Twit Chat: “Why Doesn’t She Leave?”

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Twit Chat: “Why Doesn’t She Leave?”

We were very excited to participate in a Twit Chat with Loop 21 about the reasons a man or woman might stay in an abusive relationship. The conversation had great participation. Read through the tweets below.

A special thanks to Loop 21 for shedding light on this topic and allowing us to participate:

What do you think? Do these reasons speak to what you, or victims in your life, experienced? Please let us know your thoughts below.

On Dec 12, 2012 we discussed barriers for leaving abusive relationships with The Loop 21:

Comment section

54 replies
  1. My daughter is out of state and being abused almost on a constant basis. The problem is, every time she calls with a crisis, I have helped her. I am now at rock bottom with my finances, as I am a widow. She has been with her abuser now 19 years, still calling, sobbing, and needing help. She is disabled, and her little boy is epileptic also. This child doesn’t want them to split up. The neurologists has explained that the two things that trigger seizures are sleep deprivation and stress. Both are involved with a break up. The child is 15. There is an 8 year old involved that is frightened to go to school because the dad tells my daughter to get out constantly by a certain time, and my grandaughter thinks her mom won’t be there when she gets home from school. My daughter drops her off sobbing every morning if she can get her to go. I seem to be the one who has helped her in research, etc. She is afraid to use the computer in her home. I bought her a used vehicle because she was walking every where with a knee that has been partially replaced because of her young age. The knee was so swollen from walking, that I didn’t know what to do. PLEASE HELP!


    1. Donne,

      What a heartbreaking situation. It sounds like you daughter doesn’t feel that she has options for leaving. I am sure the situation seems overwhelming in many ways; a major obstacle being the health of her son. It is great that she has you as a support system, but it is understandable that her situation can be emotionally, and financially, draining on you. Please remember to take care of yourself as well. If she is able to use the phone, please give her our number; there are advocates here 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 and they can safety plan with her and brainstorm options. If she is unable to call, maybe she can borrow your phone to call us or you are always welcome to reach out via telephone also.

      Thank you for reaching out to the Share Your Voice Blog.


  2. I did leave. When my ex attacked my son and bruised up his face and torso by shoving him to the garage floor and shoving his knee into the back of my kid’s shoulders, grinding his face and abdomen into the rough cement floor, I left. I took the kids and fled to my parents house an hour away before he even knew I was gone. CPS said it wasn’t abuse because I didn’t take my son to the ER. I was more concerned with getting to safety before my ex could figure out we were gone. A year later, a judge punished me for accusing my ex of abuse and split my kids up, giving custody of two of the children to my ex. I now see them 4 days a month, and though I’ve appealed the decision, so far, I haven’t had any luck.

    I never should have left. Had I stayed with my ex, I could still be with my kids. Now he won’t let me see them. He won’t let them talk to me on the phone without listening in. He won’t allow me to take my kids to therapy. And despite 4 separate calls to CPS (before I left; from various people, not me) and 3 suspensions from his teaching job for inappropriate conduct with kids, I still can’t get my kids back.

    I wish I had stayed put. And this is what happens — this is why women don’t leave. The law is NOT on our side. AT ALL.

    1. Rebecca,

      I am sorry to hear about the unfairness of the judge’s decision. It sounds like you did all the right things by leaving, getting to a safe place, and trying to get help from CPS. You are not alone in feeling that staying would have been better for all in your family. Though, it must have been hard for the children to see the abuse happening to you and leaving him was a very strong decision.

      There is information regarding custody at or this link Advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 for further guidance and referrals.
      Thank you for reaching out to the Share Your Voice community.


  3. Yes, you are right the law is not on our side it is on theirs –it is a mans world unfortunately. I have been abused for 7 years just now trying to get out for the new year-I am tired of cops his drinking and state attorney paperwork -just sick of it love should not be this way. I have issues of leaving due to money and he abuses me so much I am finding it hard to be self supportive-I lose jobs he makes fun of me and when he knowsI am low on cash that is when he really abuses me-I will get away and be independent forever and never get myself in a situation like this again-we are both real unhappy-so it is time for me to move on and I have other ideas for my life -I just need to be strong and do it.

    1. Pat,

      It takes a lot of courage to share your story with our blog readers. Leaving an abusive relationship can be challenging, especially when you are financially dependent on your abusive partner. You say some very powerful words with “love should not be this way” and “I will get away and be independent forever.” You are so right that love does not equal abuse. Your strong words of leaving and being free are empowering not only for you but for others who are experiencing abuse as well.

      If you would like to call the Hotline for guidance and support and to talk about options for leaving, you can call 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for sharing with our blog community.


  4. I am in an abusive relationship. He started to put his hands on me a few weeks after the birth of our third child. I still have a mark on my neck because he was trying to strangle me. he keeps beating nostop and when i try to call the police, he calls his family who is trying to treaten me. he just put his hands on me today. I need help on how to get away from this.

