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Joined: 2/1/2007
Msg: 89
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Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?Page 2 of 13    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
Because of fear.
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 6/21/2007 1:32:21 PM
yourgirl answered this very thoroughly and accurately on page 1.Thank you
Having lived through this with an X husband 28 years, married. Now seven FREE....... at 15 mother very ill. had a little sister did not want her to go to a foster home,so it was street or him at the time. No one ever knew. They would tell me you have Mister prefect as a husband. He was a great guy out side the home. No one knew Mr great was not so great. I can say "Until you've lived it, you can't understand it." Those who claim "I'd just leave...etc. etc." and are critical of victims have no idea what it is like.
It never really over. I now have a SON who I just found out his wife is a abusers. so It start all over. now I have to also take responsible for what I have taught him. Thank God I was able to help him start and begins of his new life. it not just woman any more. We now stand said by side and can say NO MORE.....
For anyone who in a bad relationship. There is hope. Everyday is new for me with the smile on my face, I am stronger than ever, Now I know what happy mean, TOO love life and me. and to be happy.Happy is not just a word for me.
I am continually amazed by people who have all the answers...
Me...I'm still learning. And I been there.
Joined: 10/10/2005
Msg: 92
view profile
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 6/21/2007 1:45:46 PM
I've seen people who've stayed in abusive relationships because they were afraid of the alternative. Some who fear for their financial well-being or they would simply rather be in an abusive relationship than be alone. Fear of being alone is very real and powerful. I feel for those in abusive relationships, and wish they would find a way out of them, but won't judge them because I'm not in their shoes.
Joined: 4/11/2007
Msg: 98
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 6/29/2007 7:09:38 AM
I am the face of the survivor of marital abuse.

"I will kill you and leave your body in a ditch"
"If you leave me and take my children I will hunt you down"
"You fing **** you cant do any better than me... its all your fault"
and any other number of threats when being held off of your feet by your throat seem pretty damned real at the time.

One who has never been choked, punched, slapped, screamed at, threatened, or otherwise abused cannot begin to know the fear, the pain and the guilt associated with it.

When you are trying to escape but your spouse has one of your children in his care AT ALL TIMES and you know that if you leave without that child, you are essentially saying that your spouse is considered a trusted caregiver and thus you give up to a great extent your rights to that child in the eyes of the law, you stay until everyone can leave... its everyone or no one. When you are completely seperated from all friends and family out of shame and fear, you have no access to financial resources and you fear the reprecussions of leaving you stay until you can leave in safety.

How does one decide between the father that you can call to get you out but you know would not hesistate to take any measure necessary to do so or staying and having your children see the abuse until it is safe to leave?

I waited and now I have all of my children AND my father with me - I didnt have to sacrifice one for the other. Whether I made the right decision remains to be seen. He beat me, he mentally abused me but he did NOT kill me and he did not destroy who I am.

