There is scarcely a psychiatric condition in women for which childhood abuse is not blamed. Nearly all of the research in this area, however, relies on unconfirmed retrospective reporting. Although people can remember important events from their childhoods, people who are ill may be more likely to remember negative events, and a woman will have had countless experiences between the time of the childhood abuse and her appearance in the research or treatment setting. So, when we try to understand the connections between abuse and psychiatric illness, we have two fundamental questions: How do we know it happened? How do we know it causes psychopathology?