"Why not just leave?"
"Why don't you just walk out
"I'd leave the first time it happened. Why did you put up
These are some of the most common remarks made to
victims of domestic violence. Nobody seems to understand why victims stay
with those who batter them. A short list of ten common reasons for staying
is also helpful here.
The victims love their batterers.
Victims do not want to leave the person they love; they only want the violence to stop.
Victims hope and
believe, often for a long time, that the violence will stop.
The violence is periodic, and the
loving periods between violent episodes entice the victims to stay.
Victims may believe they
provoke or cause or deserve the violence.
Victims are often told by others that
they provoke or cause or deserve the violence.
They may have left before but were
encouraged by friends, family, therapists, the clergy, or the police to "go
home" where they belong.
Victims may have tried to leave and been beaten for
helplessness sets in, and victims no longer believe they can escape.
Victims are threatened with more
violence, or even death, if they try to leave, and, with good reason, they
believe these threats.
This list could actually be a lot longer, and pages of
"reasons to stay" could be written. The focus of this section, however, is
on how to help victims stay out once they leave their partners. We fully
acknowledge that victims of domestic violence are up against walls of opposition
and unimaginable difficulties as they try to stay away from their (stalking)
As many victims may know, leaving is one thing, but
staying away is completely different. Staying away is at first a
full-time, 24-hour-a-day job. It is also very difficult to do alone.
What follows here are five tips that are instrumental in helping victims stay
out of their relationships with violent men. Since we know that victims
are bombarded with confusion and difficulties during their first weeks and
months after escaping, we do not list 75 more things for them to remember.
We hope and believe that if the five tips presented here are followed, staying
out may not only be possible, it may be a lot easier.
These tips are not applicable to victims of domestic violence.
How you manage to get support and stay out of your relationship with a violent partner
will depend, in part, on where you live, how much money you have, what resources
you have access to, and many other factors. Remember, wherever you are,
whatever your situation, it is possible to get out and stay out.
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