why doesn't she just leave
this abusive relationship?
Hello my friend,
Getting out of an abusive relationship can be very difficult. Until the victim has hit rock bottom and had enough they will not be ready to do what it takes to escape. In some ways it can be compared to addiction. When someone is addicted to alcohol or drugs no one can make them stop. They have to hit the bottom of the lowest pit, what ever that is for them, before they can do something about it.
Often women hide what is happening to them due to fear and shame. Victims are often convinced that they are the crazy one, that it is their fault. They are told that they caused their partner to abuse them. When victims are assaulted and police are involved, it is typical for victims to lie about what happened to protect their spouse or boyfriend even when they are badly physically abused.
Even when they do admit they were abused, they may downplay it and they will refuse to press charges against the abuser. I can’t honestly tell you if all States are like this but generally when the police are called to a situation like this, where a woman is abused but refuses to press charges, the police on the scene can press charges against the abuser. This is great, however, if the victim does not show up to court to testify, which is often the case, the charges will ultimately be dropped.
Many times victims get brave enough to file for a restraining order against their abuser but by the time of the court date to finalize the order, they have allowed the abuser to convince them that they will change and allow them back into their lives and do not follow through with the restraining order.
Through working with abused women, I know this all too well but it also hits very close to home for me, It is very difficult to know that someone you love is living with abuse and to be unable to do anything about it. You can be there for support, to help them get connected when they hit that bottom and are ready to do something about it. However, you can’t tell them what to do, you can’t make their choices for them. They get to pick, they get to choose and you just have to wait patiently for them to get there.
I often hear people say things like, she needs to just get away from him or she needs to do this or that. You name it, I hear it. I often tell people it is not that simple. I get it, I have the same feelings but I also know abuse and how it works. I know it can be very frustrating. There are times I want to just shake some since into people but I can’t do that. Even when a victim has hit bottom and is ready to get help and do something about it, it can still be a process for most.
Remember, they love them.
As hard as it is to believe, victims still have love for their abuser. While they are in it or in the process of trying to get away, they are holding on to that love. They don’t want to cause them hurt or pain or make their life difficult or “cause” them to be away from their children. They don’t want to end things with out giving the abuser a chance to change. They don’t see things as clearly. It is easy for them to fall back into the spell of their abuser.
The truth is, the abuser cares only about himself and getting what he wants which is total control over their victim. They are willing to say or do what ever it takes to make that happen. They don’t feel that they have done anything wrong and they will not take responsibility for it. In their eyes, the victim is doing all this to them, getting them in trouble, causing problems for them when in fact, the abuser has caused all these problems because of his own actions.
Victims of abuse have been told they are the problem for so long that they begin to feel guilt about what they are doing, not focusing on what the abuser has done to them. Having no communication with their abuser is very effective but is very difficult for victims to adhere to. As long as they are having no contact in any way, they will begin to see things more clearly and it is easier for them to make the tough decisions that they need to make in order to protect themselves and their children.
The bottom line is this!
The victim has to get to the place where enough is enough before a change can begin.
Once that happens!
She will need support. A weekly support group with other domestic violence victims and counseling with counselors that deal with domestic abuse will help her grow stronger and help her to realize that she is not crazy and she is not alone.
This will also help her to gain the courage that she needs to make those tough choices she needs to make to protect herself and her children.
She will begin to realize that her abuser needs to take responsibility for his actions and that the consequences he is facing are not her responsibility.
I encourage you to learn more about abuse weather you are in abuse or not. Having knowledge about abuse will be helpful no matter what because chances are, if you haven’t yet, at some point you will encounter some type of abuse or know of someone being abused.
Peace and Blessings,
September 19, 20174