Why doesn't he/she just leave?.......................

  • This is the question I hear the most from outsiders. WHY don't they just leave!! Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. Domestic abuse is not discriminate. It crosses all races, genders, ages and religions.

    Unfortunately, the abuser is typically very controlling. The victim is under their constant watch. It is not unusual for an abuser to sporadically show up at their victim's place of employment. This reinforces the control he or she has over them. They are constantly watching. A sad analogy is the song about Santa, "You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout I'm telling you why".......... Because they KNOW that they are being watched at all times. It is felt at all times, and becomes a moment by moment reminder that escape is not a reality. That feeling of being under their control is overwhelming. Someone in this situation of abuse is afraid to trust ANYONE to tell them about their reality. It is a minute by minute struggle to face for the victim. Who would ever believe? Who would take time out of their own life or family time to help? People have their own lives. Why would they want to get involved in this drama?

    In my case, my abuser would frequently show up at work. Eventually, I had to leave the position because of the constant fear on my abuser's part. I was too young and too scared to think rationally and recognize that none of this behavior was normal. I was isolated from my friends and family for months. I did not receive letters that had been sent to me. I had become conditioned by fear to not answer the telephone. I was numb. I was scared out of my mind. I was scared of being a failure. I was scared that people had moved on with their lives. I felt like a failure in every sense, and I was reminded that I was a failure as a partner on a daily basis.

    It took me SEVERAL attempts to leave. The statistics show, that the average victim of domestic violence makes 12 attempts to leave. How many give up after the 10th attempt? HOW do we reach those who are in an abusive situation to help them escape? Many times, folks help, and the partner just continues to hunt them down until they return. And it is a vicious cycle. So, how do we STOP that cycle? How do we help them escape permanently and be FREE??

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