. Abuse survivors, do not need to be abused further, by being shamed. Abuse survivors, did not have a choice when abused. The abuser, did have a choice.

Shame shifting is common with those who demand forgiveness for abusers. And claim those who don’t forgive their abusers, are the ‘bad people’. Shame shifting from abuser, to victim.

Shame shifting is common with those who demand ‘compassion’ for abusers. And claim those who don’t have compassion, are the ‘bad people’. Shame shifting from abuser, to victim.

Shame shifting is common with those who demand abuse should not be exposed and the victim should keep quiet. And claim those who do speak up, and do expose the evil of abuse, are the ‘bad people’. Shame shifting from abuser, to victim.

No severe abuse survivor, especially those where the abuse is denied by the abuser, ‘has’ to forgive, or ‘has’ to have compassion for an abuser, or ‘has’ to keep quiet.

All that is for the perpetrator’s benefit, and often simply enables them, and protects them. And these demands by others, deeply and negatively affect the victim’s healing journey.

Healing is not dependent on forgiveness, despite what some say. Survivors of severe abuse are free to forgive and free not to forgive and neither is morally better than the other.

But, I see continually how shame is shifted from the abuser… to the victim.

And the victims have already been hurt enough. Intentionally, by an abuser who fails to have any empathy, any compassion, any conscience, and rarely any remorse. Yes, a small percentage of abusers may feel remorse. Some fake remorse. Many have no remorse.

Yet, many people will then shift the shame that is entirely the abusers, onto the victim and deem the victim to be the bad person.

Often people who shame shift, do so because it makes them feel like they are ‘better’ than the victims. They ‘lord’ it over the victim. It raises up their unhealthy ego.

Some covertly want the victim to feel bad about themselves. Kicking the person, when they are down. Sadly, there are more people who enjoy this than is realised.

For many who choose this shame shifting need, it is totally self serving and /or malicious in some cases, but just covertly done.

With some it is simply not having enough empathy and thought processing capacity, to see how much damage and harm this causes the victim.

Some will claim it is about having compassion for abusers……. but in fact they fail to realise – it is completely lacking in empathy for the victim – the innocent person in this, who did not have a choice.

But, regardless of the reasons as the why people participate in and like to ‘shame shift’ …. it is wrong, harmful, abusive, re-traumatising and lacking in empathy.

And I see it everywhere.


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Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

14 thoughts on “Shame shifting – from perpetrator/offender/abuser – to victim. I see clearly how much this goes on.

  1. my Christian sister does this frequenly

  2. This happens all too often. Now, when I see it happening with those around me, I cut them out of my life. I have no time for anymore of that sort of thing.

  3. Lilly, this article is causing HUGE discussion…..


    • It’s being talked about all over TV. Especially about how powerful the cover photo is.

      • Many are saying this powerful article and cover photo puts all the shame onto Bill Cosby. His new lawyer has been on tv claiming everything was consensual but today when this came out she has disappeared off tv.

      • His lawyers don’t care about truth, or the victims…. they just care about money, fame, winning at any cost – which is the cost to the victims.

        Lawyers are often psychopaths themselves.

        Lawyer is one of the top 10 professions for psychopaths.

    • Yes, it is causing huge discussion and I’m glad.

      It challenges rape culture and this culture of how society expects victims to keep quiet, or actually in many cases – refuses to believe them.

      Society often defends abusers/perpetrators/predators… by refusing to believe the victims unless there is a confession… which of course rarely happens.

      We should not need a confession to believe victims of abuse/sexual abuse.

      I support these women standing up and speaking out. Such courage.

      And shame on every single person who has vilified them, not believed them, and caused further abuse by suggesting their motives were inappropriate.

      All these women have my 100% support.

      ❤ ❤

  4. Lilly, the singer & song writer Janis Ian who wrote the song “At Seventeen” has written about her Bill Cosby experience at the age of 16…..


  5. I wish this blog had more likes. It is terrible to be abused and then be shamed for feeling angry and not forgiving. It happened to me in an ‘Al Anon group with several toxic individuals and to others as well. I left soon after and luckily I had therapeutic support but what about those who have no back up?
    This is a critical issue, thank you so much for writing about it.