50 obstacles to leaving

50 Obstacles to Leaving: 41-50

Still with us? Today is our final day of demonstrating just how many roadblocks can stand in the way between abuse and freedom for a victim. A victim is never to blame for abuse. While these barriers to a violence-free life can seem insurmountable at times, know that advocates on the hotline are available to talk and brainstorm strategies with you 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233).

41. Rural Victims: Victims may be isolated and simply unable to access services due to lack of transportation, or the needed programs are distant and unable to provide outreach.

42. Safer to Stay: Assessing that it is safer to stay may be accurate when the victim can keep an eye on the batterer, sensing when the batterer is about to become violent and, to the extent possible, taking action to protect themselves and their children.

43. Students: Students in high school or college may fear that untrained administrators will deny their requests for help. If the perpetrator is also a student, the victim often does not want them to be expelled from school.

44. Shame and Embarrassment: The victim doesn’t want to disclose the abuse or may deny that any problem exists.

45. Stockholm Syndrome: The victim may experience this syndrome and bond with the abuser.

46. Substance Abuse or Alcohol: Either the victim or offender’s substance abuse may inhibit seeking help, often for fear that the children will be removed.

47. Teens: Teens are at greater risk for abuse in their relationships than any other age group. Peer pressure, immaturity, no knowledge of resources, and low self-esteem all factor into the decision to stay.

48. Transportation: A lack of transportation condemns victims to a choice between welfare and returning to their abusers.

49. Unaware that Abuse is a Criminal Offense: This can occur often if family, friends and community professionals minimize the crimes.

50. Undocumented Victims: Victims facing complex immigration problems if they leave are often forced to stay with the batterers who may control their INS status.

Every person’s situation is unique, and you may be unable to leave a situation for a complex combination of different reasons. If you’re contemplating leaving an abusive relationship or struggling in one that you cannot leave, consider calling NDVH to speak confidentially with an advocate, and take a look at our resources on leaving safely.

*Sarah M. Buel is Clinical Professor, University of Texas School of Law (UTSL). She was founder and co-director, UTSL Domestic Violence Clinic; co-founder and consultant, National Training Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence; and a former domestic violence, child abuse, and juvenile prosecutor and advocate. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Extension School and Harvard Law School.

33 replies
  1. Step says:


    Thanks for writing this, abused victim just felt like I needed those words. Nearly everyone abused victim bump into will have some form of preconception on what domestic violence actually is, why abusers abuse and why victims are victimised.

    ✖ MYTH
    It can’t be that bad, or she/he would leave .
    ✔ FACT
    LEAVING IS THE ULTIMATE THREAT TO THE ABUSERS POWER AND CONTROL, AND HE WILL OFTEN DO ANYTHING RATHER THAN LET HER GO. LEAVING OR TRYING TO LEAVE WILL ALSO OFTEN INCREASE THE VIOLENCE OR ABUSE, and can put both the victim and her children in a position of fearing for their lives.There are many emotional, social, spiritual and financial hurdles to overcome before someone being abused can leave. (WHY WE STAY?!!)

    Abusers are always coarse, nasty, violent men and easily identified
    ABUSERS ARE OFTEN APPARENTLY CHARMING, GENEROUS AND WELL-PRESENTED PEOPLE who can hold positions of social standing. abuse is kept for those nearest to him or her, to the privacy of their own homes. this jekyll and hyde tendency of the abuser can further confuse and frighten the person being abused, as the person in private is so very different to the person everyone else sees. it can also mean that when the person being abused finally does try to tell his/her friends, family or acquaintances of the abuse, he or she is not believed, because the person they are describing simply doesn’t fit the image portrayed in public.

    Some women ask for it, provoke it, want it or even deserve it
    NOBODY DESERVES TO BE BEATEN OR ABUSED. WOMEN OFTEN HAVE TO WALK ON EGGSHELLS AND TRY THEIR BEST TO AVOID ANOTHER INCIDENT. THE ABUSER WANTS TO ABUSE. This domestic violence myth encourages the blame-shifting from the abuser to the abused and avoids the stark reality that only the abuser is responsible for his/her own actions.