    1. Yoose,

      Thank you for sharing your story with our blog community. It sounds like you are in a very dangerous situation. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline from a safe phone when you are alone so we can talk about your options and resources. We are here 24/7 and are confidential and anonymous. Please call us at 1-800-799-7233.

  5. Hi, I am from the Philippines, I am married with my husband for two years now… And me and my son (2years old and 8 months) just got here April 2… And I am scared that my husband will take my son away because he keeps on telling me he will on our fights… Every single time.. I don’t know what to do… Please help me… He also is constantly telling me he will send me back to the Philippines and I will be sorry…:'( Please help….

    1. Hi Iheiy, I’m glad you contacted us on the Blog. It takes courage to talk about issues most people don’t ever talk about. There are US laws that might be helpful to you and your son. But, it would be useful if you could call us at the National Domestic Violence Hotline–1-800-799-7233. We hear stories like yours often and would like to help. Threatening you with deportation and the loss of your son is easy to do and extremely unfair. Let’s talk soon. We’re always here, 24hours a day and 365 days a year.

  6. I don’t know how this starts or why but I just know it is very very sad way to live. Iam the financial supporter and when he looses another job it only gets more violent. I am not sure how to fix this just know I dont want to die from his mistakes. I am 33 and he his 38, we have been involved with each other for 17 years and do not have kids nor marriage. Well he has an 18 yr. old which he never really sees. I cannot sum this story up in a paragraph or 50 but know it is bad. Tonight he has put my head through the wall and left. About 2 weeks ago he smashed my head repeatdly and left . It was the same spot so I think that is why it hurts so bad tonight. I cant tell this to anyone but him and he knows that. I have filed charges previousely and he spent some time away, however I won’t do that anymore because we live in a samll town and I would only be wasting officers time. I guess I have a real low self esteem issue and if I can fix that I know I can fix this before time runs out. Thank you to anyone who listens.

    1. Hi Me,

      First off, thank you for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like this has been a really scary situation. It is definitely understandable to not be able to sum up the story in a paragraph, our anonymous and confidential hotline is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support with this situation at 1-800-799-7233.

      This sounds like a dangerous situation and one thing we know is that abuse tends to escalate over time. That is something we can definitely talk more about with you on the hotline.

      It takes a lot of courage to talk about what is going on and it is so great that you have reached out.


  7. I just finally left a 10 year abusive relationship. I finally feel happy and a sense of relief after years and years of beatings. Im 27 now and i wasted alot of my life thinking he would change and it never happened,i was very young when i met him and thought he loved me ,but now i look back and try to figure out how he could of broke my jaw and beat me so many times if he really loved me and relize he just controlled everything in my life and said he loved me. Now he calls and tries to tell me he will change but i will never go back because after ten years i know its not true. Im emotionally messed up from this relationship i feel like i need counseling. I finally chose to be happy and if you are in a abusive relationship and think they can change they wont my ex almost took my life numerous times and dont make the same mistakes i did because the next beating might be your last day please choose to be happy i cry as i write this because im in pain because i know the pain myself and others went through and its hard to understand how i loved someone who beat me and took away my identity. Its only been three weeks since i left and i feel relief

    1. Marissa, thank you so much for sharing your feelings about your experience. It is good that you are now in a safe place. You mentioned that you think you might be interested in counseling. If you give us a call at the National Domestic Violence HOTLINE, 1-800-799-7233 we can try to help you locate an organization that offers counseling. We are here 24 hours a day it’s confidential and anonymous when you call.

  8. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you. NO ONE deserves to be treated like this EVER. It takes a lot of strength and courage to walk away particularly when you are in fear for your life. Thank God for the National Domestic Hotline. It gives you the lifeline for moving out of the nightmare you are living in. Find a way to contact them and do what is necessary to put your life on the right path. I know it’s not easy, but what is easy about being tormented and tortured over and over again? We all pray that you find the inner strength to do the thing you think you can’t.

    1. Susan,

      Thanks so much for sharing your words of encouragement with our blog community. You are right, no one deserves to live in fear. We know that a lot of times the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when the person is trying to leave. The abuser can start to feel like they are losing the control in the relationship and the abuse can begin to escalate. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 and we available to talk to anyone who has questions about how to leave an abusive relationship.


  9. Personaly I’m at wits end with constant emotional and verbal abuse, however certainly not limited to physical abuse. When the children were younger it was only my soga to deal with now its trickled over to the children.
    I think because we bust the doors down every Sunday for church, I feel obligated to keep up this huge Life Lie. Where does unshakable faith end and sheer stupidty begin, I’m battle weary!

    1. Tonya,
      If you’d ever like to speak to an advocate, please give us a call anytime, we’re here just to listen if that’s what you need. We all get battle weary, but we’re here for you if you need us. We are completely confidential and anonymous. Reach us anytime at 1-800-799-7233.


