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Why Abuse Victims Stay in Domestic Violence Situations

May 2, 2018 3021 285 No Comments


Domestic violence is a growing epidemic that occurs in many households. According to the Law Office of Bradley Corbett, one in four women and one in seven men aged 18 or older will or have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. Unfortunately, some people stay in such unhealthy relationships for many years before they finally leave. Victims of domestic abuse are usually dealing with many extenuating factors in their home life, emotional health, and even financially. People who stay in violent relationships usually do so for the following reasons.

Fear of the Perpetrator

One of the most common reasons victims stay in domestically violent relationships is that they are afraid for their physical health or even life. Some victims believe the perpetrator is going to take their life if they leave, and in some cases, may try to. Victims should always call the police and report cases of violence when possible. Restraining orders can help but are not often fully enforced which is another fear that can deter victims.


Fear of the Unknown

Some people are just afraid of what’s out there, or worse yet, what isn’t out there. Their partner may give them a familiar feeling, and they may prefer to stay in a place they know with people they know, rather than having to find a way out of the situation. Fear keeps them enmeshed in their partner’s windstorm and if you young or impressionable, may not know what resources are available to help them.


Low Self-Esteem

Many domestic violence survivors feel they will not be able to find another partner. Their abuser may have said something similar as a way of keeping them under their control. The target may have heard it so many times they start to believe it. Being under someone’s thumb does not provide victims with the agency they need to see a way out of the situation.


Hope for Change

Many partners feel that things will change if they stick around and change themselves. Unfortunately, such relationships don’t usually change without getting therapy or some other treatment that can help break the patterns of abuse.


Financial Reasons

Some people stay with violent partners because they cannot support themselves financially. The partner may have put all the assets in their name or forbid the other partner to work. The couple may have children who need clothing, food, and other necessities and a victim may have been out of the workforce for a long time. All those things play a part in whether someone stays in a dangerous relationship or not.


Lack of Support

One of the worst situations to be in is where a victim has nowhere else to go. Some people stay in violent relationships because they do not have the support they need from family and friends. They return to the violent partner because it seems like a better option than homelessness.


Enabling domestic violence is unhealthy for both parties. It’s something that needs to be healed so that both parties can learn to interact with other people positively.