Domestic Violence: The Barriers to Leaving

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Every choice that an abused woman considers to do with regards in seeking help or ending the relationship involves a variety of risks. Time and time again, the common question arises, “why doesn’t she just leave?” Most often abused women, at great and potentially fatal risk, do leave their abusive relationships. However, there is a multitude of barriers, including increasing abuse and the potential for re-victimization by the system that does not respond accordingly, and most often force many women to return to their abusers. A woman may become vulnerable as she goes through the stages of leaving her abuser. There are many reasons why a woman becomes vulnerable; guilt, denial, and fear may be among a few reasons, though no matter what the reason may be, abused women must realize the risks they face to injury and death.

Women do not realize that the long series of quarrels they endure makes them vulnerable to injury and death because in their minds and hearts they can’t accept that the man they love can hurt them. Women do not realize that the abuse does not typically stem from a problem with their relationship; rather it starts with the abuser’s emotional insecurities, low self –esteem and history of abusive behavior he may have witnessed in his childhood. Most abused women are in denial and refuse to admit it; even to themselves that she has been abused or that there is a problem in their relationship. As the quarrels progress, she chooses to call each incident an “accident”. After the angry outburst, the abuser tries everything to convince her that he has changed promising to seek help or never hurt her again. When an abused woman is in denial she doesn’t admit something has happened or pretends the situation is not as ...

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...or the abuser before they can come in contact with their children. The system must make the abuser’s pay for their crime and not just get a “slap on the hand”. It’s crucial that they provide safe havens for these women when they have no other place to go. Most often these safe havens do not have the adequate space or have a series of guidelines that detours the abused woman not to seek their help. Education is crucial in order to help abused women understand that they are protected under the law.

When an abused woman makes the choice to leave an abusive relationship, she will experience a variety of emotions as she goes through the phases of separation. During this process they will become vulnerable to injury or death, though they must realize that they need to take the necessary precautions to stay protected and that no one deserves to live a life of torture.
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