Why Stay? Why Leave?

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People who are not familiar with abusive relationships have a hard time understanding why someone would stay in one. Typically, the first thing they ask is “Why don’t they just leave the abuser”? There are several reasons why someone continues to stay in an abusive relationship, and what we are seeing is one powerful reason for them to leave.

My son got caught in the crossfire. He almost got hit and I said to myself, if you’re not gonna leave for yourself, leave for your son. I sold my engagement ring to pay for an attorney to get an order of protection, and we went to The Retreat, to begin to heal.

Fear is the biggest reason someone stays in an abusive relationship. A person will likely be afraid of the consequences if they decide to leave their relationship. This can be fear of their partner’s actions or the fear of being on their own, emotionally, physically, and financially. 

For someone who grew up in an abusive environment, they may not know what a healthy relationship looks like. As a result, they may not recognize that their partner’s behaviors are unhealthy or abusive. To them, it is simply a relationship.

He went to hit me and accidentally hit my daughter, I felt rage and strength rise up inside me, a combination of Celie from The Color Purple and Xena Warrior Princess. That was the first day I ever walked out without looking back.

Many people find it difficult to admit that they are, or have been, abused. They may feel that they’ve done something wrong, that they deserve the abuse, or that experiencing abuse is a sign of weakness. Blame-shifting is a common tactic that their partner may use and can reinforce a sense of responsibility for their partner’s abusive behaviors.

Women live with physical and emotional abuse for years, even if they know that any day could be their last at the hands of their abuser. But when that abuse falls on their children they almost always take steps to leave the relationship. The love for their children far exceeds the pain and horror that is inflicted upon them by their abuser.

A mother’s love is a superpower. All people should have that same love for themselves. There are many reasons to stay in a relationship, but the most important reason to leave is you. YOU DESERVE A LIFE FREE OF FEAR AND PAIN.

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