I am stronger than him, smarter than him, and better than him... and I will prove it every single day that I am free from him.
Joined: 8/26/2006
Msg: 101
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/1/2007 9:10:26 PM
My shrink told me that people stay in negative situations because however warped or dysfunctional they are, they want to be there in some warped way. I agree with that in some ways, but not in the way of abusive situations.
There is what I refer to as an Abuser's Handbook, that they all seem to study and master, and this is also true in same sex relationships. After eleven years of handling domestic violence calls, I feel somewhat qualified to make this claim.
Just yesterday, a thirty year-old woman came into the police station for some advice, really. She was about seven months pregnant with twins. For some reason, abusiveness worsens when a woman is pregnant? I think this is because the woman is more vulnerable, so it adds to his power and control over her.
I am on restricted duty due to a back injury and completely hating my assignment, but I was glad I was there to help this young woman, at least with information and a solid report.
They have been together for nine years and have a seven year-old son together. Her family is in Puerto Rico, except for one relative in Florida (ISOLATION).
This tiny gal is going to have to have a caesarian delivery and will be bed-ridden for weeks (FINANCIAL CONTROL & FAMILY ISSUES).
He has told her that he will take her son away from her and she will never see him again, and that he will never ever pay her child support. (FEAR).
iIn the meantime, he has spent the years whittling away at her self-esteem. Everything she does is her fault, everything he does wrong is her fault, so she can do nothing right! If he hits her, it was because she made him do it and/or because she deserved it.
She is lucky to have him, because no one else would put up with her or want her.
Abuse is an escalating phenomenon, that just keeps getting worse. Yelling escalates into threats and/or a raised hand. Once you can take a slap, then it becomes a punch, and so on.
Then when the Victim wants out, the Suspect charms her with the "I love yous" "I'm sorry's and the "It will never happen again's" even if it has happened before. This is the Honeymoon Phase of an abusive relationship.
It is called THE CYCLE OF ABUSE.
Some victims believe that they can save/change/rescue their abusers, so every time the abuser begs her not to leave (or tells her she is tearing the family apart), she loves him and wants to believe him. Then it happens again.
Every time I get called to a DV incident, I will ask the victim: "I am sure this is not the first time he has hit you?" I have never had anyone say that it was.
An old stat: the average abused woman will flee from her home with only the clothes on her back FIVE TIMES and return to the abuser before making an attempt to get away from him.
Over the past three days, I fielded three phone calls from people that wanted to know if there were any papers that they could sign that they did not want to press charges to get a loved one out of jail that was arrested for Domestic Violence.
The other night, I was working on a report for some folks, and I hate for people to sit in there if they do not need to be there, so when someone walks in, I tend to glance over and ask, "What brings you here?" in a friendly tone of voice. This woman said that she needed to talk to someone. Then, I looked at her, and she had a major, serious black eye. Perhaps they were first, but her situation was clearly more important than a simple traffic accident. I excused myself, and I took her back into the office area for privacy.
She had done everything on her end, filing for Posecution, getting a Protection Order (only a piece of paper), making a statement to detectives. Now, the man who had beaten her was threatening to KILL her. Something in his actions against her also involved Arson, though I did not see the report.
The pregnant girl told me that she doesn't know why he just won't let her leave! Getting into an abusive relationship is often much easier than getting out!
Google "Dorothy Stratten" if you want another high profile story of abuse ending in death, but the ending is horrific!
Joined: 6/24/2007
Msg: 102
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Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/1/2007 9:28:28 PM
Did I metion Self Esteem?
If you never had a shred of self worth, for whatever reason, to begin with. (too numerous to mention); have developed a "crap load" of negative garbage that rattles inside your head.
"I'm not good enough, Noone loves me, I'm worthless, etc........."
2. Enter a guy who has as much or even less selfworth than you do. He however, thinks he's smart by deciding he verbally/physically abuse you to make you "think" he has it all together.
3.He has beaten your last bit of "will" to mush, which makes it nearly impossible to break free of his hold on you.
4. He knows that if he let's up for even a second, there's always that possible that you may break free of his hold on you.
5. Being as that you are both equally scared, it comes downs to that all important question; snaps first.
6. If you're lucky, you finally say enough, and leave him. (unforntunately in most cases you will probably wind up in the arms of yet another abusive partner, unless you break the chain.(write me in private if you want more details).
7. He finally loses it, and you wind up in the hospital or the morge, or if you're luck in jail.
My point is, this can all be avoided if you take the time, ASAP, to leave the loser, get some much needed help(how or where is up to you), and learn to establish and more importantly enforce boundaries that keep you from putting up with future losers.
Even a little bit if self esteem can make the difference between being alone and scar free, or being in an unhealthy relationship that leads to hospital bed or worse.
I hope I've helped anyone who needs it. Best of luck
Joined: 8/26/2006
Msg: 105
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/1/2007 10:20:45 PM
Hey, fellow Princess!
Domestic Violence is the most difficult of crimes because the victim does love their abuser. If a random stranger beat a victim like the one they love has beaten them, they would want that perpetrator to endure the maximum penalty possible!
Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 107
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/2/2007 7:29:03 PM

Older children may be hurt while trying to protect their mother.

Approximately 90% of children are aware of the violence directed at their mother.

Children are present in 41-55% of homes where police intervene in domestic violence calls.

Children in homes where domestic violence occurs may experience cognitive or language problems, developmental delay, stress-related physical ailments (such as headaches, ulcers, and rashes), and hearing and speech problems.

Many children in homes where domestic violence occurs have difficulties in school, including problems with concentration, poor academic performance, difficulty with peer interactions, and more absences from school.

Approximately 15 states have passed legislation recognizing that domestic violence should affect child custody hearings.

