“Why don’t you just leave him?”
Many people ask victims of abuse this question. Although it is often posed with good intentions, it is rarely a helpful question to ask. For most victims, the decision of whether to leave a relationship is far more complicated and wrought with nuances than most people realize. In this month’s blog series, we are focusing on what stops people from leaving abusive relationships. This week, we take a look at why some women might choose to stay; next week we will focus on men.
For those who have never been in an abusive relationship, it can be dumbfounding to imagine how any woman would stay with a partner who treats her badly. It is also very challenging to witness someone you know and love being hurt because of abuse and yet continue living with the abuser. While leaving an abusive relationship is a good and necessary choice for many victims, there are also reasons why some decide to stay.
As friends, family, counselors, pastors, or other types of first responders, it is vital that we do our best to learn more about abuse and how to empathize with victims throughout their journey, or we risk harming them further by how we respond
Here are some reasons women might stay in an abusive relationship: