Why does she stay?

There are as many reasons why someone stays in an abusive relationship as there are victims: love; belief in the batterer’s promise to change; fear of losing children, pets and property; financial constraints; isolation from family and friends; coming to believe all the negative things the abuser has said; beliefs such as “you marry for life”; expecting future threats to harm family, friends and pets will be carried-out as past threats were carried-out, etc.

That being said, the premises behind this question are examples of why domestic violence continues to exist today.

  • First, despite the inherent risks in doing so, (loss of children, pets and property, as well as physical retaliation by the abuser, including death), many victims do leave their abusers as evidenced by our existence.
  • Second, family violence, teen dating violence, domestic violence, elder abuse and related animal cruelty do not discriminate – domestic violence affects people of all ages, races and socioeconomic class.
  • Third, the fact that we tend to ask “Why does she stay?” instead of asking “Why does he batter?” or, on a larger scale, “Why does society allow battering to continue?,” points to the need to change our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors regarding the acceptance of violence in daily living.

This is why The Shelter exists – to protect victims, to prevent abuse among future generations and to prevail over this social ill.

For an in-depth discussion on Why Does She Stay, read our six-part series.

Leaving an abusive partner or spouse is complicated. Victims are often isolated and financially dependent on their abusers. Hard to imagine? See for yourself how domestic abuse escalates by clicking on the interactive video below.

Our thanks to the AllState Foundation for creating this video as part of their Purple Purse initiative.