There are many reasons why a person might choose to stay in an abusive relationship.  Just because they stay doesn’t mean that they like the abuse or that it can’t be that bad. Leaving an abusive partner is the most dangerous time for the victim.

75% of all domestic homicides occur while the victim is trying to leave their abuser or has just gotten out of the relationship. 


The following are just some of the reasons that make it difficult to leave: 

Fear:  The most common reason people stay in abusive relationships is because of fear. On average, it takes between 7-12 attempts before a victim of abuse finally makes it out.

Belief that their partner will change:  Many victims stay with an abusive partner because they believe that their partner will change. Often times the abuser will make promises to change just to keep the victim in the relationship.

Pressure:  The victim may feel pressure from friends, family, and/or society to stay in the relationship, even if their partner is abusive.

Afraid that no one will believe them:  Sometimes victims stay because they are afraid that no one will believe them. Often an abuser will use this as a threat to keep the victim in the relationship.

Afraid of Change:  The victim may just want the abuse to stop but doesn’t want to change their whole life. They may be afraid of being alone or of never “finding anyone” again.

Low Self-esteem:  Experiencing abuse can erode a person’s self-esteem.  They may find it difficult to make decisions or think clearly during this time.

Mixed Feelings:  The victim may have mixed feelings for the abuser. They may be torn between the abuser’s “good qualities” and wanting the abuse to end.

Money:  The abuser may be providing some amount of financial support to the victim therefore making the victim dependent upon them.

Threats:  The abuser may have made threats to the victim about leaving. Threats can range from physical threats to the victim or someone the victim cares about,  to suicide, and even blackmail. The victim may feel trapped.

Shame:  The victim may be ashamed or embarrassed to come forward and disclose the abuse.

Stalking:  The victim may have tried to break  up with the abuser in the past only to be stalked by them.

Isolation:  The victim may have become isolated from friends and family during the relationship and feel  emotionally dependent upon the abuser.

Religion or cultural values:  Sometimes a victim’s religious or cultural beliefs can affect their acceptance of abuse. The victim’s religion/culture may condone some forms of relationship violence