  10. I have been married for 25 and a half years, with 2 children, aged 20 and almost 18. Finances currently prevent me from leaving; before that, it was visitation laws. My eldest has severe ADHD and mild Asperger’s. I first consulted an attorney when he was 8. Protocol in our county is split custody unless the children are endangered. Endangered does not mean ignored. My husband has never, ever taken responsibility for the children, and I knew how detrimental it would be to have such a lack of structure for my son, in particular. When he turned 18, I checked again, and was told that my daughter would be asked which parent she preferred to live with. I am the adult! There is no way I would put such a heavy burden on my daughter, to publicly choose between her parents. I told myself it was ok because most of the abuse is emotional, and it is directed at me. We have been in counseling several times, but when my husband realized it the counselors wanted more than his goal……to fix me, exclusively….he stopped. Over the years, he has hidden our finances in assorted accounts. I work full time, as a teacher, and early in our marriage, I paid the bills. Troubled by his spending, I turned the bill paying over to him, and since then, he has opened a series of accounts that my name is not on, transferring between them frequently. That happened gradually and without my knowledge. When he decided a counselor was not good…. He simply refused to pay the bill, until when I tried to make an appointment, the balance would be too high for me to pay out of my account….the household account, which is very small. He is sadistic, and enjoys hurting me with words, with disrespect, and in a million ways daily. He rewrites history, claiming things happened that did not, until I sometimes wonder if I am losing it. It started small….. For example, my sister in law wanted me in the delivery room with her. I was deeply touched. He said ‘are you sure you didn’t make her feel obligated? Why would she want you?’ If I receive an honor at work, he tells me ‘You sure have them fooled!’ He has told me that I am possessed by the demon of Jezebel, in part, because I wear my hair short, and in part, because I believe in marriage equality for both hetero and homosexual couples. He tries to keep me from friends, from family, by sabotaging plans in many, many ways, and although I consider myself a strong person, I realize he has succeeded. There are two friends I am close to, but neither lives in town. I don’t say much to them about this because I never thought I would be in this position. They see some of it, and challenge me for staying. I am an intelligent woman, a good mom, and respected at work. But inside, I now feel that anyone who I would befriend would eventually see me as he does: lazy, useless, selfish, greedy. In my head, I know it is not true. I understand what happened in his life to make him so bitter, and I believe (as does the last counselor) that his emotional growth was stunted, and that his anger towards me is really directed towards all women, and that he is mentally ill. I know I cannot fix him, but between my teaching at an inner city school, caring for an aging parent, shepherding one child off to college next year for the first time and helping my eldest navigate college and independence while on the spectrum…..I have no energy left to confront what is happening inside me. I function only in my role as mother, daughter, and teacher. I dread him coming home and the next explosive outburst. I dread being fast asleep and having him come in the room, turn the light on, and rant for an hour or so about whatever has displeased him. In 25 years, he has touched me rarely. He shoved me once at the top of the stairs…. That was scary. And once in front of the kids, and I fell and hit my head on a dresser…..but not hard enough to bleed. And he has pinched me, twisting his fingers while he does so, on my nipples and my arms. He punched my arm while I was driving once, and I stopped the car and got out. I do stand up to him about things that are important to me. And I have absolutely refused to be intimate for over a year now. In the meantime, I have opened an account in my name only, and have a couple of credit cards in my name, so my credit is established on my own. He lost a job several years ago, is working, but after 7 years at 60% of his original salary and the housing bust, we are on thin ice. If I leave, I am sure it would mean bankruptcy…we are that tight. In addition, even though his financial decisions have brought us to this point, and I have been the steady breadwinner, according to the attorney, I would be required to split my retirement with him, should we divorce…. And I am 53, and a teacher at an inner city school, so there is not much hope of getting on solid financial ground. And I am tired, and taking anti-depressants to help me get through the day……even though I know I cannot medicate this away. So when the nights come, like tonight, when I hear my son echoing his father’s words ( which, to be honest, rarely happens) and I see my daughter roll her eyes….. Normal teenage conflict……. It absolutely destroys me inside, because there is a part of me that feels stupid, and weak for not leaving, and feeling as though I don’t dare to try and connect with anyone except in a professional way, because if they got to know me, they would see me through my husband’s eyes. Because there is a part of me that feels that he is the one with whom I have lived for 25 years, and his perception surely must be better than someone who sees me only socially…and I do not like the person he thinks I am, and I am terrified that others will see me that way, too. And I am afraid that if I cannot find the strength to leave, then I am that person he sees, after all.

