People who stay in violent relationships may undergo gradual stages of reasoning. The reasons for staying may change. The outcome of a long-term battering relationship is destructive to everyone involved.
At first, victim may stay because:
- their love for partner.
- believe partner will grow up or change.
- believe they can control the abuse by doing as the abuser says.
- believe they can convince partner of their love (and end their jealousy.
- believe it is their duty to make the relationship work.
- believe they can reason with their abuser.
- believe them when they say they are sorry and won’t do it again.
- embarrassment for partner and self, so seldom seek help.
- afraid of what will happen if police become involved.
Later, victim stays because:
- they hope abuser will change or get help.
- under pressure from family and friends.
- believes partner needs them and loves them.
- fear of being alone and not being able to support themselves.
- believes the promises of change and that abuser will get counseling and/or stop abusing drugs or alcohol.
- victim is confused.
- increasingly afraid of partner’s violence and may become afraid for their life.
- feels isolated and sometimes trapped.
Finally, victim stays because:
- fear; abuser has become tremendously powerful in their eyes.
- threats to kill victim or the children.
- believes they are not lovable.
- believes they cannot survive alone.
- victim is very confused and feels guilty.
- victim becomes very depressed and decisions are very hard to make.
- victim believes they have no control over their life.
- victim feels hopeless and helpless.
- believes they have no options.
- may have developed serious emotional or physical problems.