Why People Stay In Abusive Relationships

Why People Stay In Abusive Relationships

Find out why people stay in abusive relationships in this article.

Abusive relationships are complex, but you can get help to leave one. It’s normal to feel scared and overwhelmed when you’re in an abusive relationship. But it’s important not to avoid asking for help because of fear, guilt, or shame.

If you need support, there are resources available:

  • You can call your local domestic violence hotline (1-800-799-7233) or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. These numbers are staffed by trained counselors who will listen and help if they can (the lines are open 24 hours a day).
  • You can also get yourself into counseling, to help you navigate your situation.

Here are 9 reasons why people stay in abusive relationships.

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1. They are being held against their will.

Many people are in abusive relationships because their partners are holding them against their will. This can be in form of kidnap or blackmail.

Some abusive partners have taken all the rights from their victims. They have alienated them from family and friends and control their movements. This makes it hard for the victim to ask for help.

Blackmail is also used by the abuser to intimidate the victim. Some people stay in abusive relationships because their partners have threatened to do something bad to them should they leave.

2. They Do Not Know They Are In Abusive Relationships

It is sad that some people are not aware that they are in abusive relationships. This is actually common because abuse is not only verbal or physical. Most of us are not aware of other forms of abuse. Check out this post that tells us how to know that you are in an abusive relationship.

3. Breaking Up The Relationship is Embarrassing

There is nothing that brings more shame to a person than failure. A failed relationship causes so much shame to the victim. Especially if the victim had been warned by friends and family about their abuser.

The Victim may feel like they are bringing shame and embarrassment to the family. Also, they fear being judged so they would rather stay with their abuser.

4. They Are Still In Love With Their Abusive Partners

Love is a powerful emotion. It makes people do strange and crazy things, like stay in abusive relationships. Most relationships have love as their foundation. And, you do not just stop loving someone.

One of the hardest things a person can ever attempt to do is to fall out of love with another person. It is never easy. Victims of abusive relationships stay because the thought of leaving this person they love doesn’t sit well with them.

5. Victims believe that an abusive partner can change

You’ve probably heard the phrase “a change of heart.” This is a common response when someone asks why people stay in abusive relationships. They tell you that their partner has changed and will no longer be abusive to them, so they don’t need to leave.

But this just isn’t true! An abuser’s behavior does not change unless he or she wants it to. Also, the victim hopes that the abuser will one day go back to being loving as they were in the beginning.

6. They Feel Unworthy

Some victims of abusive relationships have been led by their partners to believe that they are not worthy. Constant abuse sometimes, makes you start believing that maybe you deserved it.

And even if you leave your abuser there will be nobody else out there who will treat you any better.

7. People Stay In Abusive Relationships For The Sake Of Their Children

We’ve heard time and again that victims are being advised not to stay because of the kids. Well, easier said than done.

Truth is, children are a big reason why people stay in abusive relationships. Some victims cannot provide for their kids and they opt to stay with their abusers so their children can have a life.

Another thing is when kids come into the picture, they somehow become your priority. You put your needs and wants on hold and you focus on parenting and molding this young person. Your pain is not an issue anymore.

As you make your decisions, kindly know that children see everything. They see that abuse and the dysfunction in your relationships. You may provide for them with a home, but damage their mental health. Studies have shown that children from abusive relationships are most likely to suffer from mental related issues than children from stable families.

Also, some children grow up and blame the victim for letting them grow up in abusive homes.

8. Victims are afraid of losing financial security.

The most common reason victims stay in abusive relationships is because they are afraid of losing financial security. Victims are often trapped and unable to leave their abusers because they fully depend on them financially.

They wonder if they leave where are they going to start from. This is why it is important for each one of us to learn how to make and manage our money.

Sometimes the abuser kicks you out of the house without warning. And this time you will have to figure it out from nothing.

Do not give up your financial power for anything.

9. Victims feel like it’s their fault and deserve to be abused by their partners.

Victims of abuse often feel like they deserve the abuse. They believe that if they were better, more deserving, or worthy of respect, their partners would not have hurt them in the first place.

The truth is: The only person responsible for any kind of violence towards another person is YOU! You cannot control another person’s behavior unless you control yourself first. And you are beautiful and worthy. Nobody should make you believe otherwise.

See these, Affirmations for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.


Leaving an abusive relationship is a big step, and it’s not easy but you can do it. Even if there is shame involved, I want you to remember that you didn’t break the relationship. It is the abuser who decided to break the vows you might have made to each other.

It is not your fault that you have to end the relationship. So, by all means, the abuser should feel all the shame. Do not carry their cross. Get out of it, you are the winner in this, the one who got away. The way who realized that they deserved better and went for it without fear.

I wish you well, and I hope that you will get your life back.

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