    1. Kate,
      I first want to thank you for sharing all that you did. I know it can’t be easy to talk about all that has happened in the past 25 years. It is both brave and courageous to share with us and this community your story, and those words have a lot of power in them. You’ve touched on several aspects of a domestic violence situation that we usually see come up. The financial concerns you’ve mentioned, as well as him moving money around, can be a common tactic by abusers to prevent their partner from leaving. The emotional abuse as well, can be so stressful and so confusing. And any and all physical violence or aggression is not okay, and has no place being in a relationship. Also you touched on about him making you feel as though things didn’t happen when they actually did is also a very common thing to happen, and is emotionally abusive. Sometimes called “gaslighting”, it’s kind of like “crazy making”, making someone doubt something that they know is true. It throws us off our game, and makes us question the simplest of things, which then sometimes make us question the abuse this person is doing to us. You are not crazy, and you are not losing it. This is a deliberate abusive action. He is choosing to do these things, and it is not okay. You and your kids deserve to be treated so much better. If you’d ever like to give us a call to speak to an advocate, we’re always here to talk to you. We are completely confidential and anonymous, and our number is 24/7 and toll free, reach us at 1-800-799-7233.
      It takes a lot to go through what you’re going through right now; being a mom, a daughter, and a teacher are all three very important roles, and it sounds like you put everything you are into each of them every day. On top of that, being put through this abusive relationship only adds to that. Never forget that to go through all that takes an enormous amount of courage and strength, and that we know it is there within you. It is simply impossible for you to be the things he says you are.

      Give us a call anytime, we’re here for you.


  11. I think I do need to call. It is just that talking about it makes me feel as though I am being self absorbed. I have a roof over my head, a job and children that I love, and I live in a secure neighborhood. Most of my students’ mothers do not have what I do, and worry from day to day whether they can pay rent, or afford to take their child to the doctor. Women in developing nations do not know if their child will survive, due to poverty, war, or the lack of medical care. Somehow it seems that I should be able to get beyond this, and that there is no justification for this despair that I feel. …..that when so many women around the world manage to survive in unbelievable circumstances, how can I feel so beaten down by the words of my husband? How can I know in my head that it is not true, but yet feel so terrible, and find it so difficult to do anything outside of my role as teacher, daughter, mother? I feel as though I ought to be able to dismiss it, that it pales in comparison to the problems of women who do not have their basic needs met. But I can’t,and that makes me feel weak and really ashamed.

    1. Kate,

      Thanks again for sharing your story with our blog community. Unfortunately we know there are many hardships experienced by women all around the world everyday, this does not make your experiences any less hurtful. We know how much courage it takes to reach out about your experiences which is why the hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. We can continue to talk this through with you and we may be able to find a local resource that can help process these emotions.

      Please feel free to contact us.


  12. My name is carole and I live in fear every day. Ive been diagnosed with Acute PTSD and situational depression. I was told ta ask for an Advocate that understands these and the many other Traumatic abuses I have an am enduring.
    My abuser is a Homeland Security Officer and has used his position in power to silence me by threatening to harm my chilren, family and friends. Anyone who tries ta help me. I isolate myself day and night and rarley communicate with anyone because I dont want ta put them in harms way. (His violent abuse)
    Its too upsetting to allow my mind to think about.
    Hope you can help,
    Very Truley

    1. Dear Carole, your story is very complicated–no wonder you suffer alone. Being a victim of Domestic Violence is very isolating and you sound like a kind and loving woman, protecting others before your self. You are not alone, we are always here to support you and find local resources to meet your needs. But we are concerned that a public forum like a blog might not be the safest way to communicate. Could you telephone us? We are always here 24/7. The phone number is 1-800-799-7233. Just call when it is safe for you to talk and as often as you need. We’re here.

  13. IM IN YOUR SAME CITUACION im so tire of all this drama in my life i had left him and god know how happy i was i only took him back into our home because he stay homeless and that broke my kids heart ,and now is worse his verbaly very ofensive im the only one providing i really want give to get his cituacion done ,i wanna be set free im almost divorse from a 12 years abusive relationship but im gunna have to be strong and let him live his life and survive on his on i just dont have that kind of a heart to aee the father of my kids on the streets and ill please any ideas

    1. Carla, I read your blog entry and wanted to let you know that you are not alone. The National domestic Violence hotline is here for women like yourself who are trying to do the best for themselves and their families. When your feeling down and just want to talk–we’re here for you, please give us a call, any time day or night. The Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

  14. just wanted to say that I am a survivor of DV and now i have become a therapist so I can help other women and families. My mother was the victim and in the 19 60’s and 1970’s there were no resources as there are today. I remember lots of times she tried to leave but there were no place to go and she had six of us, children. one day she got so discouraged and sat us all down on the curb of the sidewalk and explained to us that our dad was crazy and that women should not be beaten but honored instead. but we look like a duck with 6 little ducklings. were wer tired and cold so we went back home and my mother had a black eye only this time. I have survived but not with much therapy and I want to start a new group for Adult children of DV, what do you think. there are lots of children that suffer and “can’t get their act together” due to all the abuse they wittness and felt helpless. I’ve come a long way and now I am in my 50’s. I had a difficult time being an adult I think due to this. I want to someday name a shelter or organzation in my mother’s name. anyway I know there are many reasons why women dont leave but now that there are more resources out, please if youare in an abusive relatiionship, get out and be safe and happy. It can be done and you will be helping your children too.

