Published October 06 2012
InDepth: Domestic violence | Reasons a victim might stay in an abusive relationship
- The victim loves the abuser and values his/her good qualities.
- The victim is economically dependent on the abusive partner.
- The victim fears losing their children in a custody fight.
- The victim has no other emotional support because the abuser has destroyed her/his other relationships.
- The victim has a fear of failure – society finds value in successful relationships.
- The victim holds certain religious or cultural beliefs about marriage and divorce.
- The victim may not want to deprive her/his children of contact with their other parent.
- The victim believes the abuser’s promises that each incident will be the last.
- The victim feels powerless.
- The victim is unaware of or unable to access services that could help her/him.
- The victim has a fear of the unknown – the thought is, “If I stay, at least I know what to expect.”
- The victim has a fear of reprisal – abusers often threaten their victim with more violence or death when she/he tries to leave.
Source: Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead