Getting out of an abusive or violent relationship isn’t easy. Maybe the victim is still hoping that things will change. Maybe they are afraid of what their partner will do if they are discovered trying to leave. Whatever the reasons, the victim is most likely feeling trapped and helpless. But even though leaving an abusive relationship can be frightening, the risks of staying are too great.
Why doesn’t she just leave? It’s the question many people ask when they learn that a woman is being battered and abused. But if you are in an abusive relationship, you know that it’s not that simple. Ending an important relationship is never easy. It’s even harder when you’ve been isolated from your family and friends, psychologically beaten down, financially controlled, and physically threatened.
If you’re trying to decide whether to stay or leave, you may be feeling confused, uncertain, frightened, and torn. One moment, you may desperately want to get away, and the next, you may want to hang on to the relationship. Maybe you even blame yourself for the abuse or feel weak and embarrassed because you’ve stuck around in spite of it. Don’t be trapped by confusion, guilt, or self-blame.
If you or someone you know is in a violent relationship there are steps you can take on the road to reclaiming your right to safety:
- Prepare for emergencies
- Develop a safety plan
- Locate a local domestic violence program and shelter in your community
- Build a strong local support system
- Protect your privacy