Imagine being in a relationship with history behind it and feeling like you want to leave because abuse has become an increasing threat. You do not have money to leave, you have loved this person for years and consequently your emotions are pulling you up and down. You fear what would happen to your children. This is a situation many find themselves in.
People who are not in abusive relationships may find it hard to understand why those who are choose to stay. In today’s society, victims are often blamed as being “incompetent” or “needy and weak.” This is not true. Ending a relationship – especially if there are years behind it – can be hard.
According to WebMD, people stay for many reasons, which include:
-Shame and embarrassment. Victims often feel these two emotions and may cope with abuse through denial. Another possibility is that they are the only member in their family faced with this issue.
-Lack of resources. Money is a resource that if sometimes tightly controlled. If a woman is in a situation of leaving, she may question how she will be able to support herself and her children. Elderly or those with disabilities may not feel that they have any options than to stay with their partner.
-Custody worries. A parent, especially women, may worry about losing custody of the children if they leave.
-Deportation. If a person is an immigrant who is not a citizen, this fear can be very strong to hold a person in place. It may be that their partners have threatened to speak of this issue to local authorities. Also, if a person is not fluent in English, this could present a challenge.
It is important to understand that someone why stays in an abusive relationship is not incompetent or weak. This may be the toughest thing they have ever had to do in their lives, and that can demand a lot of strength. No one can make these decisions for them, but we all must be that support system that is needed.
Do you know of any situations in which a person has left the relationship and created a better life because of it?