Women are often made to feel guilty for staying in an abusive relationship - as if staying makes them responsible for the abuse. In truth, there are many reasons why women stay in abusive relationships, none of which have anything to do with inviting abuse.
Women may stay because they love the person he is when he is not abusive. Abusive men can be charming, loving and romantic when they choose.
Women may stay because they have no idea how they will support their children alone.
Women may stay because they don't want to take the children from their father.
Women often believe their abuser when they say it is the woman's fault and that they deserve the treatment they are getting.
Hope and optimism can overshadow reality, and women can believe it will get better, as their partners keep telling them, even with all evidence to the contrary.
Women feel they are being strong by being loyal . . . by standing by him,
Women feel pity . . . "how sad he is, how much he needs me."
Women are often in denial, they may think "it's not that bad" and they may minimize his behavior by thinking "at least he doesn't. . ."
Women feel shame . . ."what if everyone finds out?."
Women are often in great fear, thinking he may follow through on his threats to kill himself, her, or the children.
Whether a woman leaves, or stays with her partner, help is available. But it can be difficult to ask for help. Get support. Call or speak to someone. In Massachusetts you can call 1-877-785-2020 for help, 24 hours a day.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) will give you a local number for help in your area.