    Good counseling helps victim work through both the short-term and long-term effects of abuse, enabling victim and get through each day after leaving an abusive relationship. Once again, thanks for writing this. At least, for abused women in silence….

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:


      Thanks so much for sharing with our blog community. These myths and facts are definitely spot on and align with what the National Domestic Violence Hotline advocates share on the lines daily. Counseling can be a helpful option for a survivor and you can always feel free to hand out our number, 1-800-799-7233, where an advocate can offer guidance and support to a caller as well as help search for counseling through a domestic violence agency, to anyone in need.


  2. NM says:

    Great article. It’s very informative. As someone who has worked in the domestic violence field and has also known many women personally who have been subject to violence, I feel like I have a good understanding of woman abuse. However, recognizing that it’s a complex problem is something that we all need to be reminded of. I think the lay-person seeks to simplify this problem and reduce it to a few causal factors, but this isn’t accurate. We all need help to educate ourselves on this topic. So many of our friends, sisters, mothers, aunt’s, grandmother’s, etc., are abused, being abused. We can help more effectively with informative articles like this and ‘Step’s’ insightful comments. Thanks.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:


      Thank you so much for contributing to our blog community. You are definitely right, it is important for everyone to be educated on this topic in order for change to happen.

      Keep spreading the word!


  3. veronica says:

    Hola, Yo fui victima de violencia domestica me junte muy chica con el papa de mis 2’s hijos. Yo tenia 16 años cuando mi miseranle vida alado de el empeso. Yo lo amaba mucho lo miraba como un dios y jamas lo acuse de violemcia domestica por miedo y por mis hijos me inventana cualquier escusa para justificar sus actos :( Durante mis 2’s embarasos el me golpeaba mucho me golpeaba en mi pansa, y se sentaba en mi cuando yo estaba embarasada. Bendito Dios mis hijos nacieron bien. Muchas veces me amenaso cn un cuchillo k me iba amatar…. Dios mio mi vida fue muy dolarosa en ese entonces pero por amor oh por pendeja TODO TODO lo aguantaba por años el me golpeo asta que se cansaba despues de tanto golpearme me asia tener relaciones sexuales con el. Amis hijos los enserrana en el cuarto para que no miraran como me golpeaba. Por dias no me dejana salir asta que se me borraran los golpes el salia y aveces no llegaba a dormir. Sus golpes desminulleron cuando el se daba cuenta que mis hijos ya estaban cresiendo yo tambien ya con tantos años sufriendo sus golpes trataba aora de defenderme de el. Las pocas veces que intente llamar ala policia me quitaba el celular y lo quebraba despues ya no me compraba telefono y en mi casa no tenia telefono de casa. Y mis familiares no tenian idea de lo que pasaba conmigo en mi casa. Yose que gran culpa la tengo yo por aver permitido que me golpeara y callarme. Muchas cosas pasaron asta que decidi dejarlo aun recuerdo todo jamas podre borrar dmi mente todos esos años que sufri alado de el jamas podre olvidar todo lo que me hiso me dejo cn este dolor muy grande que nunca podre superar y lo que mas coraje me da es saver que yo aun siento lastima por el aun sabiendo que no se lo merese yo por mis hijos no quisiera que le pasara nada malo. Mi familia se entero muy tarde del maltrato que yo vivi asu lado y anadien le econtado con detalles todo lo que vivi alado de este hombre. Jamas lo denuncie y ese fue mi gran error…..

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:


      Gracias por contactarnos con su historia. Se oye que usted es una persona muy valiente por explicar estos detalles. Primeramente, quiero que sepa que nada de esto fue su culpa. Una persona es abusiva porque quiere todo el control en la relacion y manipula la situacion para mantener el control. Es razonable sentir lastima para una persona que debia ser su pareja, pero decidio buscar el control en la relacion. Este tiempo es para usted, para que encuentre alguna manera de buscar paz en su vida.

      Como ha escrito de mucho que paso, le invito a llamar nuestra linea, la linea nacional de violencia domestica al 1800-799-7233. Una defensora en la linea puede hablar con usted 24 horas al dia. Hay gente que habla en espanol y tambien podemos conectar con una linea de interpretes. Todo es anonimo y confidencial y le podemos ayudar a buscar consejeria o otro tipo de ayuda en su area.