Boys who witness domestic violence are more likely to batter their female partners as adults than boys raised in nonviolent homes.
Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 108
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/2/2007 7:30:59 PM
Domestic Violence and Suicide

One in three women is victimized by domestic violence at some point in her life.

Only one in five victims with physical injuries seeks medical treatment.

Only about half of domestic violence incidents are reported to police.

Almost all of the perpetrators of domestic violence say that they will stop. But most don't. The violence usually gets worse.

All women who are victims of domestic violence are at risk of being murdered by their abusers.

And one out of every four women who are the victims of domestic violence attempt suicide.

Domestic violence is always wrong, and it is a crime.

And there is never an excuse for domestic violence. Never.

All perpetrators of domestic violence are cowards and criminals.

The women who are victimized by these heinous crimes feel trapped and confused. The abuser not only physically attacks the woman, but also psychologically attacks her. The verbal attacks are meant to control the victim, and to try to strip her of her self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-love. The perpetrator also often wants the woman to believe that she is at fault for the violence and the verbal abuse.

Many domestic violence victims try to change their behavior (even though they are not doing anything wrong) because the horrible attacks leave them hopeless, helpless, and confused. But there really is nothing that the victims can do to stop the violence, because they are dealing with a selfish, cruel criminal who does not have a conscience. All of the blame is on the criminal--the cowardly perpetrator of the domestic violence--not on the victim.

The horrible crime of domestic violence often results in a woman isolating herself and becoming clinically depressed.

Many women feel trapped and powerless, and do not receive treatment for their depression, and thus believe that suicide is the only way out.

Also, many children who are in households where domestic violence occurs attempt suicide. Children are deeply affected by the physical and emotional abuse; they too feel powerless, and oftentimes become depressed. They may seek to end their own pain and escape from the horrors of domestic violence with dying by suicide.
Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 110
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/2/2007 7:35:50 PM
There is no way to tell for sure if someone is experiencing domestic violence. Those who are battered, and those who abuse, come in all personality types. Battered women are not always passive with low self-esteem, and batterers are not always violent or hateful to their partner in front of others. Most people experiencing relationship violence do not tell others what goes on at home. So how do you tell?

Here are some signs to look for:

Injuries and Excuses:
In some cases, bruises and injuries may occur frequently and be in obvious places. When this happens, the intent of the batterer is to keep the victim isolated and trapped at home. When black eyes and other bruising is a result of an assault, the person being battered may be forced to call in sick to work, or face the embarrassment and excuses of how the injuries occurred. In other cases, bruises and other outward injuries never occur. When there are frequent injuries seen by others, the one being battered may talk about being clumsy, or have elaborate stories of how the injuries occurred. The truth about the source of injuries will not usually be told unless the one told could be trusted and/or the one being battered wants help to end the relationship.

Absences from Work or School:
When severe beatings or other trauma related to violence occurs, the one being battered may take time off from his/her normal schedule. If you see this happening, or the person is frequently late, this could be a sign of something (such as relationship violence) occurring.

Low Self-Esteem: Some
battered women have low self-esteem, while others have a great deal of confidence and esteem in other areas of their life (at work, as a mother, with hobbies, etc.) but not within their relationship. In terms of dealing with the relationship, a sense of powerlessness and low self-esteem may exist. A battered woman may believe that she could not make it on her own without her partner and that she is lucky to have him in her life.

Accusations of Having Affairs: This is a common tactic used by batterers as an attempt to isolate their partners and as an excuse for a beating. It could include accusations of looking at other men, wanting to be with other men, or having affairs with the man bagging groceries at the local supermarket. Friends of the couple may observe this at times, but what is seen in public is usually only a small fraction of what the battered woman experiences at home.

Personality Changes: People may notice that a very outgoing person, for instance, becomes quiet and shy around his/her partner. This happens because the one being battered "walks on egg shells" when in the presence of the one who is abusive to her. Accusations (of flirting, talking too loudly, or telling the wrong story to someone) have taught the abused person that it is easier to act a certain way around the batterer than to experience additional accusations in the future.

Fear of Conflict: As a result of being battered, some may generalize the experience of powerlessness with other relationships. Conflicts with co-workers, friends, relatives, and neighbors can create a lot of anxiety. For many, it is easier to give in to whatever someone else wants than to challenge it. Asserting one’s needs and desires begins to feel like a battle, and not worth the risks of losing.

