Because domestic violence affects every aspect of a person’s life, deciding to end a relationship and escape abuse can be more difficult than one would think. In any abusive relationship, anxiety and exhaustion deplete a victim’s energy to resist, and victims often begin to believe that they deserve the poor treatment they receive from loved ones.
Aside from fearing repercussions that could put their health and safety at risk, victims may struggle to leave their partners because of the following factors.
- What will happen
- How their partner or loved one will react
- What friends or family will think
- Being alone or parenting alone
- Being blamed for the abuse
- Being incomplete or incapable without this person
- Being outed as LGBTQ
- Bringing shame to the community due to cultural or religious tradition
- The possibility that this person will commit suicide
- Jeopardizing immigration status
- Pity for this person
- Love for this person, who can be charming in calm periods
- Obligation to uphold vows
- Guilt for the abuse
- Denial about the abuse
- Physical, emotional, or financial dependence
- Helplessness due to limited:
- English-speaking ability
- Money and resources
- Access to shelter
- Physical or mental capacity
Outside forces also play a role in a victim’s inability to escape abuse. Instead of being seen as a public health issue, domestic violence is often considered a private affair within couples. Society tells victims that they must focus on saving the relationships rather than escaping the violence. For this reason, HAWC has partnered with local courthouses, hospitals, police departments, and religious organizations to ensure that victims of abuse receive extensive support.
Leaving an abusive relationship means gradually recognizing that you are in control of your life, no matter what. The first step in this process is acknowledging a need for help. Whether you want to discuss this issue and make a plan, or you seek an immediate emergency shelter, HAWC is ready to help. Call our hotline at 800-547-1649 today.