If you are in a domestic violence situation the decision to leave is often a difficult one. There are many obstacles that can stand in the way of a woman trying to leave an abusive relationship that must first be overcome to achieve safety. Talking about some of these factors with a support worker can help to assist you in overcoming these barriers. Some of the reasons it may be difficult to leave may include:
Fear for safety
- Fear of what he will do when he finds out you have left.
- Fear he will carry out a threat to harm or kill you, your children, your pets or others.
- Fear he will carry out his threat to commit suicide if you leave.
- Fear you won’t be able to take care of yourself and the children alone.
Isolation from others
- Fear of being alone or that no-one will understand or help you.
- Fear of being rejected by family and friends.
- If you are in a same sex relationship, you may fear you will be “outed” or no one will believe you.
Pressures about the children
- You believe children need two parents and don’t want to raise them alone.
- You believe you cannot give the children the same lifestyle they are accustomed to.
- Fear your children will be taken from you by a welfare agency or children’s services.
Promises from your partner
- You believe that things will get better.
- You believe that no one else will love you.
- You believe others will think you are stupid for staying as long as you have.
Pressures from cultural or religious communities
- You want to try to keep the family together and live up to your religious commitment to remain with your partner.
Pressure from family and friends to stay
- You feel ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated and you don’t want anyone to know what is happening.
- You are financially dependent on your partner for shelter, food and other necessities and you don’t know how you would cope alone.
- You fear you may lose your children in a ‘custody’ battle.
- You are worried about going to court and having to tell what has happened