What is domestic violence?
Abuse is patterns or behaviors used to maintain control over an intimate partner. It can be verbal, physical, sexual, mental, and/or financial. Domestic violence transcends race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, etc.
Absolutely no one deserves to be abused in any capacity. If you or someone you know needs help, please click here or call 1 (800) 799-7233 or 1 (800) 787-3224 (TTY).
Why don't they leave?
Victim blaming is a common societal practice where people marginalize the survivor and assign a cause for the abuse. "Did you provoke him?", "Was he drunk?" and "She must like it if she stays." are examples of this. It is much easier for people to believe that we live in a fair world where consequences are the result of negative actions. By finding flaws in survivors of abuse, it assures those on the outside that they are different and good things happen to good people while further alienating the survivor and making it harder to come forward. Read more about the psychology of victim blaming.
There are many reasons why a victim stays:
- Fear of death or increased violence
- Fear of losing their children
- Economic dependence
- Low self-esteem
- Belief that the abuse is their fault
- Lack of external support
- Religious or cultural beliefs
- Love and thinking it will get better
Abuse is a choice. Instead of asking "Why do they stay?" let's ask, "Why do they abuse?"