  4. Kathy says:

    I’ve been sexually abused as a teen and spent 11 years married to a mentally unstable men. Two days ago he punched me in the eye and broke my phone when I threatened to call the police. I slapped him after that happened (and regret it bitterly). Next few days I was suffering from PTSD (and still am), while my husband was telling me that I was crazy and it was not physical abuse as there was no blood and very slight bruising. And we live in the house packed with guns. I thought I would indeed lose my mind. Thank you for talking to me, guys. Today a packed the basic stuff and left. But I am still bleeding inside :(

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:


      Thanks for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like this was a really scary situation. I am so glad to hear about the huge steps you have taken to stay safe. The PTSD and the pain you feel is definitely understandable. Aside from the dangerous environment, it sounds like your husband was minimizing the abuse which is a common tactic for abusers to gain control. These tactics are used to make a person feel vulnerable.

      Know that leaving an abusive relationship is a process, and we are here for every step of that. If you would like to talk about what that process looks like or would like to find local support services feel free to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support and your call is completely anonymous and confidential.


  5. Lacey says:

    Hi I have never done this. Well I grew up in an abusive home so very young I decided that when I grew up if make a perfect life. I didn’t realize until much too late that I fell right into the arrogant charming traps of your classic abuser. See I’m very outspoken even if someone is threatening my life, so those closest to me act like what I’m dealing with is no big deal! But I’m absolutely dying inside!!!!! I have 3 children. I am absolutely financially dependent on my husband! He controls every thing. He’s so mentally abusive. He degrades me in front of my children. Calls me crazy and a liar when I confront him! Even I the midst of an incident!!!!! He gets very abusive if I deny him sex. I get called every Mae in the book from the top of his lungs. He’s ripped my pants off before and clawed my private in front of my middle child. He’s twisted my arms and pinches me down in between my muscles ornerve fibers. He constantly makes up stories and just yells alllllll day with these made up accusations. At night he has started waling me up by whacking my head or violently thrusting the covers off of me, just to ask a Simple wuestion. like i feel the hate in the energy he exerts. if i dont think how he wants me to or react how he wants me too, to ANYTHING then im always in trouble. im living in constant anxiety! I’m searching for advice bc I see it getting worse and worse. I’ve hoped for years it would change. I can’t take it any more. I never thought I’d be scared of my own husband. How did this become who I am behind closed doors? I guess sharing this helped. Well ok.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:


      Thank you for sharing with our blog community. This sounds like a very overwhelming situation and you do not deserve any of this abuse or control. I am concerned that the abuse has escalated as you mentioned he controls everything and he is abusive in front of the children. It is completely understandable to feel scared with everything that is going on. Know that we, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, are available to talk to you about what is going on as well as possibly explore some options and local resources. The HOTLINE is open 24/7 at 1800-799-7233 and is completely anonymous and confidential. You are not alone in this situation and help may be available.


  6. Aly says:

    I am in the Sam situation as Lacey. I swore I would never let my children grow up like I did but somehow I fell right into. I am completely financially dependent and have no way out. The name calling and fighting is getting so bad my 2 year old has a vocabulary he shouldn’t. My family all live out of state and I have no friends bc I never leave the house. I am sad for my children and getting more depressed each day. There just doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of this tunnel. I can’t raise 2 kids in a shelter, my car has just been taken, so everyday I wake up feeling hopeless and trapped.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:


      Thanks for sharing with our blog community. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help and I am glad that you have. It sounds like a lot is going on and I am sorry you are feeling trapped. Know that the National Domestic Violence Hotline is an available resource and is available at 1800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support, they can also help you find local programs that may be helpful.

      Know that this isn’t anything that you deserve and that help may be available.


