Our society believes that if you are being abused by your partner, you should leave – right away. But this is not women’s experience. Leaving a relationship, where there has been abuse, is practically and emotionally very complex. There is no “easy” solution when it comes to abuse. Whether you are living with your partner or not, you may still be working on your relationship, hoping your marriage or family can stay intact. Or, perhaps, you are afraid of leaving. (You likely have very good reasons for being afraid.) Here are some reasons women give for staying in a relationship were there is abuse:
- I still love
- I don’t want to be alone
- I take my marriage vows very seriously
- I still have hopes and dreams for the future
- I feel embarrassed about the abuse
- I’m worried about managing as a single parent
- It is financially impossible for me to leave
- I don’t want to leave my home
- He has threatened me if I leave
- He has threatened to hurt himself if I leave
- I want the children to have a father
- I feel sorry for him.
If you are feeling conflicted about leaving or staying in the relationship, you are not alone. Abuse leaves women feeling overwhelmed, confused and unclear about their options. It is important to find support for yourself. Your situation is extremely difficult, you deserve all the good support you can get.