You might assume that victims of domestic violence would escape from the living arrangements they share with their abusers as soon as possible. However, that is not always the case. For a multitude of reasons, some of them complex, they sometimes remain in the same environment as their tormentor.
The very act of leaving can have deadly implications for a woman who tries to flee her situation. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), “Leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence.” When a domestic violence victim talks about departing or actually attempts to do so, the abuser can become enraged. The victim’s murder is frequently the tragic result.
Abusers can be emotionally manipulative to keep their victims from straying too far. Sometimes, with seemingly abject sincerity, they promise a woman that the abuse will never, ever happen again. Their apologies and pleas for forgiveness can seem utterly convincing – until the violence almost inevitably erupts yet another time.
Sometimes an abuser will threaten his target in frightening ways that practically stop them in their tracks on the way out the door. The methods abusers resort to often display their control over their victims. For example, they say they will harm the children, pets or other loved ones if the woman exits for good. They may also threaten to destroy a victim financially.
More reasons why domestic violence victims don’t quit their relationship with an abuser
- Concern that the level of violence and harm will escalate
- Lack of awareness of resources that can help
- No safe place to live temporarily
- Family and friends who don’t understand or help
- Inability to financially support themselves and their kids
- Worry about becoming homeless
Being the target of a violent abuser can be terrifying. You may feel overwhelmed and trapped. Professionals who are experienced in this field, such as a qualified attorneys, may be able to offer possible legal avenues to deal with your plight.