76 Reasons She Doesn’t Leave

Photo by Christopher Windus on Unsplash

50 Reasons Women Don’t Leave Abusive Partners, plus many more

From the Christian Coalition for Safe Families April 2019 newsletter

We might find ourselves thinking, “well, why doesn’t she leave?” (Statistically women are more often the abused partner. The following therefore uses “women/she” for the abused partner. Please remember, however, that men can be the abused partner. The reasons apply in those cases as well.)

1. Fear

2. Children

3. Lack of money

4. She loves her partner

5. Her partner “loves” her

6. The children love them both

7. Law enforcement blame her

8. Clergy blame her

9. Relatives blame her

10. She blames herself

11. Therapists blame her

12. Her batterer blames her

13. She’s a drug addict

14. Her partner is a pimp

15. Her father abused her

16. Her mother abused her

17. Her partner is an alcoholic

18. Her partner is a drug addict

19. Her partner says, “I’m sorry”

20. Her partner says, “I love you”

21. Her partner says, “I’ll never do it again”

22. Her partner says, “I’ll take the children”

23. Her partner says, “I’ll kill you if you leave”

24. Her partner says, “I’ll kill myself if you leave”

25. Fear of losing custody of her children

26. She’s deaf

27. She’s blind

28. She’s mentally impaired

29. She can’t read

30. She’s in a wheelchair

31. She can’t speak English

32. She doesn’t have papers to be in this country; (she thinks she will be deported)

33. The shelters are full

34. She’ll become homeless

35. No one believes she is being abused

36. She doesn’t think she is being abused

37. She thinks the welfare system will abuse her

38. She’s isolated

39. She’s depressed

40. It’s not the right time

41. She’s never told anyone

42. She’s afraid of the unknown

​43. She’s a public figure

44. Her partner is a public figure

45. Her partner threatens to abuse their pets

46. Her partner is her personal care attendant

47. Her partner threatens to expose her as a lesbian

48. She feels that there is no help

49. She’s tried to leave before

50. Her partner found her before

Courtesy of Community Anti-Violence Alliance, Inc., PO Box 482, Angola, IN 46703 CAVAlliance@aol.com, 260-624-3600

More reasons:

1. She thinks she doesn’t deserve anything better

2. She believes it’s a sin to leave her marriage

3. “God hates divorce”

4. She needs to suffer like Jesus suffered

5. Once she “figures it out” and “gets it right” he will treat her better

6. God is trying to teach her a lesson or get her attention

7. He keeps his gun out where she can see it (the risk of homicide increases by 500% in a DV situation when there is a gun)

8. She has a child with a significant disability

9. She’s also taking care of an elderly parent

10. She doesn’t want to alienate the kids

11. She doesn’t have a car

12. She doesn’t have money of her own or access to the family bank accounts

13. Her name is not on the title to the house or cars; if she leaves, she will have nothing

14. She remembers all the good times

15. Social embarrassment, shame, humiliation

16. The kids would lose their friends

17. Maybe she can tough it out until the kids are older

​18. Shelters for women and children don’t take teenage boys

19. Shelters/friends/family won’t take her pet

20. Can’t take the time off work to seek help or counseling

21. Is afraid of the police (many in the African-American community do not trust law enforcement & the justice system)

22. Has called the police before and they did not help her

23. Agency workers, postal workers and court staff have access to personal information. In the wrong hands the information can be used against the woman, or at the least, used to track her down.

24. Taxi drivers can stalk a woman while appearing to be working

25. She is a victim defendant

26. Injury or death increases 75% when a woman leaves an abusive relationship

There are many reasons a woman may have for not leaving an abusive relationship. Each reason is a long, sad story. We need to be sensitive to the reasons and not make cavalier declarations that “she should just leave.” Most of the time it’s not that easy. As well, the better question should be, “what can we do to help?”

© Christian Coalition for Safe Families and ccsfhope.org, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christian Coalition for Safe Families and ccsfhope.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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