Table of Contents
5 MOST COMMON REASONS WHY WOMEN STAY IN BAD RELATIONSHIPS
The most compelling reason women stay in abusive relationships is because they are afraid. Abusers are all about control, and often when a women exerts control over her own life, the violence escalates. More than 70% of domestic violence injuries and murders happen after the victim has left the relationship.
An abuser might threaten to harm or even kill their partner if she tries to leave. Or he might threaten to harm family members, take the children away, or spread terrible rumors about his partner.
When a woman fears for her safety, the safety of her children or family, or her own reputation or livelihood, staying in the abusive relationship feels like the only alternative.
2. Concern for Children
Leaving an abusive relationship is much more difficult when children are involved. A woman might feel unable to support her children on her own, or she might fear for her children’s well-being and safety if she leaves.
She might experience guilt about taking her children away from their father or breaking up the family. Their may be threats by the abuser that he will turn the children against his partner if she leaves.
Also, he might get joint custody of the children, and she fears leaving them alone with him. Or she wants to serve as a buffer to protect her children from her abuser’s anger and violence.
3. Shame and Low Self-Esteem
If the abuse has gone on for some time, a woman’s self-esteem erodes to the point that she feels she deserves the abuse.
She might feel she isn’t good enough for someone who treats her kindly, with love and respect. Or she might be brainwashed by her partner to believe she can’t cope without him.
Some women feel the familiarity of abuse is better than the unknowns of life outside of the relationship. Things might be worse than they are with the abuser.
Feeling shame about the abuse is another reason women stay. They don’t want to expose the abuse and their own tolerance of it to friends and family by leaving their partner.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “peers, family members, and others in the community (e.g., coworkers, social service-providers, police, or clergy) minimize or ignore the abuse and fail to provide consequences.” Victims are often shamed or admonished about the relationship rather than offered help and support.
4. The Abuser Prevents Them From Leaving
An abusive partner can go to great extremes to control and isolate his victim. He might take her cellphone or car keys to keep her isolated at home.He might cut her off financially or keep her on a very tight budget.
Some abusers have prevented friends and family from contacting their partners or have even physically prevented a woman from leaving the house.
They use fear and intimidation to prevent their partner from taking any action that might lead to exposure of the abuse or the end of the relationship.
5. The Abuse Feels Normal
For some women, an abusive relationship feels normal. They assume all intimate relationships involve some form of physical or psychological violence.
They may have grown up in an abusive family and observed their father abusing their mother. Or a woman may have experienced worse trauma than physical or emotional violence growing up.
If a woman was raped or violated by her father, she might confuse this violence for some form of love or acceptance from this powerful figure in her life.
Children don’t have the mental or emotional skills to cope with the pain and mixed messages they receive in an abusive household. They carry this confusion into their adult lives and find themselves choosing partners who repeat the twisted dynamics of their childhood experiences.