  7. Sarah says:

    My name is Sarah. I have severe hearing loss and are a domestic violence survivor. As a child I was abused and neglected. Both of our parents favored our middle brother more because he had a high I.Q. I had hearing loss all my life and was treated differently. I was sexually abused by my middle brother but our parents stuck up for him and thought because of my hearing loss I was telling a wild story and was told to keep my mouth shut about it and what went on in our home. I went to school with dirty clothes, and smelling while our middle brother had what he needed. One afternoon I was involved in a near drown accident because our middle brother took me out where it was too deep for me. When I tried to tell our mother her excuse was we don’t have money for a doctor. I was seriously ill that night but there would be no seeing a doctor. Once again I was told to keep my mouth shut about what went on in the home. This went on thru my teenage years. When I ventured out on my own as soon as the community found out I was severely hearing impaired they would began asking why I don’t live at home and when I tried to tell them about the abuse they would comment oh they are your parents and are supposed to love their disabled child, not hurt them. Are you sure they did that? I felt I was rejected by community just from being disabled with hearing loss. I even had a apt complex threaten to vacate me twice because I refused to go back to my father who was one of my abusers and main one. This went on for about six or seven months where I was harressed like this by the property manager and another office employee. I would later find out they had the nerve to have contact with my father against my better wishes even though I told them he was abusive. The second time they threatened to vacate me I told them I guess I shall find me some where else to live when I was told we told you that you could go back to your father. In other words they were making the choices for me instead of asking me how I felt about the abuse. Needless to say with my savings running out I felt I had no choice but to break my lease and move back in with my father and try to make it work. As a result I now have a broken lease on my record and have had a hard time finding an appartment. I there for feel because they were in on it that this was D.V related and therefor still feel they are trying to have control just simply because of that broken lease like they are trying to push me into moving back in with my father even though it is unsafe. Right after moving back in with him in September of 2005 the chaos started all over again. I was told never to share what happened in the home and if the secret was kept I could be part of the family. The abuse got so bad my father started pulling guns on me. It was from then on if I we’re going to leave I would have to keep it a secret. In June of 2011 I started attending The University and started working with disability services on campus. On our first session she told me I was worried about you. I figured you left the state you in. How would she know I left unless she looked my last name up in the phone book and called that last name in the city I came from and told them I was on my way. I was assigned cart services and note taking services but still needed extented time to take my exames which I had in high school. Needless to say my note taker bailed out on me and when I tried to voice it [they] got mad and said I better just forget I have a disability and stay focused on my studies. One morning she began yelling at me in her offices saying I really dont know why you came if you had a home to live in, schools to attend there and a father who could take care of you. I went to Oregon to visit my mother and aunt. I told my mother what father did to me and her words were are you sure he pulled a gun on you and threatened to you it? I told he did and why dont she believe me? I told her I was there you were not and saw him point the gun at me. After her visit I had no chioce but to go into hiding again where I started receiving extensive theripy and now have my own place. As a disabled person I have come along ways, made lots of progress and fordward movement. I’m about to become a C.P.R instructor. This goes to prove even people with disabilities came live on their own if we empower them to succeed. This is what they need. They diserve to be safe like everyone else but the community is still geared in meeting the needs of the able bodied community. We are still looked at as if we will never have a normal life if we live on our own but that is not true. With a few support services to empower us we can. Domestic Violence education is out there but is still geared more at the able bodied community. We need to make the education accessiable for the disabled community as well as non disabled community. Lets say if a women with disabilities goes to a hospital for treatment of her injuries, has a care giver or payee who in most cases is also her abuser the hospital will have a social worker come to the treatment room to talk withthe women but after speaking to her and learning she has a care giver and payee will often in most cases will call the care giver to come and get the women. Hum the hospital social workers go to school to earn a B.A or M.A in social science, come to work to show of their degrees and when a women with disabilities come to the hospital with injuries and after talking to the women they call her care giver to come and get the women. It’s time for these people to wake up and smell the coffee and to realize when they go on the phone and call the womens care giver to come and get them that may very well be the last time they ever speak to these women and that they may very well be sending them to their death beds when they get on the phone and call the care giver to come and get these women. They know it’s a lot of work if they take these women in and offer services but instead they call the care giver to come and get them because they dont want the burden of working with these women and also feel if they flee thier home and intergrated into the community they would not do well or have a normal life and therefore are better off with the care giver. If they send these women back to thier care giver they are not better off and are in far more danger than maybe before. There is this saying for every time the women returns to her abuser the abuse often get worse until the women turns up dead and when they do many in the community showup at the funeral crying and wondering what could have been done to prevent this tragic loss when it was them who turned their backs on these women. We can’t continue to keep this a secret. It will take using our voices to educate the community on the impacts of domestic violence on women with disabilities and speaking to our legilators to see change.

