Why People stay in Abusive Relationships

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While a person that has never been subjected to any form of abuse may find it inconceivable to stay in an abusive relationship, there are many reasons that push the victims into staying. One of the main reasons is conflicting emotions. They may be afraid to leave if they have been threatened while others may feel that abuse is normal especially if they have never been in a healthy relationship (O’Grady). Others may feel embarrassed to leave because their friends will find out that they left because of abuse or even low self-esteem if the victim is blamed for the abuse. Another reason is pressure from religious reasons that may force them to keep the marriage intact or the pressure from society to raise children with both parents (Goodale). Some religions require people to save marriages at almost all costs. Another crucial reason is relying on the abusive partner for all needs especially financial ones. In such a case, the victim may not have a way to start over if they left the abusive relationship. Others may not have anywhere else to go if they decided to leave (Why Women Continue in Abusive Relationships). There is also the complex concept of abuse cycle. Here, abuse happens periodically after which the abusive individual blames something like alcohol for the behavior or even expresses a lot of guilt asking for forgiveness and saying that it would never happen again prompting the victim to believe. The possibility of ‘make-up sex’ is also high and that happens to be significantly pleasurable. This prompts the victim to stay but the same happens when they are abused again in future. Some may not even acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. As such, there are many reasons why a person stays in an abusive relationship, the main ones being fear, dependability, embarrassment, and a complex cycle of abuse.

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  1. Goodale, Gloria. “‘Why I Stayed’: Ray Rice Video Rekindles US Debate on Abusive Relationships.”  ProQuest. 11 Sep. 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2017.
  2. O’Grady, Gabriella. “Domestic Violence Inspires Twitter Hashtag Movement.”  ProQuest. 15 Sep. 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2017.
  3. “Why Women Continue in Abusive Relationships.” ProQuest. 3 Nov. 2016. Web. 18 Dec. 2017.
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