Why Victims Stay
People often wonder, "Why doesn't she just leave?", without understanding the complications of ending an abusive relationship. Many victims may not leave for some of the following reasons.
- Lack of Money / Resources
- Believes Abuse is Normal
- Embarrassment or Shame
- Fear of Being Outed
- Cultural / Religious Reasons
- Language Barriers
- Immigration Status
A victim may be paralyzed due to threats such as, "If you try to leave, I'll kill you." They may also be aware that leaving is often the most dangerous time.
Lack of Money / Resources
A victim may be financially dependent on their partner. Without money, they may feel impossible to leave the relationship.
Believes Abuse is Normal
A victim may not know what a healthy relationship looks like. They may also not realize their relationship is unhealthy, or ‘abnormal’.
A victim may believe they are breaking apart the family.
Embarrassment or Shame
A victim may be embarrassed or fear victim-blaming.
A victim often hopes things will change. A victim also remembers the onset of the relationship, prior to the abuse, and hopes their partner will return to that person.
Fear of Being Outed
A victim may fear an abusive partner may reveal their partner’s LGBTQ status, which can be frightening if the victim has not come out.
Cultural / Religious Reasons
A victim may choose to remain in the relationship for fear of bringing shame to their family, due to traditional gender roles supported by someone’s culture or religion.
A victim may find it difficult to express the depth of their situation to others, if English isn’t their first language.
An undocumented victim may fear their immigration status will be affected if they report the abuse.