    • HotlineAdmin_AB says:

      Sarah It sounds like you have been through a long ordeal and have survived. If you ever feel the need to speak with some one you can contact us here at the NDVH 1-800-799-7233 24/7. Thank you for sharing your story and your feelings. Your success is an inspiration to many.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:


      Thank you so much for sharing with our blog community. It sounds like a lot has been going on and it is good to read that you have come a long way. You are right, many people do not understand the barriers that women with disabilities face daily, especially when victims of abuse. You have done so much to stay safe and it seems like that is paying off.

      Know that you are always encouraged to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 TTY if you would like to talk about possible options for emotional support. An advocate is available 24/7 to offer guidance and support and your call is anonymous and confidential.


      I removed some content that did not align with our community guidelines. Feel free to check those out here.

    • HotlineAdmin_SG says:


      If you would like to talk about your options to obtain emotional support I encourage you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. An advocate is available 24/7 to help you find local domestic violence agencies that may offer counseling services.


  8. Carolyn says:

    Why is it that I would be guilty of ‘not protecting my child’ if someone in my household (other than myself) was committing an act of domestic violence (or may) either towards or in front of my child… when at the same time I’ve tried to PREVENT anything from happening in the first place by calling the police… BUT because a crime was not actually committed (I was afraid it MAY be committed) the police would not respond to my call for help in the situation. If I explained what was going on to the police… that I thought I could become a victim of domestic violence, property could be damaged, or that the peace was actually being disturbed – but nobody helped me, how is it that I would possibly get evicted from my apartment complex or get one of my children taken away WHEN I TRIED TO GET HELP BUT NOBODY WOULD COME from the police department to help me PREVENT anyone from getting hurt, property being damaged, or the peace being disturbed??? This doesn’t make any sense at all. I am tired of seeing SO MANY people suffering in this situation. What are VICTIMS RIGHTS? Victims should not have to suffer the consequences of an abuser. People would try to get help more often if they didn’t feel they had to suffer in silence due to fear. Plus… a physical or emotional abuser should have to get out immediately, with no 60-Day Notice or paper work having to be served first. Who is willing to serve someone who is known to be prone to anger & rage? Nobody I know! The system NEEDS to CHANGE!!!

    • HotlineAdmin_MCo says:

      Hey Carolyn,

      Preach!! You are absolutely right! The system does need a serious overhaul. You have no idea how many calls we receive from victims of domestic violence who reach out to the police or the courts and end up being victimized by them. It is very frustrating and heartbreaking to hear that those who are supposed to “protect and serve” do nothing but make a hard situation much more difficult.

      I would encourage you to get involved with your local community organization. Use the fire and passion that you have to become an activist for change. This is the type of vision that the anti-violence movement needs to keep moving forward. If you don’t know of any local organizations, give us a call and we can get you connected to them. Our number is 1(800)799.7233. We are here 24/7 so you can give us a call whenever you can.

      Until then,

      Hotline Adovcate MC

  9. Agatha says:

    I want to start by saying that the hotline is doing a wonderful job. Glad you are here considering the number of batterers out there (wondering how long this situation is going to last before these guys get the punishment they all deserve…).
    Now talking about obstacles to leaving, I would like to say that:
    1- Not all abuses and abusers are the same, different problems should receive different remedies (and from experience, the only option given to women is always the same: inappropriate in many cases because it gives them choice between being in hell & being in hell, rewarding the abuser who sees his victim struggle)
    2- The “leave-at-all-costs-immediately-no-matter-the-consequences” is a huge mistake because it reduces to silence and suffering all women in my case for example.
    3- Domestic violence can be more subtle than bruises and a black eye. Living under permanent threat without ever being touched makes a whole lot of damages and is a “gift” that keeps on giving” for years & years.
    I am still with the abuser who still abuses me because “just pick up & leave” is-the-very-last-thing-any-reasonable-person-would-do in my case! How many women do I know in my case? A bunch!. I would like to address this specific issue here because something needs to change in the approach otherwise many women will remain in pain and suffering.

