Everyone wants to have a “happily ever after” relationship and this pressures most people to hold on to abusive relationships and maintain the pretence.
People who have never been abused often wonder why a person would stay in an abusive relationship. Signs of domestic violence in victims:
- Withdrawn or usually quiet and isolated
- Frequent bruises of physical injuries with weak explanations
- Signs of fear
- Low self-esteem
- Extremely apologetic
- Symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Talking about or attempting suicide
Victims may stay because:
- Cycle of abuse leads to “honeymoon phase”
- Society normalises toxic behaviour
- Destroyed self-esteem, making it impossible to start afresh
- It’s dangerous to escape
- Responsible for partners’ actions
- Believe that things will change
- Social pressure to be in a “‘perfect relationship”
- Fear of how others will react
- Shared children, assets and finances.
Staying in an abusive relationship does not mean that victims are asking to be abused.
Leaving an abusive relationship gives you back the freedom and control of your own power which was stolen by the abuser.