Why People Stay

Many people don’t understand why someone would stay in a violent relationship.

Here are just some reasons:

Fear: Repeated threats often paralyze the victim. Leaving is often the most dangerous time in a battering relationship.

For support when deciding to leave, please contact Voices Empowered at 623-986-3987
or the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) (TTY 1-800-787-3224)
for safety planning, support, and referrals.

Low Self-Esteem: Repeated name calling, mind games, and humiliation can cause the victim to feel the abuse is his/her fault or that the abuse is deserved.

Economic Reasons: Often victims are financially dependent upon their abusers, they don’t know about the resources that could help them, or the place where they live has little, if any, resources.

Children: There is often fear that the victim may not get custody of children or the children could be the target of violence or abduction. Many victims do not want to “break up” the family unit and minimize any psychological harm that may come to the children as a result of violence in the home.

Control: Victims often think they can control their partner’s abusive behavior if they just could “behave” or do what their partner wants.

Hope for Change: Victims often believe promises of change and really want to believe things will get better.

Religious Beliefs: Religion may play a part in committing to a partner, or may play a part in justification of abuse when religious texts are interpreted in such a way. There is also fear of excommunication from a religious community or fear of judgment from God for breaking up their family.

Immigration Issues: A victim may not leave because of immigration status.

Pressure from Family and Friends: There may not be supportive friends or family or the abuser has isolated the victim so that there is often no one to turn to for support. Friends or family may be frustrated by the victim leaving and returning multiple times or may have fear of repercussions of the abuser by helping the victim.