    1. Hello Amparo,

      Thank you very much for sharing your story with. That is such a powerful story and am glad that you are doing better.

  15. Good morning. I am a “Survivor” of domestic violence and I can really relate to your daughter. Is she spiritual at all? Does she believe in the “All Mighty God”?. She has to get the courage to get her children and get out. I went through a Domestic Violence Shelter and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I love my counselor and still talk to her thoug I left the shelter over a year ago. My daughter and I have been on our own and it feels so good to be free. I really would like to help her even if its just words of encouragement. Keep hope alive. “Weeping My endure for a Night, but joy comes in the morning! I hope to hear from your daughter.

    1. Tracy,

      It is great that you are now free from an abusive relationship and want to help others with your encouraging words.

      Advocates at the National Domestic Violence Hotline go through extensive training in order to offer the best guidance and support to those in need. We realize that what works for one individual may not work for others and encourage our blog community to follow the community guidelines outlined here:

      We have removed some identifying information from some of your posts. Thank you for reaching out through the Share Your Voice Blog community.


  16. Hi. I am a “Survivor” of domestic violence. Do you belive in God? I have been where you are. It was over 20yrs and I finally got the strength to pull myself back together with the help of a battered womens shelter in North Carolina. I had to leave the state to be free! I am still in contact with my counselor who I love so much for all help and encouragement she gave me. I hope to hear from you.

  17. I love what you said. Thank God you are safe now. I want to have a law passed to protect our credit reports once we get out of the abuse relationship. I was in an abusive relationship for over 20yrs and its hard to leave when you dont have a dime and he messed up your credit. When I went through the shelter I came over several women that went back due to finances. They couldnt get a decent job and couldnt get a decent place to live because of their credit. I have sent letters to several congressman but I am learning what to do. I have never attempted to get a “Bill/Law” passed. I like your foundation idea as well. There are more options out there, but it needs to be more. Women should not feel trapped in abuse until they die because theirs not enough resources. They need hope, encouragement, prayer, guidance and finances. It takes courage to start over from scratch,k but if we all stick together and dont give up, we can make the changes that are necessary so the “Survivors” that follow behind us will have even more options and wont go back to die.

    1. Hello Tracy,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. The hotline has plenty of resources in their database and would be more than happy to connect you to them.You can contact the hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and the hotline operates 24/7.

  18. I am a “Survivor of domestic violence. I want to give you some words of encourage ment. This is a new year and you can get out and make. Finances are a big part of why women stay, I am working on trying to get something done about that. I will do everything I can to help.

  19. 2 Years of happiness with the charming prince. He was respectful, caring, loving, the best step father. Thought I found my soul mate. Got pregnant and everything changed. He started insulting my son with the most horrible names, constantly putting him down, blocking him from approaching me “leave your mother alone!”… So Mama bear reacted and tried everything to make him understand that he was a good kid and did not deserve such treatment. Bagged for respect. He was in denial. I started hating him and telling him so he turned against ma and started calling me names, flame spit at my face, harrassement lloking for any little thing out of order in the house. I lost my job and spent every single peny I had investd to buy a house, my 401K so I could raise my baby girl. He was making $150K but told me he was always broke and did not common account. If I tried to give him advice… “don’t tell me what to do”… if I said white… he responded “black”. He forbided me to speak to any male friends (from work or France where I grew up). He built personal relationship with all my female friends and kept calling them… ended cheeting on me with one of them. He called everyone idiots or dickweeds (excuse my french), no way of communication, he beat me once in my stomac under the blanket, cracked my back knowing that I had a spinal fusion, he also harrassed and brutalised my son in the corner of the bathromm after kicking the door down… “BOY, you are lucky I don’t want to go to jail or I would beat you up”…. Since that day, my depression became deeper and deeper, and became physical with panic attacks where I would be on the floor like an epilepsic but 20 times more intensive. I turned myself to the behavorial hospital 2 times and got on medication. But it just got worth and worth… My husband had no sympathy but hate and anger. I could not take it anymore. O I told him I was going to file for divorce. The next day, he was at his attorney office filing for divorce accusing me of being an unfit mother for mental illness, he came by the house while I was gone, packed a couple of suitcase, took my 4 years old baby girl and moved 1 h 1/2 away. My baby girl I had spent 24/7 time with for 4 years, that I cared for and loved more than anything with my son, I cared for her, was int otal charge of her, took her to the park, played with, went swimming with… and everything that a good mother do for her children. I slept with her for 8 months as I moved out of my husband bed. And one day… just like that she was gone… My baby girl was stolen by her own father and there was nothing I could do. Her fathr would not let me talk to her for1 month, then he agreed on supervised visitation, and I finally get her some week-ends and holidays. I have been going through so much pain and suffering. You have idea. the father is an alcoholic. Where is the justice in that? I have to start my life over but I have been living in fear, guilt, anxiety, lost of self esteem, stressed out crying and prying hours and hours a day…. So how can I find a job being in such pain and suffering. I am a good person with a huge heart, respectful. Life is not fair. But I never called the police on him so I have no proof.

