Leaving an abusive relationship can be very difficult. There are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships.
- The person being abused may not want the relationship to end, they just want the abuse to stop.
- The abuser may threaten to hurt themselves, the survivor, or their children if the relationship ends.
- Abusers use control and manipulation, including wearing down the survivor’s self esteem. They may say things like “No one else will ever love you.” And eventually the victim may come to believe it.
- The person being abused may be unsure how they will support themselves and their children financially.
- If the person being abused is an immigrant to Canada they might worry about getting sent back to their home country.
- The cycle of abuse often includes a period of reconciliation when the abuser changes behaviour for a little while and this can be a time when the survivor hopes the abuse has stopped for good.
- The end of a relationship can be a dangerous time. The abuser sees they are losing control and make react more violently.
When the person being abused is thinking about what to do, they may be weighing the “good” and “bad” of leaving.