Not Knowing What One Wants or How One Feels: For adults or children who have experienced violence from a loved one, the ability to identify feelings and wants, and to express them, may not exist. This could result in passive-aggressive behavior. Rather than telling others what you want, you say one thing but then express your anger or frustration in an aggressive manner (such as scratching his favorite car, burning dinner, or not completing a report on time for your boss).

Blaming Others for Everything: The abuse, which usually includes the batterer blaming others for everything that goes wrong, is usually targeted at a partner or ex-partner. For example, a simple drive somewhere could turn into a violent situation if the batterer blames the partner and/or children for getting them lost. Co-workers and relatives may observe this type of behavior, and it may be directed at others as well.

Self-blame: You may notice someone taking all of the blame for things that go wrong. A co-worker may share a story about something that happened at home and then take all of the blame for whatever occurred. If you notice this happening a lot, it may be a sign that one is taking all of the blame is being battered.

Aggressive or Care-taking Behavior in Children: Children who live in violent homes may take that experience with them to school and to the playground. Often the class bully is a child who sees violence in his home (directed at mom, or at some or all of the children in the home). Children who seem very grown-up and are sensitive and attentive to others’ needs may see violence at home as well.
Joined: 8/26/2006
Msg: 111
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/2/2007 7:54:24 PM
Okay, since there are many speaking from the voice of experience here, why don't you go through the steps to help yourself? I understand the love, fear, and isolation, and so on. However, when someone gets arrested for domestic violence, I think 95% of the victims must not follow through with prosecution.
In some of the more severe cases, I have followed up and gotten papers issued.
One woman got p*ssed off because I had her nine year-old daughter sign a statement as to what had occurred, and then she refused to sign the statement herself! I GOT PAPERS ISSUED!
I am sure that the victim was uncooperative. I understand that the victim only wants the violence to end. The police can protect you only as much as you help to protect yourself. I understand that there is also some guilt and and shame involved, as well as fear.
One man grabbed a shotgun, and his wife ran to a neighbor's house barefooted in 3 feet of snow for safety, and then she did not want this man arrested?
How can we help you, then?
Here in Ohio the first conviction is a misdemeanor, which generally requires anger management classes and probation. If the classes are not attended then a stint at the Workhouse is imposed. A second conviction is a felony. THAT is why the first conviction is so important, because it is gonna happen again!
Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 112
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/2/2007 8:21:48 PM

Okay, since there are many speaking from the voice of experience here, why don't you go through the steps to help yourself? I understand the love, fear, and isolation, and so on. However, when someone gets arrested for domestic violence, I think 95% of the victims must not follow through with prosecution.

Gosh I have so much I want to say to this... but I can't find a good way...

Fear of the unknown, there is consistency in abuse. After a while it becomes a way of life. It isn't sudden in most cases, but gradually becomes to what it is... Most women before anything becomes physically just feels something is wrong, and they can't quite put their finger on it. Most women want the white picket fence, especially once kids get involved... maybe they want their kids to have what they didn't have as a child themselves, or maybe they are in a marriage similar to those that surrounded them as examples as a child. But there are NO consistences between the women/men being abused, according to the research. It crosses all socioeconomic boundaries, domestic violence is NOT racial, domestic violence isn't a poor man's quandary, domestic violence isn't just for the uneducated.

I am not sure how to explain it better...

The best thing that anyone can do for the woman/man in a domestic violence relationship is to assure them of three things:

1. There is HELP out there.
2. They are NOT alone.
3. They are NOT crazy.

Joined: 6/15/2006
Msg: 113
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/2/2007 10:13:08 PM
they secretly like it, being submissive, or the drama or they can't leave.
Joined: 8/26/2006
Msg: 115
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/10/2007 2:38:57 AM
I am speaking of the Ohio Revised Code (2919.25). The first CONVICTION is a misdemeanor, not the first arrest. Prosecution must be involved.
I am saddened that you encountered so much frustration. I am neither justifying nor making excuses, but just trying to find an explanation for the apathy you encountered when I ask this next question. Were you one of the households that have called the police frequently, or where there have been third party calls, and you got the reputation that the cops will be there again tomorrow and she isn't going to do anything.
I insist that domestic violence is a progressive disease, and I wonder how many times the police were called where you did not follow through.
Yes, the law is reactive rather than proactive, meaning that a crime has to be committed before a person can be arrested.
I have taken the time to talk extensively with many female victims of abuse. ALWAYS, they say at the time, THIS TIME I am going to prosecute. I ask them what makes this time so much different than the previous 50 times, and she cries and says she is tired. Whenever I follow up, she never follows up with the prosecutor. Above everything else, this is so unfair to the children involved!
CRIMINAL PROSECUTION is your "protection" but the victims normally do not follow through, for all of the various reasons previously discussed on this thread.
Joined: 10/23/2005
Msg: 116
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/10/2007 3:30:53 AM
They DID make me feel like I was a 'bad' person.

