When you hear stories about abusive relationships come out, one thing that people sometimes ask is why the victim didn’t simply leave. They’ll say that the easiest way to end the abuse was just to walk away from the relationship. They can’t understand why someone wouldn’t do it.
What this really shows is a fundamental lack of understanding of how domestic violence happens and what it means for those involved. There are many reasons why someone doesn’t immediately leave an abusive relationship.
They may be dependent on the other person
One of the biggest reasons is simply that the victim is often dependent on the perpetrator of this domestic violence. The person may have cut them off from access to their own financial assets, for instance, or they may feel that they would have nowhere to live if they were to leave.
They may share many things
In some situations, these two individuals share many aspects of their life. They may jointly own a home. They may have children together. It’s not always that easy to simply walk away from this.
They may be afraid that things will get worse
Another thing to consider is that someone who is being abused already knows that their partner is willing to commit criminal acts and physical violence. As bad as that is, they may realistically be worried that things are going to get worse if they try to leave. This fear often makes people stay in uncomfortable relationships simply because they’re trying to avoid an even worse scenario.
It’s important to understand why people stay in abusive relationships in order not to make judgments about why they wouldn’t leave. But it’s also important for those who are trapped in these relationships to know what legal options they have.