    1. Chrystel,

      Thank you so for reaching out to us and sharing your experiences. It sounds like you’ve been through so much in the last few years, and I’m so sorry your husband treated you with such disrespect, and was so abusive toward you and your son. You don’t deserve to be treated that way, and neither do your children. The way you were treated and the outcome of the custody situation is unfair to you and your daughter. If you’d ever like to speak to an advocate about any domestic violence services, including legal advocacy, please give us a call anytime, 24/7, at 1-800-799-7233.


  20. I wish everyday when I look at my son that i would have had the strenght to run sooner but even though it has now been almost 3 years since we ran he still knows how to get to me by playing his games. he always follow through on his trheats. first I stayed because I thoguht i could change and helphim then i got pregnant and he told me since I was not born here he would take the kids i was pregnant with twins and have me deported. I beleived him since he alwysed fololowed through on his threats before. he took one of my boys and he was adopted out the day we came home from the hospital I couldnt take it and told him i would leave and he didnt have to pay child support or anything but I needed my other son back. he picked up the phone and called his family and told the our other son DIED in the hospital!! after he hung up he turned and told me if I ever tried again he would tell them I did it and they would take my other son too. after that we didnt speak abpout it again and whenever i would bring it up I would end up with something flying at me or in a choke hold until I BEGGEd for forgivness and promised to stay.
    finally in 2010 after 13 years I took our child and ran!! I am still battleing in court for sole custody but at least he doesnt even have suppervised visitation anymore and doesnt know where we live but I still will not feel 100% safe until he no longer walks this earth. I hate to feel that way but he promised if I ever leave he will kill me and I KNOW he means it.
    but at least for now my son and I live in a home with no violence and we dont fear being to loud or laughing to much and that would set him of.
    I wish the laws would be better for victims I went for a new restraing order last summer due to his suicide threats in email but the judge at the FRO hearing said it was only a threat ti himself not me even though once when he threatend to kill himself he put me in a choke hold with 2 samuraj swords around my neck telling me how easy they could cut through my bones in FRONT fo my son.
    This is why so many dont leave but I am thankfull every day that I did at least for now I am living my life even though i still look over my shoulder not know when he will be there.

    stay safe but I have to say it is worth living again and nothaving the daily fear of what, when, how bad and how much will it cost me?
    thank you for being ther when I have called int he middle of the night. and Partners for women in Montclair that hepls me legally.NDVHot line for saving lives and supporting us.

    1. Pj,

      You have so much strength and courage to make the decision and leave your abusive partner. It is terrible the hurt you had to endure at his hands. Nobody ever deserves that. It is heartbreaking that he took one of your sons away from you. I am very glad to hear that you and your son are free from him and the violence. If you would like a local number for counseling and support groups you can call The National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233. Thank you for reaching out to our blog community.


  21. I am in an emotinally and verbally abusive marriage. Its like he changed after we married. He blames it on his lack of having a father in his life but I know other men, including my dad who had an abusive father and was not abusive to us. I am miserable and scared to leave because I have just had another baby as I did not want my daughter to grow up alone as an only child. I don’t regret the kids I just feel so much personal guilt that I brought them into this. I fear that I am going to damage them forever because of this terrible marriage. He calls me names, degrades me in front of the kids, calls them profane names, yells at my baby, and I have no job and my father is out of work at the time, mother is mentally ill, and no aunts or uncles to take me in. I have to stay. I feel so helpless and miserable. I am a Christian and God has helped me through suicidal times. The mind games, withholding sex and any intimacy and mental control have made me very stressed. I don’t want to think about him but I don’t love him and grow to despise him so much for how he treats me and my family and kids. I just have no money to leave. Its cold where I live and cannot imagine us on the streets. I am scared that I cannot get a job to leave either. He has degrated me so low mentally that I feel so incapable of even being employed. I am a college graduate and even started a doctoral program when we were first married but he constantly badgered me to leave the program saying I would never find work and it was a waste of the money. Since then I have had less than satisfying jobs and have lost hope. My only hope is the Jesus to give me some good days but I want more for my life. I want out but have no support system and no money. This is why women don’t leave. I keep telling myself despite the name calling, belittling, controlling, insults, rejection, blame, anger at least he doesn’t beat me. I guess it could be worse. I am so broken inside. Please pray for me. I don’t know what else to do.

