According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), nearly 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States. This means that more than 10 million men and women are abused each year.
What’s even crazier, is that the NCADV estimates that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will have experienced some sort of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. It usually takes the abused seven breakups before they finally leave their abuser, and then there are those who never leave.
5 Reasons Why the Abused Never Leave
There are numerous reasons abusers tend to stay in relationships, however, the Domestic Abuse Project lists the most common as follows:
1. The Abused Fear the Reaction of Their Abuser
The abused have been so traumatized that they fear their abuser will hunt them down and kill them, steal important documents and belongings, spread rumors, and even kidnap the children. If you or anyone you know feels this way, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and you will be provided with the help.
2. The Effects of Abuse Can Be Paralyzing & Demoralizing
It is common for the abused to feel a low sense of worth, and some actually feel they deserve their abuse. Another common side effect of abuse is feeling paralyzed. One doesn’t feel like they have the ability to make decisions and can even feel as though they can’t cope without their abusive partners.
As the abuse continues over time, some become comfortable with the way things are and are terrified about their ability to find freedom.
Here is a great Psychology Today article on change that may help you or someone you love move forward.
3. Fear that Rocking the Boat Will Negatively Affect the Children
Some choose to stay in an abusive situation because they are afraid their children will be damaged. Other common fears are that the abuser will steal the children (or turn them against the abused parent) or hurt/kill them.
These are all rational fears, but with a carefully thought out plan, both the abused and their children can find safety. The Domestic Violence Hotline can also help with this: 1-800-799-7233.
There are still some men and women who believe their abuse is their burden to bear — for the love of their commitment to God. Also, some abusers use religion as a justification for their actions. This is called spiritual abuse.
5. Financial Dependence
If the abused isn’t the primary breadwinner, they may fear they can’t make it on their own. According to a recent Forbes article, this may play a huge role into why nearly 85-percent of abused women return to their abusive relationships.
While financial discomfort can be tough in the beginning for a man or woman who has left their abuse partner, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Click here for a great article on this topic.
If you are experiencing any of the above, it is important that you realize you can have a beautiful and happy life. All it takes is a first step, a heck of a lot of courage, and you’ll be on your way.