We’re frequently asked why women stay in abusive relationships.
We often respond with a question: Instead ask yourself why men are choosing to be abusive? Note: Not all men are abusive and not all abusers are men, but the majority of intimate partner violence happens to women by men (approximately 90%).
So why do victims choose to stay in an abusive relationship?
The most frequent answer is the most simple and powerful: victims stay for love and the hope that the abuser will change. They also stay because of fear and for good reason: The most dangerous time in a violent relationship is when a victim is leaving.
There are many reasons why someone stays: fear, love, commitment, finances and religion are just a few. Sometimes, there just doesn’t seem to be a way out.
It is important to remember that any relationship is difficult to leave – but a violent one has many extra layers of complexity and fear.
Leaving is a process, and not a one time event. As a society, we must support and empower victims in this process and hold the abuser accountable for the violence that he chooses to inflict.
Remember, real love isn’t violent. Nobody deserves to be abused.
Everyone deserves peace at home.