• randi857

WHY DO VICTIMS STAY WITH THEIR ABUSERS?



It can be hard to understand why a victim would continue to stay with their abuser. Knowing the WHY behind this decision will help you be more supportive if someone you love is in a domestic violence situation and they are not choosing to leave.


Keep in mind that on average, it takes a victim 7 exit attempts before they leave and never return.


If you think you may be the victim of abuse, please seek help from a Domestic Violence Advocate. If you are local (Fremont of Custer Counties) call us at 719-275-2429. Or you can call your local Crisis Center or the National Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.


These are common reasons victims stay with their abusers but keep in mind there are many more than what is listed here:

  • FEAR - It is well-documented that victims are at the highest risk of injury when they are leaving. Increased threats of violence often convince a person to stay. An abuser often threatens to keep the children from the victim or threatens violence toward them.

  • CONTROL - A victim might feel more control over the decision to stay in a relationship than to leave. They know what to expect from the abuser as far as their moods and how to behave in the least triggering way. Victims often fear (for good reason) that their abuser will lash out at friends or family if they leave.

  • ISOLATION - An abuser often uses tactics to keep their partner away from family and friends. This leaves a victim without resources and a safe place, and, ultimately, without choices.

  • FINANCES - Many victims lack the means to support themselves. Often an abuser will force a victim to quit their job or not allow them to work at all. Lack of access to household money is also an issue. The cost of leaving can be prohibitive when you consider kids, pets, transportation, housing, etc.

  • PROMISES OF CHANGE - Abusers tend to make lots of promises of change and new behavior. They apologize and appear repentant, but that only lasts until the next violent outburst.

  • LOVE - Love is usually present at the start of a relationship. Over time, as violence starts happening, the victim's feelings of love might not change. They might feel that with enough love, the abuser will change. And if there is a power dynamic in the relationship, the victim will feel responsible for the abuse and spend their time trying to "behave" to receive better treatment and be a better partner.


If someone in your life says they are being abused, believe them. The best way to support them is to listen, partner with them in finding help, and respect the choices they make for themselves (even if you don't approve of their choices).


If you think you may be the victim of abuse, please seek help from a Domestic Violence Advocate. If you are local (Fremont of Custer Counties) call us at 719-275-2429. Or you can call your local Crisis Center or the National Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.





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