    European, I met my “charming” (at that time) USAF husband in Europe (let’s call him D). After we dated for several years we decided to get married. He does not speak my language, ergo, I moved here (No I am not coming from any poor eastern European republic. My country ranks, among the top most powerful countries in the world) Once I had given up my manager successful career, my retirement benefits and healthcare coverage (15 years in the pharmaceutical industry) and earned a degree that could have given me professional opportunities in the US (if only D hasn’t prevented me from getting my internship), I moved here with my son. We married & I started the immigration process.
    The abuses started as soon as he felt I had given up everything in my country & could not go back. Hair trigger tempered, ANYTHING would set him off ( such as making a comment about a TV host’s attire). He would scream on top of his lungs 2 inches from my face. Of course, D would let me deal with all the immigration process on my own, always late at providing documents he would stretch the process to keep me ineligible to work, dependent and insecure. Throwing a tantrum every other day D would threaten me to call the immigration, lie to them and tell them that our marriage was fake and have me and my son kicked out of the country.
    D would never hit me but being twice my weight, he would be in my face threatening, shoving me, pushing me, etc,
    See? No bruise, no broken nose but who wants to live under this permanent threat?
    Any normal hubby would have helped their immigrant spouse to find a job, when my green card arrived D adopted a different strategy. Each time I would get called in for an interview he would start a fight, the car key would suddenly vanish, & would let me go only when he was sure I would be in no condition to rise up to the challenge. One day, unbeknownst to him, I dialed 911 & when the operator overheard his screams & his threats, she sent the cops right away. When he realized he got caught in the act, he left before police arrived.
    Why didn’t I press charges then? Well, he would have lost his military job and benefits right away and so would I. It does not take more than a second to realize that finding a job, renting an apartment, buying a car to be able to leave with a bankruptcy record on your credit score when you are in addition coming from another country and you are unemployed for 2 years due to lengthy immigration process, is…. Impossible. So this was the most stupid thing to do. Yes abusers need to be reported but society should make sure it is in NO way shape and form at the victim expenses!!!
    This situation lasts since October 2010. I had my green card in March 2012, I have a 5 year professional degree that SHOULD have given me a job since this profession is flourishing in the US. I am still unemployed because coming from another country with a 24 months gap in your resume is deadly in this country. My son is in the same swamp.
    Now if I leave with a 20 years old college student in tow what actually happens? I have nowhere to go with my kid and he would be in the streets since no shelter would take him. Bottom line I could probably find shelter but he would be homeless. Would immigration renew our green card in these conditions? Not a chance! Coming back to my country? Well… I have no family, no place to live, no more unemployment benefits, no healthcare coverage, my son is now enrolled in US college system and would not be accepted there. We would be in the streets as well.
    What RESPONSIBLE mother would make such a crass stupid decision? I am sure you now get a sense of the absurdity of the “report him, pick up and leave” advice in my situation. I am NOT going to die now, D is certainly not dumb enough to end up in jail by giving me the slightest bruise, knowing that the minute it happens, I would press charges. So he keeps up with the good work of the subtle psychological and emotional abuse with the complacent help of the society (yep).
    What is THE ONLY helpful thing in this situation ? A DECENT JOB !
    Most educated immigrated women know full well they need to leave their abuser, and they sure as hell would if they were employed. They don’t need to be lectured, they don’t need therapy, they are able to think straight and make a decision. They just need ENHANCED unemployment assistance. Ergo they need a job coach, networking help, unemployment support, way way way more than a shelter. Why this issue never gets considered that way?

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:


      You are dealing with many obstacles and it is understandable that your situation can feel overwhelming. It is terrible the emotional, verbal, and physical (pushing and shoving are considered physical) hurt you have endured by your husband. Nobody deserves that. You are right in that not every abusive situation is the same and telling a victim to just leave is not always the safest, or easiest, solution. Advocates at The National Domestic Violence Hotline recognize that each call is unique and will let the caller decide what is the best option for them at that time. Sometimes that may mean staying, or going to a shelter, or moving to another state. We understand that being an immigrant makes the situation that much more challenging. The way he kept you from getting your green card and prevented you from going to interviews is all a part of the power and control.

