Why Women Stay in Abusive Relationships

violence against womenFalling in love with a person is, perhaps, one of the most important events in a person’s life. Many people who fall in love marry each other, and many break up or get divorced. But some of them are unlucky to get trapped in an abusive relationship; traditionally, it is considered that women suffer from abusive relationships more often than men, and are less likely to leave them. Sometimes, women suffer from abuse for decades, without being able to break up with their tormentors; and although it may seem that breaking up would be the most natural and logical act, there are reasons that prevent women from doing so.

In many cases, women feel they cannot leave an abusive relationship because they have gotten used to abusive behavior since childhood, so they do not see violence as something that is out of order. Unfortunately, dysfunctional families, in which emotional, physical, economical, or other kinds of abuse are routine, are not uncommon nowadays. Women coming from such families do not know other patterns of behavior, and thus have learned to expect frequent incidents of violence (Women’s Web). Habits and psychological traits gained in childhood remain incredibly strong throughout one’s lifetime, so there is no wonder why women raised in dysfunctional families do not attempt to quit abusive relationships. Thus, in order to do so, they might need respective psychological assistance first.

Rather often, victims of domestic abuse do not stay for the pain; it would be illogical, unless they were masochistic. What makes women stay with abusers is they hope one day the violence will stop. Not all of the abusers are cruel and sadistic; often, they realize they have insulted and/or hurt their partner. Sincerely feeling guilty, abusers try to make amends, comfort their victim, and this is what gives women hope for the better. They tend to block out evidence to the contrary, believing “this very case of abuse definitely was the last.” In fact, many abuse victims prefer to notice only the positive traits in their partners, such as being affectionate and reliable, and justify the cases of violent behavior. In one study, more than 50% of the abuse victims believed their partners were “highly dependable” (Huffington Post).

It would also be a mistake to underestimate financial and health factors. For example, due to the lack of money, it can seem impossible for some abuse victims to leave, traumatizing the relationship. Even if they could, they might have no place to go; this causes a strong feeling of helplessness, which causes a victim to think they would rather live with the abusive partner than take a leap into the unknown. Also, a woman might be disabled or ill, thus being physically dependent on the abuser; this dependency often influences a woman’s decision to stay in an abusive relationship (Love Is Respect).

As we can see, it is not easy to leave abusive relationships, because along with violence come numerous factors that prevent women from leaving abusive relationships. Among these factors, one should mention having a dysfunctional family in a victim’s background; permanent hope that the abuse will stop, along with psychological dependency on the abuser; and financial or health factors that prevent the victim from leaving the abuser. These factors should be considered before providing help to a victim of an abusive relationship.

References

“Why Do People Stay in Abusive Relationships?” Www.loveisrespect.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

“Domestic Violence: Why Do Women Stay? Why Don’t They Leave?” Women’s Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.

Malkin, Craig. “Why Do People Stay in Abusive Relationships?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.

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