Why Don't They Leave? Domestic Violence/Abuse

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1 Why Don't They Leave? Domestic Violence/Abuse Why don't women/men leave abusive relationships Why don't they leave? is a question that those not in such a relationship often have. Some in such a relationship also may wonder why they don't get out. This list is to help those who aren't in such a relationship understand some of the reasons why which may in turn help them to help others leave. Ultimately the decision has to be up to the one in the situation but knowing others are there for them can be a big help. If you are or have been in such a situation feel free to contact me with a reason to add to the list. You may also add to the list of myths about abusive relationships. If you have been or are in such a relationship keep in mind that all men/women do not behave this way. There are many wonderful people in this world. Check the links for other helpful resources. Myths about abuse Believing these myths can help those in such a relationship feel that it IS there fault or that their situation is different from everyone elses. Believing the myths can also cause others to speculate about someone elses abusive relationship. Men are the abusers and women are the victims. (Either gender may be the abuser or the victim - men abusing women are just the ones we are more likely to hear about) He/she should have known better before marrying/living with him/her. (The abuser does not always show this behavior until they are more involved with the person and by then the person may be blind to what is going on.) 1

2 It only happens in trailer parks or among those who are less well off. (It can happen in any neighborhood among any group of people) They use drugs and/or alcohol. (Certainly that could make the problem worse but it is not necessarily a cause) He/she was abused as a child and that is what they are used to. (Sometimes that may be the case - but not necessarily) There are bruises, broken bones, etc (Sometimes the abuse is not that obvious. If it is verbal of course there won't be visible signs such as this) The abuse happens everyday or several times per week (It may be infrequent - once per month or a few times per week. It may not happen again for years but if the person does not recognize that they have a problem and then choose to do something about it it will likely happen again) Why don't they leave? There could be many different reasons. Although some of these reasons may not seem logical they can be very real to the person in such a situation. Also, since they probably don't feel good about themselves it may be difficult for them to feel that they could function on their own. If you are in this situation see what things below apply to you. Information will help you to make the best decisions about what to do now. Books, hotlines, support groups, and counselors and attorneys who specialize in abuse can be a big help. Where will I go? - (friends, family, shelters) How will I support myself (and my children)? - (It may not be as hard as you think) What if I am alone for the rest of my life. - (There are worse things then being alone) No one will believe me. - (They might not but it is likely they already have seen the signs. Besides, it doesn't matter whether they believe you as long as you know the truth.) What if I am celibate for the rest of my life? - (There are worse things in life) No one else will want me. - (Once you are healed you may find someone great and perfect for you. If not, again - there are worse things than being alone.) My children need their father/mother. - (What kind of mother/father do they need? - really) What will other people think? - (It shouldn't be about what others think but unfortunately sometimes it is. You just need to do what is best for you.) 2

3 How will my children handle this? - (They may handle it better than what they are currently experiencing) I don't have money or other resources. - (Get information - that will answer many concerns.) I still love him/her and I know he/she didn't mean to do it and/or is sorry and/or will change. - (How many chances should he/she get? What if after years and years he/she still doesn't? Will you still keep saying that? A person changing has to be their choice - we can't make them no matter what we do or don't do.) How can I be sure that I will be safe from him/her? - (Call local, state, or national hotlines or resources for information. If possible confide in a friend or relative and arrange to go to their house in case of emergency. Always have a bag packed with a few essentials if possible.) I am ashamed for anyone to know about the abuse. (They probably already know.) Its not really that bad. - (Do you really believe that?) I did cause this to happen or I deserve it. - (No one deserves to be treated that way). 3

4 Domestic Violence - Five Reasons Why She Doesn't Leave By Daryl Campbell When you are on the outside looking in as many of us are the solution seems perfectly clear. As a matter of fact you may have stated this to the person on numerous occasions. No doubt their hemming and hawing or blatant refusal to take the advice have caused you moments of incredible frustration or just outright anger. She has been physically abused for longer than you want to remember. You know that the police have been called on more than one occasion; regrettably never by her. You also know that she has never pressed charges. In fact she is her significant other's greatest defender and for that reason she has told you more than once in no uncertain terms to mind your own business. You can't do that. It is not just about you caring for her as a relative or friend; it's goes beyond that. You cannot stand the thought of this abuse being inflicted on any person. The Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that every year close to four million people in the United States are physically assaulted by their domestic partners. As the numbers and history confirm the overwhelming majority of the victims are women. So why do many of them stay in that situation? 1. The Children There are all kinds of things that go with this. The victim may be thinking about their children's future; emotionally and economically. So they tell themselves the best thing to do is stay together and give the appearance of normalcy for the kids' sake even though they are the main eyewitnesses to what is going on. 2. Manipulation The abuser knows the exact buttons to push on his victim. A sincere apology complete with waterworks, sweet words of love accompanied by a gentle touch and countless other tricks. Children are also used as an emotional weapon to keep the victim from leaving. And it works. Why? As clinical psychologist Mark Crawford tells Elizabeth Landrau of CNN health, "There are some women who need to be needed so badly they'll put up with anything. Even if the guy beats the crap out of them, they just feel that responsible for the other person." 3. Social Embarrassment 4

5 For others you can forget the physical abuse or the constant fearing for their lives. That's small potatoes compared to what people on the outside would think. As far as some victims are concerned if they leave the relationship then others may find out what's going on. Being physically assaulted is one thing; public humiliation in their opinion is a whole lot worse. 4. The Scary Future Maybe they have been married so long that it is hard for them to comprehend going out on their own. It also may be that the abuser has created the illusion of total dependency; telling the victim over and over again that there is no way they would ever be successful by themselves. That's another form of manipulation easy to accomplish since abuse and low self esteem go hand in hand. 5. The Violent Future As bad as things are this for many women ranks as the number one reason to stay. According to The Julian Center in the United States alone, women who leave a violent relationship are at a seventy five percent greater risk. The abuser has lost control and will do anything to get it back. In fact many victims have been told by their abusers that if they leave the relationship... To live another day, victims will take the abuse even though if they stay, they may not survive the abuse. Someone lays their hands on you, the relationship is officially over. To those of us on the outside looking in, it is that simple. Indeed if human interaction was free of any complications it would be that simple. It is not and asking victims of domestic violence why don't they leave can be the equivalent of asking someone who has fallen into quicksand why don't they just pull themselves out? Article written by Daryl Campbell. Get the nine step formula for surviving an abusive relationship at The Relationship Tip. Article Source: 5

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