Blog 1- Changing Misconceptions About Abuse

One question we hear all too often in conversations about domestic abuse is "why doesn't she just leave?" 

We suppose it's a fair question if you haven't experienced domestic abuse and the control that comes with it.

Things are rarely that black and white, so we thought we'd share some information to help people to understand and change the question to "why doesn't the abuser just stop?"

There are lots of reasons why women don't 'just' leave an abusive relationship:

  • Fear- Leaving an abusive relationship can be incredibly dangerous. The likelyhood that violence will escalate increases significantly just before or during separation, as the abuser may 'up the ante' to stop their partner from leaving or feel they have nothing to lose.
  • Isolation- Abusers often isolate their victims to make it harder for them to access support and increases dependence on the abusive person. Gradual isolation from family and friends may mean that the victim feels they have no-one to turn to if they leave.
  • Shame and embarrassment- Not all perpetrators of abuse are obvious monsters. They can be very charming, liked and well respected. This prevents people from recognising the abuse. The perpetrator will often minimise, deny or blame the victim for their behaviour. A victim of abuse often makes excuses for their partner's behaviour- even to themselves to cover up the abuse.
  • Trauma and low confidence- when you are told every day that you are worthless, your self esteem will be impacted. A lot of women are told they are useless and won't be able to cope on their own. If you are told something enough, you start to believe it's true.
  • Practical reasons- Control in abusive relationships is the most common & often most destructive element. If you are unable to go to work, have financial independence and have nowhere else to go, you may feel you have no choice but to stay. We often hear women say they are scared of having their children removed or being deported if they leave their relationship.

Women's Aid Federation England has written a great blog busting the myths around domestic abuse. You can read it HERE

Help us to bust the myth - together we can make a change for the better