      Because of the complexity of your story, it would be great if you could call The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233; advocates are available 24/7 and can offer guidance and support, find you local referrals, and help you explore your options about employment and leaving. Thank you for reaching out through our blog community.


  10. sylvia says:

    I have never done this before never thought that I would want to express myself this way but I have nowhere to go. I cant talk to my family and Im a state away from them anyways so its not like they can help me. My story isnt as bad as some of you other guys, and God bless yall for being able to go thru what you do. I have been married to my husband for 2 years but we ahev been together for 6, he has only hit me twice we have been in scuffles and wrestling issues pushing each other and stuff. He unches the wall or something nearby more than anything. But the putdowns the threats thats what get me the most and everytime I try to leave the threats come. We share 3 kids together, he says I cant leave bc then Ill lose custody of my children bc I have no where to go and no transportation. In a way he is right I sold my car last year to pay for our rent and lights and he has a car but if I choose to leave I wouldnt have anything. My family is in a state away and cant help me get up there. I dont want to lose my children just because I try to get out of a mrriage that Im tired of being putdown and threatned in. Tired of fighting in. I want to leave before it gets worse. Again I know my sitauation isnt as bad as someone elses, Im just at a loss….

    • HotlineAdmin_AB says:

      Sylvia : This certainly sounds like an extremely difficult situation. We are available to help you and offer some possible safety strategies. I know it can be very frightening to go through something like this. We are a confidential phone line and you can contact us anytime it is safe to do so. You can call us at 1-800-799-7233. We could try to help you develop a plan for dealing with this. We are here 24/7 to support you and will assist you in finding additional resources.

  11. kellie says:

    Ive been with my abuser almost 5 years. I live with my mom and my two kids, Im not working and i have no transportation. I only get a little money every week for child support from my ex husband for my oldest child. anyways my boyfriend has only put his hands on me once. he got really drunk, he got real angry with me because i wouldnt give him my debit card to get more beer. So he grabbed my hair, it was so hard he actually pulled a handfull out of my head. He headbutted me and pushed my face on to the bed several times.He steadly grabbed my arm and squeezed it tight and if i would try to get him to let go he would get angrier and push on me. I finally just gave him my card to get him to leave. I changed my pin so he couldnt withdrawel any money. By the time he came home he was sober calmed down and apologised. Then acted like i was crazy and i over exaggerated the situation and im the one who provoked it. Well i stayed with him and he never put his hands on me again but the verbal abuse and demanding me to give him money still hasnt stopped. Hes is drinking more than ever and he harasses me with phone calls and late night visits for money. I try to tell him we’re done but he dont listen and keeps coming by the house. Im so tired of it all. Im so depressed that its hard for me to function sometimes. My anxiety is through the roof and i have crying spells through out the day everyday. I just feel broken. He came by my house for money twice tonight. Im hoping to break it off tommorow. I cant take another day of this abuse

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:


      It sounds like you are in a terrible relationship. It must have been very scary the night he physically attacked you and it doesn’t sound like it is getting any better. Often times with an abusive partner, what starts out as verbal and emotional hurt can escalate into physical, and most batterers never take responsibility for their actions and turn it around to blame their significant other instead. The alcohol abuse can make matters worse, but is not the reason he is hurting you. He is making a choice in how he treats you. You have been strong in telling him to leave, but it might take getting a restraining order against him to show him there are going to be consequences to his actions. You don’t have to go through this alone, please call 24/7 to 1-800-799-7233 for further support, to talk about how to stay safe, and/or for local referrals to support groups and counseling. Thank you for reaching out through our blog community.


