How to Create Characters Who Have Suffered Abuse

Updated: Jan 14

Some fictional characters have had a traumatic past, like many people, so it is important to make their behaviours, struggles and actions as realistic and relatable as possible.

When creating a character who has had an abusive past, whether physical or emotional, it is vital to research, research and research some more. With that being said, below are six questions to think about creating a character who has suffered abuse.


Yes doesn't have to be the answer to all of these questions; your character may only struggle to trust others or take medication, but whatever you choose for your hero, make sure they are realistic and relatable.

Here are some questions for you to ponder when creating your characters who have suffered a abuse:

  1. Do they find it difficult to trust people?

  2. Do they have specific triggers?

  3. Do they suffer with nightmares, night terrors, or insomnia?

  4. Do they struggle with mental health issues as a result?

  5. Do they struggle with their identity or self-acceptance?

  6. Do they see a therapist or take medication?

Below is an infographic of these questions, so feel free to download and keep for your reference!

Creating Characters Who Have Suffered Abuse



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