Why Do Victims Sometimes Return to or Stay with Their Abusers?

May 10, 2021 8:09 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Domestic violence is a complex issue. Too often, victims stay with their abusers. When this happens, others around them who are aware of the situation can’t comprehend why the victim would stay. Domestic violence counseling in Yakima, WA has revealed many reasons why victims remain in an abusive situation.

Understanding these reasons can help the practice of domestic violence counseling to be more effective. Those who want to support victims of domestic violence can try to address some of these concerns to encourage the victim to get help. Following are some of the most common reasons a victim returns to or stays with an abuser:

  • Fear: The victim may fear that the abuser will turn even more violent or possibly kill the victim if he or she makes any attempt to leave the abuser.
  • Lack of support: The victim may not have supportive friends and family to lean on or go to for help. Feeling alone in the situation, they stay in the only relationship they know, even though it is unhealthy.
  • Finances: The victim might rely on the abuser for financial support. Without a means to support themselves otherwise, the victims stay with the abusers for food, shelter and other material needs.
  • Mixed emotions: Domestic violence counseling reveals that victims often have mixed feelings about their abuser and the situation. They may feel love for the abuser, and focus on the “good” times, while hoping that the “bad” times will end.
  • Lack of knowledge: Victims may not realize there are resources available to help them. They are unaware of domestic violence counseling in Yakima, WA or other sources of support that could improve their situation.
  • Children’s safety: Victims of domestic abuse may fear losing custody of children to the abuser, or may fear the abuser will hurt the children if they try to leave.
  • Potential homelessness: The victim may have nowhere else to go. If there is a lack of support from family and friends, limited shelter assistance in the community and no funds for a hotel stay, the victim may feel he or she has no choice but to stay with their abuser. The victim fears that homelessness is the only other option.
  • Belief system: The cultural beliefs or religious practices of the victim may not support a decision to leave the abuser. This may keep the victim trapped in the situation. The victim may also believe that having two parents in the household is better for the children, despite the unhealthy abuse.

Help is available

If you or someone you know feels trapped in a domestic violence situation, help is available. Apple Valley Counseling Services LLC is a locally owned rehabilitation center that offers Yakima residents and those in surrounding areas safe, personal and affordable domestic violence counseling in Yakima, WA for those dealing with domestic violence. We provide men, women and teenagers of all ages the resources they need to end the cycle of domestic violence. Our line is open 24 hours a day. Get help now at 509-452-1000.

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