Why Victims Stay in Abusive Relationships

No one should be judged for their deci­sion. But there is help avail­able whether you choose to stay or leave an abu­sive relationship.

Peo­ple stay in abu­sive rela­tion­ships for many dif­fer­ent rea­sons. It’s never a sim­ple sit­u­a­tion. Although every­one is dif­fer­ent, here are some com­mon rea­sons peo­ple do not leave abu­sive relationships:

Emo­tional reasons:

  • Fear
  • Low self-esteem
  • Expe­ri­enced abuse as a child and doesn’t know any­thing else
  • Feel iso­lated
  • Shame or embarrassment
  • Depres­sion
  • A desire to make it better
  • Guilt
  • Hope and dreams of a cer­tain way of life
  • Chil­dren

Eco­nomic Reasons:

  • Unem­ploy­ment
  • Lack of education
  • Home belongs to partner
  • Money con­trolled by partner
  • Chil­dren

Social rea­sons:

  • Cul­tural issues
  • Community’s response
  • Iso­la­tion from community
  • Lack of infor­ma­tion and resources
  • Lack of sup­port from friends, fam­ily and/or community
  • Reli­gious beliefs
  • Fam­ily beliefs
  • Inad­e­quate response from the police or court system

There is help. You are not alone and it’s okay to talk about it!


Next: How to Talk to a Friend

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