Understanding Abusive Relationships

I often hear people scoff at women for staying in an abusive situation. They don't understand why anyone would stay. It doesn't seem that hard to leave. Just walk out the door.

Surely they haven't lost the capability of turning a doorknob and walking out?! I understand their disbelief. With all of the available programs for abused women, it seems they have many options. But maybe it's not as clear-cut as it seems from the outside.As a person who has been in that situation, I can shed some light on the reasons a woman may have for staying.

Sometimes it sneaks up on you. It's one instance of abuse in an otherwise good relationship. It mounts little by little and you make excuses that they aren't really being abusive, things just got out of hand.

It doesn't happen all the time and you wonder if you're blowing things out of proportion. Others have it worse. Finally it comes to a point where someone notices and points out to you that it's not normal, you shouldn't have to live that way and you realize. you are in an abusive relationship. The kind you see on TV, or in the movies, or read about, but it's your life and you wonder how you got there.From this point of realization, the battle begins.

Not an external battle, that still continues, but the internal battle of the self-derision, the shame, and the internal questions. How could I let myself get into this situation? What will people think when they find out? Your whole self-perception shifts. I once thought of myself as a strong, educated woman, but if I'm in an abusive situation, so I must be weak. It's one thing to admit your weakness to yourself, but totally different to admit it to others.Pride comes into play at this point. You don't want your family, friends, and co-workers to think less of you.

Hell, you don't want to think less of yourself! This is where many women are stuck. They can't come to terms with their own weakness, seeing it as a negative instead of a fact of life. We all have frailties and we are stronger if we recognize this in ourselves and accept it as part of who we are.

Some people stay in these relationships because they have nobody in their lives to point out that it isn't "normal" and they can choose another life. Others stay because they can't get past the emotions long enough to get themselves together and out the door. It's not as easy as just turning the doorknob and taking the step outside. First you must come to terms with the fact that you are abused. Next, admitting to yourself and others that you a human and, as such, have human frailties.

Finally, you may need help to get out. Depending on the level of abuse, this could be difficult. Most abusers isolate their victim. They have little contact with the outside world and are kept to a tight schedule. Finding an opportunity to contact help could be difficult, but not impossible.Women need to realize they are not lesser beings because they've been abused.

They need to come to terms with it and find a way out. If you or someone you know is in this situation, there is help available. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for further information (


Sonia Fischer is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers.

By: Sonia Fischer

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