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Why Do They Stay?

People often question why individuals remain in an abusive relationship. There are many reasons why it may be difficult to get out of a violent relationship.

  • Some people confuse control and jealousy for love. "If they didn't love me so much they wouldn't care where I was/what I wear/who I am with..."
  • The person loves the abuser and continues to hope that they can change the abusive partner. They really want to believe the promises that it will never happen again. There are positive attributes which attracted them to their partner in the beginning of the relationship and they really want to hold onto those.
  • Peer pressure – Pressure to conform to a norm that says you are nobody unless you are in a relationship
  • The person believes the abuser and feels the abuse is entirely their fault; they believe if they could just "do better, get it right," etc., the violence would end.
  • Fear – The violent partner may have threatened to kill them if they leave ("If I can't have you, nobody will"). Or, the violent partner threatens to harm themselves if their partner leaves.
  • Shame – Being embarrassed and afraid to tell family and friends about the violence
  • Self-esteem is severely damaged – After a history of abuse the victim begins to believe the negative things the abuser is saying, and no longer values themselves or views themselves as capable or desirable
  • Violence is only part of a relationship, not all of it. Victims may still love the "good side" of their partner.

Help Resources Available


2017-01-27T09:36:16.592-06:00 2017
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