    1. LJ,

      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like this has been a really tough situation. You are right, there are many men who make the choice not to continue with the abuse they experienced as children. Unfortunately, people who are abusive do not take responsibility over their actions, instead find excuses for their behaviors. From what you have described it sounds like this is a very abusive relationship and we know that abuse can get worse over time. You do not deserve to hear the insults or for this to get worse. If you would like to continue this conversation and talk about a few options please feel free to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. The hotline is completely anonymous and confidential and operates 24/7.


  22. I feel the same way for not leaving. I feel so belittled that I don’t even think I could find a job where anyone would want to hire me. If I did get a job then most likely with my personal illness and no support system I would have to call in too much and get fired anyway. Only a miracle will help. I’m still waiting on one to get my away and out of my sentance of hard time in marriage to theemotinally abusive and verbally abusive jerk.

  23. I was with an abusive man for 20 years, married for 9 of them. We moved to MA in 1999 and I finally got away from him in 2009 when he tried to kill me at my daughters house.I had him arrested and when they let him out on bail I went to a DV shelter in CT for 6 months. I got my own apartment but then I got sick and had to move in with a friend back in MA because I needed surgery. He found where I was and startred harassing me, so I went to another DV shelter in CT . He found me there so they moved me to a DV shelter in NY.. he didn’t know where I was until NY made him come there for a PO hearing.. which they cancelled the protection order because he said it hindered his ability to earn a living.. He has quit stalking me for now but still harasses me through our children..anyway I got a job and rented a room and tried to get on with my life. I met a man in Nov 2011 and got into a relationship with him .. after about 6 months he became abusive and controlling also.. I have left him a few times but because of finances and time restrictions on the amount of days you can be in a shelter and the fact that the rules are different if you are a single woman with no children under the age of 18, I always end back up with him because I have no place else to go.. I am visiting with my daughter in MA right now because we told him she was really sick and needed me to help her.. but I can’t stay with her because of her housing rules and I will need to go back to NY in a couple weeks.. He just slammed me into a concrete wall and held me there by my throat two days ago, He always apologizes and tell me he will get help.. He is an alcoholic and he has anger issues from his past that he always remembers when he is drinking and he takes it out on me..he is not as bad as my ex, he hasn’t broken any bones or given me any stitches but I am afraid it will only get worse … but there is no place for me to go.. I am stuck

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with our blog community. The type of abuse you are describing (being slammed against a wall and held by the throat) is very scary and dangerous. You are absolutely right about the resources being limited; however, there are some programs that may be able to assist you. Please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline when you are safe and alone to talk so you can speak to an advocate about some options and resources that may be available to you. We are here 24/7 and are confidential. One option that may be helpful is the New York State Crime Victim Compensation Program. You can call the hotline to get that phone number. We are here to help and support you- call us when you can.

  24. what do you do when you left, but let them come back. i think i really messed up and now ashamed to ask for help again. he has not hit me, and it might be my own thoughts….but i still feel threatened. i do not know if i should go or not. i do not know where to go. or if i need a protection order again or not. i am not sure how to approach about his temper tantrums, or pushing my son. i do not if i can go through it again.
    but since i let him back i still cant settle into the relationship. my nerves are shot. he threatens to leave, and says i am cheating or sleeping around, if i am late because a dr or my son worked over, i am screamed at and ask where was i and who was i sleeping with. i do not think this can be fixed. tried counseling, tried everything….what do i do now

    1. Cindy,

      There is no need for you to be ashamed of being a victim or asking for help. Domestic violence is not just phyiscal abuse, it can also be verbal/emotional, economic, and sexual abuse. You have every right to be happy and feel safe. If you would like to talk and get help The National Domestic Violence Hotline has many advocates that are more than willing to do their best to help you and listen to you. The National Domestic Violence is available 24 hours a day and can reached at 1-800-799-7233.

  25. I know it must have been hard for you to write down the words describing your situation. But what I would like to say to you is this, you are minimizing the situation because you have such low self esteem because of the way you have been treated for so many years. It does not matter what happens to other women and children all over the world, you need to take care of YOU.And your children. Please try to see outside of the gaslighting, imagine if what you describe your situation with your husband to be like were happening to your daughter instead. Do you see how you would feel differently? Please, I know it is very hard but try to get in touch with this hotline, or some other organization that can help.You said you are 53. If you do nothing you will still be living like this when you are 63, 73, you see?Life can be so much better than the way you are living it. You are lucky thatyou have a job and credit. It can be done. Please do it, if not for yourself, then for your children. I wish you good luck and peace!