  12. Emily says:

    I think I want to leave again. I have been married to a Muslim man for six years. I left him recently, moved out, got a new job, my own apartment. I went back to him about 4 weeks ago. Now the honeymoon phase is over again and he is back to his old ways. My husband has never hit me at all but he has hit me with his words and his silence. He won’t speak to me or even look at me for days. He abuses me with his Islamic beliefs. He told me if I don’t wear a headscarf he will divorce me. I belong to a paranormal group and he told me I have to leave it because there are men in the group and I can’t be around other men. If I don’t leave the group I will be divorced. I am a Muslim also but I don’t belong to the same sect he belongs to. I made a video about the headscarf its about my opinion that God didn’t ask women to cover and he said that someone might slit my throat. He once told me that I should be killed when I was thinking of leaving Islam/the religion. To me these were threats. Some of the other things he does: Takes credit card away (especially if ive spent too much money). Leaves me the car with no gas so I am stuck at home. Asks where I am going and why. Won’t allow me to have certain non-muslim friends, says I caused our daughter to be fat, that God will punish me for me talking to my friends about his actions, always complains that I don’t know how to manage money, he spanks my daughter even though I disagree with it, thinks that my opinions and ideas are not Islamic, puts away money in another bank account that I don’t have access to, he threatens to call his step-daughters father about things he doesn’t approve of her doing, makes comments that we don’t match, won’t be seen with me in public around his friends because I am not wearing a headscarf, talks to my mom about me behind my back, compares me to Algerian women (he is Algerian) says I don’t stack up to how well they clean their homes, cook, etc.. I once saw a therapist and she said that this is called spiritual abuse. I am still not sure I am in an abusive situation. I do want to get away from him again but I’m broke. Sometimes I think of just going to a homeless shelter but I don’t have the courage.. I have three kids and sometimes I think it would be easier if I didn’t have kids. Its easy to care for yourself and go rent a room somewhere..But its not so easy when you have three kids to care for besides yourself..Is this abuse???

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:


      It sounds like you are dealing with a very controlling abusive partner. Every individual has the right to dress how they choose, have any friends they want, have money for gas or other necessities, and to be treated with love and kindness. You found the courage to leave once before and were doing great by getting a job and your own apartment, which means you can do it again if that is your decision. I know it can feel challenging to think of starting over, especially if you do not have your own income and have children to worry about. There are domestic violence shelters that are different from homeless shelters, and you could take your children with you as well. You deserve a life where you, and your children, can be yourselves without fear of being hurt. Please call 24/7 to 1-800-799-7233 for further guidance and support and local referrals. Thank you for reaching out through our blog community.


  13. Emily says:

    I forgot to mention that one week ago I bought a dog and he dumped it out in the middle of nowhere while I cried…He said “I told you no dog in my house!!”…

  14. George says:

    Have be in a marriage that is tearing apart .but am scared to leave because i might ve deported back to my country and i don’t have anything left i have spend all i have in my marriage and Wife and coming here.and now she turn out to be abusive to me. In all wsys of life.she hits me. Slap me. Punch me. Throw my belongs out the door.call me all kinds of names and still threaten me with immigration status please i need help what to do.she even put me un jail for 4day by lying to the cops …i feel i should just die or kill my self.please somebody help…thanks

    • HotlineAdmin_MB says:


      Nobody deserves to be slapped, punched, or verbally hurt. I am sorry that you are having to live this way. It sounds like she is purposely not helping you get your residency. If you would like a number for an immigration lawyer, that could help you figure out if you qualify for VAWA, please call 1-800-799-7233 for help. Advocates are here 24/7 and can help you figure out your options, safety plan, and look up local referrals for shelters. Thank you for reaching out through The Share Your Voice Blog community.

      We removed your last name and phone number for your safety.


  15. amy says:

    I stayed because my ex was diagnosed with a mental illness. I thought that his illness could be fixed. I had started to make plans to leave when He was hospitalized (in psych unit) because he was suicidal. Said he was going to kill himself because he thought I was leaving and taking kids. Said he’d go to therapy and listen to doctor. But he only stayed medicated for a short time and it turned right back to being my fault he was crazy.

    • HotlineAdmin_AS says:

      Hi Amy,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with our community. While it’s not clear if you’re still in this relationship, it sounds like a scary and dangerous situation. It also sounds like you did everything you could to take care of your family. A mental health diagnosis is not an excuse to be abusive and your ex’s talk of suicide is definitely a red flag. No one should ever take away your right to be safe.

      If you’d like to talk, please know that we’re here 24/7, anonymous and confidential, at 1-800-799-7233.

      We’re here when you need us.

      Hotline Advocate AS

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