Victim Blaming: Why Don’t Abuse Victims Just Leave?
Last month, we had a Family therapist/Clinical counsellor speak to our Villagers about Victim Blaming. Jane answered questions from our Villagers, shed light on some questions and offered expert advice on various topics, which we have compiled into articles such as this one. In this article, we share reasons as to why abuse victims don’t leave or take long to leave.
People who haven’t been abused often wonder why an individual wouldn’t just leave an abusive relationship. They don’t understand that leaving is often more complicated than it seems. Leaving is usually the foremost dangerous time for a victim of abuse, because abuse is about power and control.
Here are common reasons why people stay in abusive relationships.
A person going through abuse could also be scared of what is going to happen if they leave. They don’t want to face the future and the uncertainty that might come with leaving.
2. Believing Abuse is Normal
Due to growing up in an abusive relationship amid other reasons, an individual may not know that they are being abused. More often than not, they’re disillusioned and view some methods or ways of abuse as love languages, in and of themselves.
3.Fear of Being Outed
If someone is in an LGBTQ relationship and is yet to open up to friends and family, their partner may threaten to reveal this secret.
4. Embarrassment or Shame
It’s often difficult for somebody to admit that they’ve been abused. They may feel they’ve done something wrong by becoming involved with an abusive partner. In addition to this, they’re also concerned about what family and friends will think and whether or not they’ll judge them.
5. Low Self-Esteem
Due to the constant abuse, being put down and treated as less than, victims believe and think that the abuse is their fault. This in turn affects how they relate with themselves and other people.
So often, the victim feels love for his or her abusive partner. They may have children with them and need to take care of their family. Abusive people can often be charming, especially at the start of a relationship, and therefore the victim may hope that their partner will return to being that person. They may only want the violence to cease while still maintaining the relationship.
7. Cultural/Religious Reasons
Traditional gender roles supported by someone’s culture or religion may influence them to remain instead of ending the connection for fear of bringing shame upon their family.
8.Lack of Resources and Money
Financial abuse is common, and a victim could also be financially hooked in to their abusive partner. Without money, access to resources , it can seem impossible for them to escape. This feeling of helplessness is especially strong if the person lives with their abusive partner.
When someone is physically hooked in to their abusive partner,they will feel that their well-being is connected to the connection. This dependency could heavily influence their decision to remain in an abusive relationship.
For more information on Victim Blaming and leaving an abusive relationship, visit thehotline.org.
If you are going through abuse or you know a person going through abuse, the Gender-Based Violence-free hotline is 1195. If you would like to join a community of women healing from abuse, WhatsApp +254736275978.
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