It’s a common question that victims of domestic violence face: why don’t you just leave? The reality is that many suffering from sexual abuse and other forms of domestic violence can’t simply get up and go. Emotional and situational pressures can keep someone from seeking shelter and leaving a harmful relationship.
Quite often, a victim of domestic violence stays due to emotional issues. They may feel like they deserve to be abused, or they may fear even more severe consequences from their abuser if they try to leave. They may even think the abuser will stop his harmful behavior. Guilt and attachment can often cause someone to stay despite their better judgement.
Alternatively, a victim may stay because they don’t have the necessary job skills to get by if they leave their abusive partner. Worse yet, they may believe they don’t have anyone they can go to for help, or that the police wouldn’t take their allegations seriously.
These and other complications can make it hard for a domestic violence victim to leave, even if they are experiencing near-constant abuse. Because of this, it is essential that family and friends stay alert for changes in behavior or other signs of abuse. Spreading the word about shelters and other resources that are available can also give someone the strength to escape a dangerous situation.