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Why Do They Stay?

by Sabrin

One of the main questions that often arises in the discussion of domestic violence issues is why do women remain in abusive relationships to begin with? A lot of people can’t understand why someone would willingly stay in a situation which brings them constant danger and pain and often partially place the blame on victims for not speaking out or leaving.

Women may not immediately leave an abusive relationship because*:

  • They fear their abusers will become more violent — perhaps fatal — stalking them if they leave.
  • Friends and family may not support their decision to leave.
  • They fear being a single parent with little money.
  • There are periods of calm, nurturing and love between incidents of violence (see The Cycle of Abuse).
  • They may be unaware of sources of advocacy and support.
  • They may be unaware of shelters and other resources that offer safety and support.

Here is a great resource that sheds some light on *why women choose to stay.

Many of us have heard of domestic violence incidents involving acquaintances or friends and family, and may ask ourselves this question quite often.

Why do you believe some women do not leave and choose to stay?

4 Comments

JasmineMar 31 2008 - -

1. Brain washed by the abuser to the point where the victim blames themself for the abuse. 2. Social pressures of having a healthy relationship - the "divorce stigma" in our society. 3. Hope that this the last time and it will get better with time. 4. Fear of what the abuser will do when the victim leaves the relationship as many abusers are violent & possessive.

NeerajMar 31 2008 - -

I think the main two reasons are fear of the situation getting worse and being alone. No one likes being alone and having to fend for themselves, especially when there are children involved. In our society, I think its felt that when a marriage ends, its because the people involved are considered truants and cowards. I think the fear of intensifying violence and the fear of being alone and rejected by socitey pushes many women to remain in an abusive situation. When the alternative seems so harsh, it must seem like they have no choice.

LoveApr 2 2008 - -

I think something overlooked is the most astonishing: love. Despite being treated so badly at their hands, a lot of victims really love their abusers and care about them. That is what unfortunately often blinds them to their circumstances and leads many victims to go back to their abusers. I think the hardest thing to realize is that someone who doesn't love you and give you the same amount of respect that you know and deserve isn't someone who is worthy of your love.

SeenTheLightApr 20 2008 - -

Love has seen the picture clearly. Abuse is a pattern of behavior, a way of being. As such, getting out of it requires one to restructure their personality to be able to see how to respond and build a whole new set of life responses. Abuse is driven by control and domination over a weaker personality. Women are very vunerable especially when having children or grandchildren involved. Learing how to be a loving person in any culture requires people to learn how to be loving. Making anyone bow to culture is not loving, it is brainwashing and domination. Culture is a god. Cultures form like any animal norm and establish boundaries as the group sees fit to survive.

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