Recently I heard from a lady who is in a difficult relationship. She has been verbally abused by her partner for some time, but lately that abuse has become physical violence. She doesn’t have any family close by and is unsure whether she should stay, or risk leaving without a definite place to go to. In this situation, should a woman stay or go?
On the face of it, the answer is simple, she should get out.
However, people who have been in abusive relationships know that it is often not that easy. There are financial and emotional factors that hold you together, and quite often there are children, property, family and social ties that convince you it is worth hanging in there and giving it another chance. It might also feel shameful to admit the truth of what is going on in your relationship, or maybe you believe on some level that you have contributed to the violent behavior you are experiencing. You may also think that your partner still loves you and doesn’t mean to hurt you. And what if there are children that you don’t want to disrupt, or pets that you don’t want to leave behind, or maybe you don’t live anywhere near a domestic shelter and don’t have anyone that might take you in if you can’t afford a place of your own?
I have seen women going through these dilemmas time and again. Unfortunately, when you are living overseas the situation can be even more complicated as your family and close friends are in another country, and taking children with you can cause all kinds of legal and custody disputes, which the woman might not be financially equipped to fight. The following illustrates some of the reasons why women stay in violent and abusive relationships:
So, in our case example, should she stay or should she go? Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Here are some websites that might prove helpful if you, or someone you know, is in this situation:
If the subject matter in this article resonates with you, then counselling might be a good option to help you to move forward. I offer a free 20-minute consultation so we can explore how I might be able to help you.