No one else will ever want me and I’ll die alone.
It was my fault he hit me.
He promised not to do it again.
I’m the only one who cares about him, I can’t leave him now.
I love him.
He’s really sweet most of the time, he only hits me when he’s angry.
He’ll hurt himself if I leave, and it’ll be my fault.
I deserved it for being a bad spouse.
This just means he’s passionate about me.
Maybe he’ll change.
I can’t leave because he has complete control over our finances. The checkbook, savings account, house and cars are all solely in his name.
Everyone will say they told me so.
I’m a stay-at-home parent. But with no income I wouldn’t get custody of our child.
If the above text made your skin crawl, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re not a sociopath.
The Ray Rice incident has a lot of people wondering why domestic violence victims stay with their abusers.
I have been privileged in my life in that I have never experienced domestic violence, but I have spoken with those who have, and I have listened to what they told themselves when they were suffering abuse. These are reasons why people stay in abusive relationships, but really, I suspect they’re just excuses.
The real reason people stay in abusive relationships is that the abuser brainwashes them and victimizes them so constantly that they have no self-worth anymore, and the abuser strategically removes every resource the victim has to prevent them from escaping. It’s all about removing independence from the victim.
It’s a common tactic to cut victims off from family and friends. It’s a common tactic to remove access to money and finances to create dependency. It’s a common tactic to make the victim believe the abuser is the one dependent on the victim. Abusers may get victims to quit their jobs, stop visiting family, drop their friends and stop going out.
These are deliberate choices by the abuser, deliberate manipulations that get the abuser what he or she wants. It’s not some sort of accident that victims think this way. It’s not an accident that victims often stay. That’s what the abusers want; that’s their goal.
In other words, the real reason people stay with their abusers is that they are being abused. It’s not what the victims say to themselves, it’s what the abuser is doing.
Don’t put the onus on the victim, here. Why do they stay? Because they’re being abused, that’s why, and it’s messing with their heads.
And another thing?
Never think this couldn’t happen to you, because that’s probably the one thing that all victims of domestic violence do have in common.
It happens to men and women alike and some victims are very smart, very strong people whose strength has been deliberately, strategically eroded over years by abusers.