The latest trending hashtag, #WhyIStayed, is an effort by formerly abused women to end the victim blaming that often follows a highly publicized incident of domestic violence. There are as many different reasons for staying as there are domestic violence survivors.
1. I thought I could love him through it. I thought my love was strong enough to fix it.
2. I stayed because of the kids. I didn't want them to be without their father.
3. I couldn't afford to leave. He controlled all the money.
4. I had nowhere to go. He had alienated all of my friends and family.
5. I believed if he just quit drinking/gambling/drugs; it would be better.
6. He promised it would never happen again.
7. What if it really is my fault?
8. If I leave, I'll lose my insurance for me and/or the kids.
9. The house and cars are all in his name...I'll have nothing.
10. What if no one wants/loves me ever again?
When you are in a domestic violence situation, any of the above reasons and a million more are as valid as the perception. They cause paralyzing fear. It is nearly impossible to see the light, peace, and joy that may be waiting. That is why women stay. Some are never able to leave. Some die before they can. If you need to leave, reach out. There are people and resources to help you.