The sad truth is that one in every four women in the US has experienced violence from her partner or husband. Violence in such a relationship includes sexual assault, domestic abuse, verbal as well as emotional abuse, stalking, and coercion.
Why Don’t Women Leave Abusive Relationships?
Leaving an abusive relationship is not as simple as just walking out the door. There are so many reasons that make it almost impossible to leave such toxic relationships. Here are some of them:
There is a tremendous amount of fear. Many a time, the woman is physically threatened by her partner when she tries to leave the relationship. She fears for her life.
There is also the fear of the unknown. An abuser tends to isolate his victim, cutting her off from family, and friends. Then he erodes her self-confidence and makes her entirely dependent on him.
So, when it comes time to leave, there is a massive fear of the unknown – how will she manage without him? And this is why many women end up not leaving – they don’t know what to do or fear that they will not survive without their partners.
Believing the Relationship is Normal
Another reason is that when you don’t know what a healthy, loving relationship feels like, you end up believing that an abusive relationship is normal.
It could also be that a woman is profoundly embarrassed or ashamed that she is a victim of abuse. She is worried about how her friends and family will react when she tells them.
It is a shame that women still get a lot of pressure from both friends and family to stay in an abusive relationship. Many times when a woman is told that she has to be strong and bear the abuse for the sake of her children, for the financial support, and so on.
When is Enough?
Enough should be as soon as the first signs of abuse started. However, that seldom happens. We believe that we can change our partner’s behavior with love and patience, or we don’t see the signs until it’s too late and we’re trapped.
Leaving an abusive relationship is one of the toughest things a woman can do. It’s frightening, confusing, and she has no idea what the future holds for her.
How to Leave an Abusive Relationship
To be able to leave an abusive husband or partner, a woman first needs to prepare herself.
There are cases where a woman needs to leave a relationship immediately because she fears for her or her children’s lives. If this is the case, then she has no choice but to get away as soon as possible. There are shelters across the country that can help her in such situations.
However, for most other victims of abuse, being able to leave takes planning. The planning includes finding a safe place to stay, collecting enough money, and becoming emotionally and mentally stronger.
So, the first thing a woman needs to do is reach out. It could be to friends and family, or even the police or criminal defense lawyers. The point is that she needs to speak up and let someone know what is happening to her and that she needs help.
She also needs to begin the process of healing before she leaves the relationship. Start taking care of herself, and, if she can start seeing a therapist who can help her become emotionally strong enough to get out of the relationship finally.