Too often when it comes to Domestic Violence victims, we very quickly ask “Why don’t you leave?” or “How can you let him treat you like that?” The answer to that question isn’t so simple! Rather, whether you mean it or not, it almost implies that you’re blaming the victim for all that they’re going through.
For most people it’s hard to wrap their head around why a woman continues to live in such a situation. Unfortunately, there are many financial and emotional forces that may keep the woman tied to her abuser. Leaving becomes a much more complicated process rather than a simple walk out the door, as most of us imagine. Here are some of the more common reasons as to why a woman may feel compelled to stay with her abuser:
FEAR OF MORE VIOLENCE ~ She fears a greater physical danger of herself and her children if they try to leave. She may be stalked, hunted down and suffer a worse beating or possibly death. Did you know that leaving is the riskiest time for a victim because she may actually end up getting murdered? Better to stay put than die may be thinking behind staying.
ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE ~ She cannot financially support herself and her children. She may be lacking job skills and might not be able to get a job.
ACCEPTABLE VIOLENCE ~ The violence escalates slowly and over time for the victim. Because living with constant violence may numb the victim, she is unable to recognize that she is involved in a pattern of abuse.
SOCIALLY ISOLATED ~ Often times an abuser tends to violate the victim from her friends and family. Due to which she may feel that she has no one to turn to or no other alternative. This way she may even be uninformed about possible alternatives such as shelters.
TRAPPED IN THE HONEYMOON PHASE~ There are periods of calm between the violence which are filled with love and affection which is known as the honeymoon stage in the cycle of violence. Often time the abuser can be quite lovable and loving while not being abusive such as showering her with gifts and much affection and attention. The woman may often cling to those memories and stay for these good moments.
CHILDREN: She does not want to cause them more emotional damage or leave them fatherless. Often times an abuser tends to threaten the victim about taking the kids away, due to which the victim may fear loss of custody of her children.
The situations and factors vary for victims and it’s often much more complicated than it may seem to an outsider. Before we judge or make implications, it’s always best to be kind, sensitive and understanding of victims and their situation.