Why Won’t She Leave!

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

By Hanna Munin

When looking at abusive relationships from a third party perspective, it’s hard to understand why people stay in abusive relationships. It seems as if breaking up when you have a reason to should not be difficult and it should be easy to look on for a happier life, unfortunately it isn’t so easy. It’s hard enough to break up with a person that’s perfectly fine and a genuinely nice person. It makes it even more difficult when a partner is threatening to hurt themselves or the family of their partner if they leave.

It’s difficult to understand why a friend may stay in an abusive relationship, but here are some explanations for what they are doing. For one, they may not understand that what they are going through is abuse. It’s easy to be in denial that they are suffering from abuse, or they may not fully understand things that can be considered abusive. For example, many people do not feel that emotional or verbal abuse can be considered domestic abuse because their partner is not physically hurting them. However, any act that is threatening or is fearful is considered abuse.

Another reason why people stay in abusive relationships is because they are embarrassed of what they are going through and they are afraid to get help. In a lot of abusive relationships, the batterer tells their partner that no one is on their side and no one wants to help them, so eventually their partner believes it and will become too afraid to seek help, since they feel that no one is going to help them. People stay in abusive relationships because they are afraid of what their batterer will do. Lots of batterers say that they will kill themselves or they will go and hurt their partner even worse or hurt their partner’s family if their partner decides to leave.

It’s true that leaving is the scariest part of an abusive relationship. So if your friend or family member is staying in their abusive relationship, this is a chance for you to reach out to them. Now that you have a better understanding about what they are going through, it can be easier for you as a third party to let your friend know that they are not alone. It’s important to support a person being abused by their partner in any way you can, whether it is by having them stay at your house a few nights or calling every night to make sure they are okay. It’s important to let them know that you are there for them, because then your friend will know that they have somewhere to turn to for when they are ready to leave the relationship.

For help or resources visit SafePlace.org or call the hotline at 267-SAFE.


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