WHY DO WOMEN STAY IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS?
- SURVIVAL: Fear about her own and her children’s safety if she leaves.
- ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE: Can she survive on one income?
- FEAR: Of being alone, fear that she cannot cope with home and children by herself.
- PARENTING: Wanting a father for the children.
- RELIGION: Pressure to keep the family together.
- FAMILY: Extended family pressure to keep the family together.
- LOYALTY: If he had cancer, she’d stick by him.
- RESCUE: If she stays, she can “save” him and help him “get better.”
- FEAR OF HIS SUICIDE: He says he’ll kill himself if she leaves.
- DENIAL: “It’s really not so bad.”
- LOVE: She loves him, and he is quite often loving and lovable when he’s not being abusive.
- IDENTITY: Many women feel that they need a man in order to be complete.
- SHAME, EMBARRASSMENT AND HUMILIATION: She doesn’t want anyone to know.
- LOW SELF-ESTEEM: After years of being criticized by her abuser, she believes that it must be her fault, she must deserve it, she’ll never find anyone better, “a little love is better than no love at all.”
- SEX ROLE: “That’s just the way men are.”
GIVEN ALL THE REASONS WOMEN* MIGHT STAY IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP, IT SEEMS A MORE USEFUL QUESTION MIGHT BE “WHERE DO WOMEN GET THE COURAGE TO LEAVE THEIR ABUSERS?” OR “WHY DO BATTERERS ASSUME THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO ABUSE?”
(Adapted from The Second Step Newsletter)
* 95% of the patients seen in emergency departments for injuries as a result of domestic violence are women. Men can also be victims, in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.
If you are an employee (female or male) of the Partners HealthCare System, and you are currently experiencing, or have experienced abuse in an intimate relationship, support is available. The Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential services to survivors of domestic violence. The EAP is committed to helping employees feel safe – in their homes, communities and workplaces.
HOTLINES ARE FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL, AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS, TRANSLATORS AVAILABLE
Domestic Violence Hotline, 877-785-2020
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, 800-841-8371
National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-7233
IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER:
Call the Police at 911
For more information or to discuss domestic abuse concerns you may call the Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.
Safelink: a 24 hour Hotline for Information and Referral Call 1-877-785-2020
If you need Immediate Assistance, dial the police at 911
This content was last modified on: 12/04/2009