Why do Victims Stay in Abusive Relationships?

iStockDV_window.jpgThe reasons victims stay in abusive relationships are very complicated. There are a wide range of emotional feelings that allow the abuse to continue and prevent the victim from leaving. Here are a few reasons that victims stay in an abusive relationship:

  • Fear – Victims fear the physical harm that might come if they attempt to leave.
  • Love – Victims may truly have deep feelings for the abusive partner.
  • Promises – Promises that this abuse will never happen again.
  • Abuse = Love – Confusion between being loved and being controlled by their partner.
  • Guilt – Being made to think that the abuse is their fault, that they have the problem.
  • Not Being Believed – A strong fear that nobody will believe them if they speak out against the abuse.
  • Thinking They Can Change Them – The belief that over time the victim can change the abusive partner.
  • Low Self-Esteem – After being in an abusive relationship there is a feeling that they can do no better than their current relationship.
  • Being Alone – To end the relationship could mean a loss of mutual friends, relatives and others associated with the relationship.
  • Financial – Money, children and no place to go also hold victims in these relationships.

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