#Opinion: Domestic Violence – 15 Reasons why women find it difficult to leave

#Opinion: Domestic Violence – 15 Reasons why women find it difficult to leave

Mfonobong Akpan

Let’s establish one fact here- Women don’t plan to get into an abusive relationship. In fact most don’t realise they are in one until it is too late.

Yesterday, there was a report that a woman poured hot water on her husband because he had made it a habit of beating her up anytime he felt like it. Many called her ‘witch’, ‘wicked’, ‘heartless’ – I don’t remember it being wrong to stand up for yourself?

Unfortunately, many women suffer this menace in silence, some eventually make it out of the relationship while others sadly don’t get out alive.

It’s time for women to realise that there is no reason whatsoever to stay with an abusive partner, this woman obviously had enough and realised it was time to save what was left of her broken, battered self, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with what she did. Contrary to what the society may think.

The questions usually asked though are -why did she stay? Why didn’t she say something?

For anyone who hasn’t been the victim of a controlling, abusive partner it may be difficult to understand how it’s possible for someone to not recognize the fact that they are being abused and need to leave.  Abusive and controlling men don’t come out swinging on the first date. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In the beginning they are extremely affectionate and rush the woman to get into a committed relationship very quickly. At the time, the woman is probably thinking that he is the best man ever, well not until he reveals his ‘animalistic’ self.

It’s not unusual for the victim to be afraid of leaving the abuser. This can be for the following reasons:

1. Love – You love your partner, and there are still times when your partner is very loving.

2. Hope – You have memories of happy times, and hope those times when he was so loving and gentle would return, or you may think doing things differently will stop the abuse.

3. Making light of the abuse – Your partner may act like it’s not a big deal, the abuse, and you believe him because it’s very painful to admit that someone you love would hurt you, so you try to convince yourself that it really isn’t that bad.

4. Self blame – You believe it’s because you’re doing something wrong and deserve to be punished for it.

5. Link between love and violence – If you grew up in a home where there was violence, or if you were ever hit by a parent and told they were doing it because they love you, you might have learned to think that love and violence go together

6. Fear of being alone – You may panic at the thought of being without your partner. You may feel like you’ll never be able to be happy, you’ll never find a partner who treats you any better, or that all relationships include abuse.

7. Societal pressure – If you are a woman in a relationship with a man, you may have learned from family, religion or culture that men are supposed to be in charge, can’t help being violent, or have the right to discipline their women. You may believe that women have to put up with this behavior and try to keep their men happy.

8. Embarrassment and shame – You may not want to admit what’s going on to others because you’re afraid of what they will think about you.

9. Financial dependence – You may depend on your partner for financial support, so you’re worried about how you’d survive if you leave.

10. Lack of supportive relationships – You may have become isolated from your friends and family. Or, family and friends may pressure you to stay with your partner.

11. Fear –  Your partner may have threatened to hurt or kill you or someone you care about if you leave.

12. Loyalty – You may feel the right thing to do is to stick with your partner no matter what.

13. Rescue complex –  You think you can change, fix, or heal your partner if you stay.

14. Guilt – Your partner may make you feel guilty about how much it would hurt him or her if you left. He may even threaten to commit suicide.

15. Children –  If you have a child with your partner, you may believe it is best for the child to have two parents who are together, so you stay because of your kids.

Domestic violence is wrong on every level and should be frowned at. It’s important for victims to remember that they are not alone and there are people who can help every step of the way when they are ready to leave…I hope you do before its too late.

Happenings Media