Took me a year or two after I walked away before I could look in the mirror and not think that I was some terrible person.

This is part of their 'skill'.... They manipulate you with their words and constantly battering you into submission. They brainwash you.

It amazes me how many people out there are/were in such situations.

Hope all see the light and get the courage to seek help and get out of such a situation.

Best to all.
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 118
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 7/13/2007 3:32:32 AM
I skimmed this thread so if this post has already addressed this aspect, I apologize in advance.

There is another aspect to the abusive relationship that I didn't see mentioned and that is the very cycle of the abusive relationship: three phases.

1. Honeymoon phase: - everything flows exceptionally well in the relationship. Abuser makes amends, promises change, etc

2. Build-up phase: here the tensions in the abuser start to build, evidenced often by non-verbal cues but can involve projection of blame on the part of the abuser for insignificant things

3. Explosion: When it hits, it's sudden. Can be physical but not necessarily physical

And it goes on over and over again.

Victim impact: Begins to doubt perceptions, accepts blame, attempts to control the abuse by adapting behavior to please the abuser, thinking becomes almost surreal - disconnected to the reality of the situation; begins to think she (and can be he as men are also abused) imagined the abuse. If the abuse is not physical in nature - she has no means to validate the abuse ever happened in the first place as there are no visual marks to substantiate it; isolated and as the abuse progresses, eventually support systems previously in place deteriorate; as afraid to leave as she is afraid to stay; feels like she is losing her mind (abuser propagates that perception); belief in her own ability to make a life separate from the abuser is diminished; self-esteem becomes non-existent, she loses her sense of identity and self; as the cycles occur so fast and furious - she no sooner gets her bearings in one cycle then the next cycle is in play; if there are children involved - more complications in getting out.

The abuser doesn't feel normal unless he (or she) can position the victim as the cause of all his/her problems. The abuser is out of control and only feels in control by bringing the victim under total control. And that process is not so easily detected and recognized as people who have not been there are prone to believe.

The best thing that anyone can do for some one in this situation is to not judge. Be a beacon of light for her (or him) to get out. Validate the abuse.

These days, thankfully, there are more available options to escape these relationships. However, the first step starts with the victim and it isn't usually until a specific event within the relationship fuels the victim's instinct to survive. The event in my situation way back then was hearing the words from my then 4 year old daughter that her father told her I was going to die and subsequently informed by a mechanic that the car I was driving had gasoline pouring on the hot manifold. My daughter rode in that car with me - and he knew it. It was motivation to save her life that motivated me to get out.

EDIT: P.S. - it's not about sympathy for the victims in these cases - it's about compassion. Big difference there.

