Monday, October 8, 2018

Domestic Abuse Misconception #8

Domestic Abuse Misconception #8: If things are really that bad then she would just leave. 

The truth is that things can still really be "that bad" but she doesn't leave for so many reasons. 

She doesn't leave because she still has such a strong emotional connection with her abuser. 

She doesn't leave because she is financially dependent on her abuser. 

She doesn't leave because she doesn't want to have to let her children spend time alone with her abuser without her there to protect them. 

She doesn't leave because nobody would believe her and she would have no support.

She doesn't leave because she has nowhere to go. 

She doesn't leave because her church might tell her it is wrong to do so. 

She doesn't leave because she knows that wherever she goes, he will be able to find her. 

A victim will leave her abuser and return and leave and return a number of times, the average being seven, before she leaves for good. The process of leaving is a terrifying and brutal process and it is terrifying for good reason. 75% of homicides occur as the victim tries to leave or in the several weeks after she leaves. It is, in many ways, safer to stay in the relationship.

This is why it is so very important for a victim to reach out to trusted and informed friends or a domestic abuse shelter and make a safety plan. 

If you are in an abusive relationship and need help in figuring out what to do next or making a safety plan, call  the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or in the Asheville area you can call Helpmate at 828-254-0516. 

(Note: In all of my posts I use "he" for abuser and "she" for victim for simplicity and because, in the majority of cases, the abuser is male. But it can be the opposite with a female abuser. Dynamics of abuse can also happen in same sex relationships.)

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