If someone is being abused, why doesn’t she or he just leave?

Leaving an abusive relationship is a difficult process and there may be many reasons why someone will not be ready to leave the abusive relationship.

For example, the victim might:

  • not have any other family or friends to go to,
  • be scared that the abuser will hurt them if they try to leave,
  • believe the abuser will stop hurting them,
  • fear for the safety of his or her children or pets if they leave,
  • still hope that the abuser will change,
  • not understand that she or he is actually being abused,
  • think that she or he deserves the abuse,
  • think that the abuse is not that serious,
  • care about the abuser and not want the abuser to get charged,
  • not have any money of their own because the abuser controls the family finances, and/or
  • not know about services and places that can help victims of domestic violence.

Leaving an abusive relationship is also a dangerous process because the abuser might become angry if he or she finds out that the victim is leaving or planning to leave. 

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