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Domestic Violence – Why Don’t the Abused Just Leave?

by Rachel Saunders
(Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

One of the hardest things to understand about an abusive relationship is why the other person doesn’t just leave.

There are many reasons and factors involved in the behavior of the abused that keep them from making that step of leaving an abusive relationship. Understanding their reasons is important for people who want to reach out and help that other person. A person who is unable to face that they are in an abusive relationship is in denial, and will rationalize why they are staying in that relationship.

They may believe that the other person will change, and they want to give them the benefit of the doubt because they love them. They may feel like they are responsible for the other person’s anger towards them, and set out to make things better. Their self-esteem may be so low that they don’t feel they deserve a better life.

Other factors could be for financial reasons. A person may not have enough money or a job to support themselves without their abusive partner. If children are involved, a person may stay in an abusive relationship because they don’t have the financial resources to take care of themselves and their children. Another factor could be fear that is keeping a person in an abusive relationship.

The person may fear that their abuser could harm them if they try to leave. If a person is overly religious, they may believe that divorcing their partner is a sin and could be punished by a higher power. Some victims of abuse have families that could be in denial. If a family member refuses to believe that their loved one is being abused, the victim may stay in the relationship for lack of family support.

A person who knows someone that is being abused, can lend their support just by showing them that they will be there for them no matter what decision they make. Trying to force someone to leave an abusive relationship could be harmful if that person is not ready. A person who is being abused may first need to face the reality of their situation, and believe that there is no hope in changing the relationship for the better.

A person who is finally able to see the truth, mainly do so after they realize how much it could be effecting their children. Hurry up and wait is a term for most people who want to help someone get out of an abusive relationship. The ultimate decision to leave has to be with the abused.

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Updated: November 24, 2013 — 9:15 am

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