Why Victims of Domestic Violence Stay
“Why don’t they just leave?” A common question from those who have never been abused - unfortunately it’s easier said than done. Truth is, leaving can often times be more complicated than it seems.
Abuse revolves around power and control. Once a victim tries to leave their situation, they are taking control and threatening the abusive partner’s power which can result in a dangerous and destructive outcome.
Aside from this, why do victims of domestic violence stay with their abusers? See below:
Conflicting emotions - With verbal, emotional, and physical abuse can come apologies, promises, and an outpouring of affection. The victim can hold on to the hope that their loved one will change. Additionally, victims can often feel a tremendous about of shame and embarrassment for their situation, using denial as a way to cope with the abuse.
Safety concerns - In many cases, the abusive partner has threatened to kill the victim, him/herself, or children if the victim tries to leave. This fear can prevent the victim from leaving given the uncertainty of what could happen.
Lack of money and resources - If money is tightly controlled in a relationship, the victim may fear losing financial support, questioning if they can support themselves (and possibly children) without the help of their partner. If the victim is elderly or disabled, they may not feel they have any other option than to remain in their abusive situation.
Depression and isolation - Abuse victims can be left feeling drained, depressed, and alone, making it hard to act or think rationally. Abusers also try to isolate their victims from other loved ones (like friends or family) so they have no support.
Cultural or religious pressures - In some situations, victims may feel inclined to stay with their abusive partner to keep the family together. One’s culture or religion may also influence them to stay for fear of bringing shame upon their family.
Brooks Remediation technicians see the devastating repercussions of all types of trauma, domestic violence being one of the most tragic and most preventable. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for confidential support. And remember, should you ever need us - we’ll be there.