Why is it so Hard for a Victim to Leave?
People stay in abusive relationships for a multitude of reasons. Here are some of the common reasons that victims may become trapped in abusive relationships:
- Abuse causes isolation: no support systems, friends or family
- Limited consequences (no jail time) for the batterer
- Self-blame, low self-esteem
- No economic resources
- No financial support
- Social expectations
- Denial and minimization
- Fear of escalated violence
- No arrest, or the police will not intervene
- Abuser promises to change
- History of child abuse or witnessing abuse as a child may lead to an expectation that abuse is normal in adult relationships
- Survivors love their abuser
It is important to remember that most victims eventually do leave and that leaving is sometimes the most dangerous time for victims. For some victims, leaving also does not necessarily end the abuse.