Joined: 9/12/2007
Msg: 120
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 9/19/2007 4:54:01 PM
The devil they do know seems better than the devil they don't know. If they left, they fear the next guy may be even worse.
Joined: 8/26/2006
Msg: 132
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 1/4/2008 10:02:41 AM
I have been absent for quite a while, but I felt this was an important story to share, and it will probably be a bit lengthy. I wasn't sure where to put it, or whether to begin a new thread, but this is as good a place as any.
It is easy for cops to become jaded, particularly in incidents of domestic violence. Pretty much everybody lies to the police to protect themselves or to protect the people they love. Domestic Violence takes that to the next level, because the Victims love their abusers, however dysfunctional, unhealthy, and potentially lethal that relationship. I am also rather jaded, but I still have the ability to try to go the extra mile to help someone as a rookie would.
Last night, we got a call for a male beating a female inside of a gas station convenience store. When we arrived, there was a young woman crying and the suspect was gone. I would give their races, except for I want to protect their identies and domestic violence has no race, color, nor gender preference distinctions in its dynamics.
The young lady said that she worked as a dancer, that her boyfriend had no job, and that he dropped her off and picked her up from work in a car she paid for, and that every day when he picked her up, she gave him her money.
He hit her outside but she had learned to shield herself from blows so she was only struck on the forearm, and she went into the store to try to call her mother or someone to pick her up while they tussled and he tried to take their phone away. The young ladies (23 & 20) inside secured her behind the employee counter, and his criminal history was extensive enough that he knew not to cross behind that counter. They called the police and we arrived within minutes.
Before I could talk to her, she was on the cell phone talking to him. Essentially, they were discussing that she didn't wanna be beat no more and that she didn't call the police but the people from the store did. Oh, yeah, and that he told her she was going to be dead.My partner got her information and another car went to the house to look for him (the lights were on but he parked the car elsewhere and did not answer the door).
On the way home from picking her up for work, he was angry that she didn't make enough money and he was drunk, so he accused her of giving freebies, not being good for anything, called her a slut, and accused her of cheating on him.
The story just keeps getting better from here. Normally, I shake my head sadly at people that choose to have pathetic lives, because there is nothing you can do to help them, from my experiences anyway, though I always still write a complete, thorough, and honest police report.
This young woman was only twenty-one years old. Her boyfirend that she has been with for almost five is thrity-four years-old. Do the math, people! She was sixteen when this predator got ahold of her.
It gets better. She got pregnant when she was thirteen, and now has an eight year-old child in foster care, that she is trying to get back. Somehow, she got her GED and intends to go to college next year, which we all know will never happen if she continues to give knucklehead all of her money, pay all of the bills, and most importantly, take steps towards self-esteem and independence.
I predicted most of this girl's answers, but I was gentler on her than I would have been with a forty year-old. I also suspect that if she got pregnant at such a young age that she had been exploited from a very young age.
She cried that she loved him.
I was reminded of a publication from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding juvenile prostitution and case studies in that booklet, something that I sought out on my own not through my Department
This girl was clearly afraid of this man, and she certainly loves him in her own dysfunctional way. While she revealed some of the abuses, before we shuttled her to the home to try to get some of her property (the girl did not even have on a coat and it was probably near zero with the wind chill), she asked if it was okay if she first used the bathroom. She went to the bathroom to call him and tell him that the police were bringing her to the house to get some things. He told her she could have everything, but that he was leaving, because it was "a set-up."
The plot thickens. About a year ago, he took her house keys away from her and never gave them back. Usually, she could get in the house with some clever use of a plastic card, but because of the cold, the card broke.
She called to warn him to leave. We obtained a picture of him which she steadfastly denied was him. By this time, my partner was completely fed up with her lies, designed to protect him ("If she doesn't want to help herself....???).
I asked my partner if he would let me write the narrative of the report, because he was writing the reports last night. I gave her what counseling I could in the limited time we interacted.
I am entitled to a 30 minute lunch break and overtime if I work late, but I worked through my lunch and then some to try to save this young woman's life. I was able to speak to her as a woman, as a somewhat veteran (does that mean old???) police officer, and as an adult child that grew up in a household filled with domestic violence (before it was ever designated as a crime).
Rather than ask her if she is able to read (she seemed rather articulate), I asked her if she had graduated, which is when I learned about her GED and college aspirations.
I told her that her boyfriend is nothing more than her pimp, except that instead of having her sell her tail and taking all of the money, he only has her shake it. Everytime she was lying to protect her, I made a point of letting her know that we knew.
Yet, when we dropped her off at a relative's for the night, she hesitated and asked about what if she changed her mind about doing something. WhooHoo! I at least reached her a little bit. She also hugged me warmly and thanked both my partner and myself, and I don't think she was being insincere (even though she denied to the end that the photo was that of her boyfriend).
We got a positive ID on this man from the witnesses from the same photo that the girl denied was him. My partner indulged my request to have the witnesses confirm his identity, because he was thoroughly fed up with trying to help a woman that did not want to help herself. Honestly, a half an hour after I could have been home, I was waiting to talk to the Detectives on my own time, actually waiting for the boss, to plea my case to help this girl. Naturally, it was his late day.
It turns out, it was the early day of the detective that would be handling the case! I hand-delivered my report (my partner did all of the fill in the blank stuff, and I provided the flesh per my request) and I filled him in on the details. My report solidly reflects the Victim Mentality of this girl, the Fear, and the obstacles facing indictment and prosecution.
I talked to another one of my coworkers about this, and he says that he would have developed the same level of apathy as my partner of the evening. I told him that this one was a bit different, had potential for a better life, and mentioned womens' intuition (because I do not feel this passionate about every case). My coworker told me in so many words that I was an Idiot, and a better person than him, because every day we see people back together before the ink is dry on our reports.
I yabbered at the detective, telling all of the intangibles that we have all seen too many times, but of the differences in her and why she so especially needed for us to swing the bat for her before she winds up just another statistic in the homicide column.
I had told her about the booklet from Missing & Exploited Children (never asking her if anyone had made her prostitute), since I established that she is able to read, and she was interested in reading it. One can only get one free copy, and since I gave away the copy I had to educate others, I called her to advise her on how to get the information.
I do not sugarcoat things very well, and I do not have a poker face.
She answered her phone! I had her write down the 800 number, the number and title of the publication, and I told her if she had any problems to get in touch with me. I also told her that this was on my own time, that I saw something special in her, and that is why I had not given up on her (which is entirely true).
She told me that she was on her way to talk to the detective about the case I had handed to him. This is a rare, few and far between, potential success story!
She was crying that if she gets away from him she has wasted five years of her life. I countered that if she stays with him for another five, then that means she has wasted ten years of her life!
I gave this young lady my name and promised I will always return her calls. I "gave" the City a free hour of work last night, but you cannot put a price on saving a life, turning it around. When she told me she was on her way in to talk to the detective, I was elated enough to write this post!
She is going to need a lot of support and encouragement to move on, but taking that first step is a giant step!
Joined: 8/26/2006
Msg: 133
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 1/4/2008 12:03:04 PM
In this particular case of which I wrote, I think this is a young girl who doesn't know any other way, but craves a way out. I cannot say that means she will be attracted to a Good Guy over the Bad Boyz, but my main hope is to rescue her from The Cycle of Abuse.
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 134
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 1/4/2008 5:04:26 PM
NocturnalPrincess: very good post. More often than not, the victim - especially that young - needs someone else who cares enough to step out of the presumption box and show them how to take the first step safely. Even the older victims don't want to stay victims but with much more history behind them, it is even harder to believe that there is anything else in life beyond abuse. These are the often abandoned ones. What you mentioned about your partner's apathy is the norm sadly and is not limited to law enforcement but also family and friends of the respective victims (especially as it relates to repetitive incidents). Still - ultimately, as with an alcoholic, there has to be a bottoming out before the victim is even willing to take that first step. Great work with that young lady. You gave her a chance which is more than she had before. A chance is a start.
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 135
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 1/4/2008 7:23:14 PM
For allowing herself to be treated that way

