We often say things like you should leave her/him, you should not be in this abusive relationship, you should report domestic violence, etc. when we hear of any cases of Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Violence. However, we still find people continuing with their abusive relationships. According to a CDC survey, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner. What makes people stay in their abusive relationships is questionable. In this article, let us take a look at some of the major reasons why people might have to stay in such mentally, physically, and emotionally destructive relationships.
Fear of Retaliation
Leaving an abusive partner can have repercussions. Leaving the partner is indeed the most appropriate alternative to choose. However, leaving might not always be easy. Apart from emotional dependence, leaving an abuser can be dangerous to an extent that it can cost one's life as well. The toxicity of abusive relationships is inexplicable. The abusers tend to make the victims feel like they deserve it. Consequently, leaving becomes difficult, and when a victim decides to leave there are high chances of retaliation from the perpetrators' end.
As per an article by The Guardian, 75% of abused women are killed by their abusive partners. Most often, when victims gather the courage to leave their partners, they are being murdered. To ensure their safety and that of the children, most people choose to stay in their disturbing relations.
Lack of Self-Confidence
Being in an abusive relationship, the abuser primarily destroys the self-confidence of the victim. They make the victim feel like they are deserving of the treatment that they are being given. The victims started questioning their self-worth in the relationship. They believe they are dependent on the abuser in financial, emotional, and mental terms. As a result, the decision of leaving the partner is rarely on their list. Many times, the sufferer does not even realize that he/she is in an abusive relationship.
The societal pressure of continuing the relationship is also one of the major reasons that make the victims question their worth. Consequently, it is of immense difficulty for a person with destroyed self-esteem to take such a big step of leaving the partner. Many times, they have to make multiple efforts to leave the partner before finally leaving them because of their destroyed self-worth and questionable self-esteem.
Safeguard Family and Children
Another major reason for failing to leave partners with violent behaviors is to safeguard family and children. Many women are afraid to leave their children in the toxic environment of their homes. Some of them also complain that they choose to bear the violence because if not for them, their partners might harm their children. To avoid the same, the survivors prefer not leaving or reporting their dangerous partners.
On the other hand, many people also opt for staying because of a preconceived notion that children with a single parent lack love in their lives. Consequently, women stay in abusive relationships so that their children can have the love and support of their fathers, keeping their safety at stake.
Many women are still financially dependent on their husbands and what happens post leaving abusive partners is of great concern. To leave a financially stable life can be difficult both for the woman and the children as well. In such difficult circumstances, females choose to stay together rather than leave their partners. They often think of financial problems they might face after they leave the abusers. Moreover, they are scared of living in poor financial conditions. Consequently, deciding to leave an abusive partner becomes even a bigger decision for them.
Societal and Family Expectations
Leaving someone you loved, requires courage and the support of your loved ones. However, not receiving the help and aid of your loved ones can make the decision a never-ending task. Even today, society conceives that leaving a marriage and living alone is something one should avoid. Families, instead of helping, blame the survivors. Societal and family expectations make it tougher for women to leave their abusive and toxic partners.
In addition to the aforementioned reasons, many times victims also believe that they can change their partners with their love and support. They often feel guilty about leaving their partners and think that it is their responsibility to stay in the destructive relationship and try changing their partners. However, that never happens and the cases of violence increase.
Being a part of the evolving society, we must support the victims of domestic violence to bring about a change. No matter what reasons a victim might find to be in an abusive relationship, it is crucial to console them and show support towards them. No one deserves to be assaulted physically, mentally, or emotionally. If you or anyone you know, might be suffering from Intimate Partner Violence, it is time to seek help and speak up.