    1. Lacy,
      Thank you for your words of encouragement for another post. We know that leaving an abusive situation is the most dangerous time, and is never an easy or simple choice to make. Every situation is different and we can’t ever truly know the obstacles or challenges a survivor might face when contemplating leaving an abusive relationship. It is important that we support each other’s decisions because everyone knows their situation best. While trying to frame a person’s situation in a different light, such as a friend or family member, might be helpful, this also might be upsetting and that is important to remember. Thank you for being a support force on our blog, we always appreciate up lifting words of encouragement for others going through very difficult times, we only ask that everyone is sensitive to each other’s very personal situations.
      If for any reason you yourself would like to speak to an advocate, know we’re always here for you too.

      Hotline advocates are available 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233; we are completely confidential and anonymous.

  26. For me it was the evil I knew versus the evil I didn’t know. I stayed for 17 years. Once it got to the point that my sons were big enough that they wanted to come to my defense I realized what I was letting continue. Closed doors don’t mean ignorance. They would soon have been a threat from their mature size. The 911 call was the most horrifying terrible thing I’ve ever done and I’ve been made to do some awful things. But it saved my life and most important to me, it saved my children. I’m free and I’m safe. I recognize that I am damaged and will continue to see a wonderful counselor to help guide me towards a normal life with normal reactions. I still sleep with my phone and I may always do so…I sleep. I sleep all night without the horrid nightmares and utter terror.

    Set your mind.
    Call 911 and let them help you
    Don’t look back
    Become the amazing person you were born to be
    I wish you peace.

  27. Hi , I don’t Know how to start… I’ve been married for only 10 month with a citizen, I’m from another country and since that I’ve never thought my life could change so bad after married, because you fall in love, you think he is the right person for you everything looks fine and then the horror in our life.. why ? I don’t know… the thing is after I married he thinks he owns me, he was telling me what to do, he said I don’t need friends, I dont need school, just get busy with a baby and be a wife, just like that, I was against to this, , and he yell on me, he start smashing stuff around, he called me you Black o Negra, because of my color and my family, he doesn’t let me go out without him, he takes me to work he picks me up , takes me home, he takes food to our room, I’m not allow to leaves the room if his step dad is downstairs, I told him please let me go back to my country, and he said just wait for your green card, he don’t even help me to get it, he hopes I’d never learn enough English, and he doesn’t have a job, he take my money for pay his bills. i was trying to talk with his family and the just said, be patient don’t push his buttons hi has a bad temper, I’m really scared I don’t know what to do…My family back home, they don’t know nothing, they think I’m happy with my marriage, I’m so depressed, sad, I don’t recognize myself, , everything that happens to me is my fault, why I have to feel love with a person like that, every day is different, some time he is so nice and apologize to me, and if I said can I go to visit my friend , he gets so mad, and so upset saying bad words to me, insulting me, he accusing of cheating with somebody else, , please I need help

    1. Karla what you are going through sounds very difficult. I know it takes courage to share this with others. There is some relevant information that we would like to share with you regarding your situation. If you can when you are safe give us a call. We would like the chance to try and help you with what you are going through please give us a call at the National Domestic Violence HOTLINE, 1-800-799-7233 we can try to help you locate an organization that offers counseling. We are here 24 hours a day it’s confidential and anonymous when you call.

  28. I would like to share my current situation… I am in an extremely toxic relationship the abuse is mainly emotional (daily) but has also resulted in physical abuse. I have only ever feared one person in my entire life and I am currently married to him. I have been dragged around by my hair, thrown like a rag doll, threatened with death in front of my children he held a knife to my throat and said he was going to kill me. He punched my windshield out once when I tryed to escape an argument.

    I have two daughters with him and a son from a previous marriage that I only get to see on weekends now. I don’t have a job though I have been looking. He wants me to work nights and watch the girls during the day but I can’t even get him to help my care for them. I recently spent a day almost completely blind only being able to see through the blinks I could manage to open my eye. When he got home from work he ate dinner then went over to the neighbors to drink. He came home drunk and poked me in the eye and asked me why it was so purple.. Then he went to bed and left me to care for the girls until they finally went to bed for the night. I don’t have any family near… they all live on the other side of the US. I only recently started talking to two friends in the state. My support system is pretty much non existant. I went back to visit my mom for the first time since I got together with him (five years) He had the police calling me and sent them to do a wellfare check and told me they were going to put me in jail for kidnapping and take my daughters straight back to him. I really didn’t want to come back to him but I feared him getting custody and me not being around to protect my daughters from him. There are so many reasons I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore but I just don’t see how it is possible.

    1. Kayla, I am sorry to hear that you are being subjected to such verbal and physical abuse. Being threatened by a weapon must have been extremely frightening. I understand the ongoing physical abuse you are suffering can make any thought of changing or improving the situation seem impossible. Having been subjected to this kind of violence in front of your children must make it even more difficult. It takes a lot of courage to write your story and share your feelings, but it is good you did. We here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline are committed to working with women like yourself suffering domestic violence and abuse. If you have an opportunity to call us when it is safe our number for the NDVH Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. We would welcome the chance to try to help you. We are interested in sharing information with you to try to help you to be safe.

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