Yep - that is part of the dysfunction. So is terror that you cannot possible imagine unless you have been there, not to mention the isolation and mind games that cause one to question their very own sanity at times. It's not about blame actually - more shared accountability but still - when the day is done the bottom line is the victim needs support, encouragement and the ability to leave safely and has to believe in all three - not an easy think to do at all. Remember, blahblah, all these victims know in a majority of cases is the very life they are living. That is all they know.

EDIT: just as it is unfathomable for a victim to remain in an abusive relationship, it is also just as unfathomable to the victim that people actually can enjoy relationships without fear, control, mind games, and all that is part of that vicious cycle of abuse.
Joined: 12/28/2007
Msg: 137
view profile
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 1/5/2008 2:04:39 AM
There is no doubt that there are so many reasons a person stays in a relationship. I guess to get out of a abusive relationship you need a lot of help and support to get out both physical and money and emotional support. As the person is being controlled they may have lost a lot of contacts and have minor social contacts and probably no money and fear of the consequences of trying. A lot of people are programed to stay out of other families business and support services may not be available to a lot of people to leave these situations. Some of these people find themselves homeless to get out of abusive relationships and there kids as well suffer the consequences of this not only the woman. I think that in australia the support services arent there for these people and it is very sad.
Joined: 2/3/2007
Msg: 138
Why do some women stay in abusive relationships?
Posted: 1/5/2008 4:42:46 AM

So needless to say, I tried to offer what comfort I could

Consider that exiting an abusive relationship is a process. While it may feel like you didn't do much, even what you did was a lot to her. As for "saving' her? She has to want to save herself more than she feels compelled to stay first.
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