According to Sarah Buel: “This question has been fueled by those who believe that remaining with a batterer indicates stupidity, masochism, or codependence. Far from being accurate, such labels prove dangerous to victims because they tend to absolve batterers of responsibility for their crimes.”
There are many different reasons that a victim may stay in an abusive relationship. This week to shed some light on the frequently asked question of why a victim doesn’t just leave, we’re taking a closer look at 50 different obstacles that prevent someone from leaving. Follow along on our blog throughout the week to read about all of them.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call us toll-free and confidentially at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) to speak confidentially with an advocate.
21. Keeping the Family Together: Victims believe it is in their children’s best interest to have their father or a male role model in the family.
22. Illiterate Victims: Illiterate victims may be forced to rely on the literate batterer for everyday survival.
23. Incarcerated or Newly Released Abuse Victims: Such victims often don’t have support systems to assist them with re-entry to the community. Parole officers may require that they return home if that appears to be a stable environment.
24. Law Enforcement Officer: If the perpetrator is a law enforcement officer, the victim may fear that other officers will refuse to assist or believe them if they come forward.
25. Lesbian and Gay Victims: Victims may feel silenced if disclosing their sexual orientation (to qualify for a protective order) could result in losing their job, family, and home.
26. Low Self-Esteem: Victims may believe they deserve no better than the abuse they receive.
27. Love: Since many batterers are initially charming, victims fall in love and may have difficulty altering their feelings with the first sign of a problem.
28. Mediation: Mediation can put the victim in the dangerous position of incurring the batterer’s wrath for disclosing the extent of the violence.
29. Medical Problems: The victim must stay with the batterer to obtain medical services, especially if they share insurance.
30. Mentally Ill Victims: Victims face negative societal stereotypes in addition to the batterer’s taunts that the victim is crazy and nobody will believe anything that they say.