Why Women In An Abusive Relationship Can’t Just Leave

Updated: Aug 19, 2021



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Violence against women is defined as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”(UN).


When it comes to women being in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, we are often so quick to suggest that they should leave. Yes leaving is not the problem but there are bigger things which hold them back. A person who never went through it might be so quick to suggest leaving the relationship. But let me tell you, when it comes to abusive relationships, leaving the environment is never easy as it sounds. Here’s why women often found it so hard to escape unhealthy or abusive relationships:


It is a matter of life and death:

Sometimes it is dangerous for a woman to leave an abusive relationship because they get threatened. According to an online report, “On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner”(OurWatch). The aggression behaviour of a man will hold back a woman from leaving as they will fear to lose their life.


Turning the table around:

A man might be in the wrong still they can turn the situation around to make the women feel guilty instead. It results in her doubting herself and this kind of behaviour is known as gaslighting. Gaslighting means “ a form of emotional abuse that’s seen in abusive relationships. It’s the act of manipulating a person by forcing them to question their thoughts, memories, and the events occurring around them. A victim of gaslighting can be pushed so far that they question their sanity”(HealthLine). Therefore, “Never make yourself feel like nothing to make someone else feel like everything”(Gecko and Fly).


The situation will get better:

Some women tend to have the notion that if they remain in an abusive relationship because they love their partner and think that their behaviour will change. They might stick around thinking he can be changed while forgetting that you can never change a person unless they make a change themselves. It is never a good idea to stay in an unhealthy relationship thinking the person will come to their senses and change because you are trying to change them. It is important to remember that “You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue in their actions”(Gecko and Fly).


Fake promises :

After an abusive incident women tend to be fooled by the fake promises of ‘give me a second chance, I promise you I’m going to change”. To make their actions believable, it leads the abuser to do something nice, such as gifts for instance. Just because they have apologised, it does not mean they would not do it again as the cycle will only keep repeating itself. They say actions speak louder than words and the best option is to see if their actions align with their words. Often “women think he will change, he won’t. And men make the mistake of thinking she will never leave, she will” (Gecko and Fly).


For the sake of the Children:

Some women may also fear to leave an abusive relationship because of the kids. It becomes even harder for the disadvantaged families where a woman depends on a man as being the provider of the family. It causes women to often remain in unhealthy relationships just for the sake of their children. Leaving would become hard because where would she go and stay with the kids as well as feed them.


Many factors make a woman stay in an abusive relationship. One thing we have to keep in mind is that yes they want to leave although they can not do so due to the few things I have just mentioned above.


With Gratitude & Love

From Our Founder Caroline Mc Guinness

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