Abusive relationships are very difficult to get out of. Abusive people use a pattern of violent and coercive behavior to maintain their power over their meek partners in a relationship. Abuse in a relationship can be of various kinds like emotional, physical, sexual and even financial. An abuser can resort to many things like isolation, threats and even intimidation to get what they want in a relationship.
The most callous things people ask to the victims of such abuse is ‘why don’t you leave?’. It is a completely futile thing to ask a victim. If a victim can leave an abusive relationship, they would left without a second thought. But a person in an abusive relationship feels a lot of complicated emotions that stop them from leaving his or her relationship. Human beings are social creatures who form social bonds. We thrive in communities by sharing resources and achieving things communally.
The Extended Mental Effect Of Abuse
Humans are not mentally designed to handle abuse. Our brains treat violent behavior from others as harmful and react accordingly. Victims of abuse often develop other mental problems that are secondary to their abuse which includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression and many other problems. The effects of abuse often get marked in the psyche of an individual. This fear is one of the strong reason why people stay in abusive relationships even after systematic abuse.
There are four reasons why people don’t leave an abusive relationship which are listed below.
1. Emotional Crossroads
A partner should lose his or her dignity in the eyes of the victim the moment he or she resort to abuse and violence. But it doesn’t always happen as quickly as one would want to. Lots of the time abusers can profusely apologize for their behavior and vow never to repeat it. But most of the times, that seldom happens. And victims often get trapped in such abusive relationships because of false promises. The abuser would find strength if the victim fails to take stringent action after the first time violence ensues. The abuser would see that as a weakness and keep repeating the same thing. Victims often feel emotionally conflicted about leaving their abusive partners if there are families involved.
2. Dearth Of Resources
Dependency is a big reason why people don’t walk away from their abusive partners. If a person is financially dependent on others, then it is harder for them to walk out without any funds or resources. Hopelessness is something that dependent victims feel in an abusive relationship. So, a victim must break out of that mental block that they have nowhere to go. There are many organizations that are focused on helping people who are stuck in abusive relationships. They can reach out for public assistance and other support systems before taking a big step. Finally, victims can sometimes overcome with a paralyzing fear of their abusive partners coming to know about their intentions.
Sometimes, people feel obligated to stay in an abusive relationship because there are children involved who happen to love the abusive parent or are oblivious to the abuse completely. In many countries, there are laws that prohibit divorce. In some countries, gender-biased rules can make it difficult for people to walk out of an abusive relationship.
4. Seeking Help
This is one of the biggest challenges that people in abusive relationships face. They don’t know how to seek help. There are very stringent laws that are there to combat domestic abuse. Legal actions can be one of the options depending on the veracity of the situation. There are many hot lines and websites that contain a lot of information regarding this matter. So, don’t be afraid to reach out and contact such resources if you feel threatened or abused.
So, don’t feel hopeless at your situation. There is a silver lining somewhere waiting for you.