Why do victims feel stuck in Domestic Violence?

When society often normalizes unhealthy behavior many people are not able to recognize that their relationship is abusive. The CDC reports that more than 1 in 3 women and about 1 in 3 men in the United States experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Oftentimes when found in this type of situation victims feel stuck and remain in these relationships.

What Is Domestic Violence?

First of all it is important that we define what domestic violence is, according to the NCADV, Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. 

What can keep you in an abusive relationship?

  1. Children:

When it comes to domestic violence relationships, oftentimes, children are involved. Victims or survivors may feel guilty or responsible for disrupting their familial unit. Abusers may also use the reason of keeping the family together as a tactic by their partner to guilt a survivor into staying in the relationship. Victims also often still have strong, intimate feelings for their abusive partner and have a hope that they will return to the partner/parent they once showed they were. 

  1. Lack of Money/Resources: 

Financial abuse is common in domestic violence relationships. A victim may be dependent on their abusive partner for money and resources. Without those things, it can seem impossible for them to leave the relationship. This reason is especially prevalent if the person lives with the abuser. Victims could experience anxiety about a decline in living standards for themselves and their children.

  1. Self-esteem: After experiencing verbal abuse or blame for physical abuse, it can be easy for survivors to believe those sentiments and believe that they’re at fault for their partner’s abusive behaviors.This can lead victims to feel "ashamed" of the abuse and try to hide signs of it from the outside world. The isolation contributes to a sense that there is nowhere to turn. 

For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now.

Rachel Biorntreger Law is dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence and other family law issues. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence, contact us. Our consultations are completely confidential so it is a safe call to make.

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