Domestic Violence: Why women stay. A guest post by a Women’s Center community member.

This anonymous guest post was written by a member of the Women’s Center community.

Yes, this is a very complicated and broad topic for a blog, perhaps not so ideal for a short blog since this topic delves deep inside the psychological interplay of the domestic relationship. However, I’d like to share my two cents, how I feel and what I know. It’s very unusual for people to spend the time and energy seeking to be in love with people who will abuse them–psychologically, physically and even verbally. For example, when the good times happened, we were on Cloud 9! Never had I found myself waiting, in anticipation, for bad times. Not just rough times, I mean BAD times. Am I just naive to think my partner would never want to hurt me? After all the love we shared and experienced together, was I not valuable in his eyes? I thought we were creating a relationship built on trust, an investment for the future.

One always poses the question: why (did I) stay for so long? I absolutely loved him and I thought he would change. I thought love would heal all things (a delusion?). I believed him when he said he was sorry and would never hurt me again. After some time, I grew silent and succumbed to the notion that he was right and I was not. Strictly avoidance behavior. Avoiding the beatings, the yelling, the trauma. I was under his spell. He broke me.

Like a mother to an over-grown toddler, I put up with his tantrums, his tirades, and his anxiety, which was usually the culprit which threw him into a rage. I did the best I could to understand this man. I thought that’s what any good lover would do. I lost much materialistically, as he desperately (as if there was no other means of communication) destroyed my possessions on a whim, to intimidate and/or put me in my place. I allowed this behavior to continue for a while, still patiently hoping for the best. It never came. I became his outlet for all his pent up anger towards the world. He was fiercely protective of his reputation while he enjoyed leading the oppressed people of the world into “enlightenment” with the help of his medicinal cocktail of psychedelics. Sounds strange, right? Here is a man that speaks to the world with a mouth like Jesus Christ. He exudes an air of understanding, compassion, equality and genuine concern for those oppressed. Yet, in his inner world, to the people closest to him, he plays the role of the oppressor.

In the name of cognitive dissonance, this dance spun my head into confusion. How could this person actually behave like this? As an innocent, well-meaning person who simply got caught in a spider’s web, today, I would call this pronounced deception. Sometimes it helps me to think of him as a person with antisocial personality disorder. With the help and therapy from The House of Ruth, I’m clear now on the characteristics of an abuser/predator. Supported by empirical evidence, there is actually a list of criteria and a well-defined persona pertaining to this category. Women have been in oppressive domestic violence situations for eons. As the research has been collected, especially since the dawn of the women’s lib movement, more education, awareness and prevention has been applied to the general public.

It is meaningless to blame the victim when intentions for happiness apply to one’s decisions in staying in toxic relations with another. Until one can truly understand, define and communicate the process (of the relationship) by which one is caught up in, one is respectfully innocent. There are predators in any society looking to prey upon the innocent. There is no shame in falling into a violent intimate relationship . This can happen to anyone. The important part of the journey is to recognize the symptoms of an oppressive relationship, such as alienation, low-self-esteem, and general anxiety. There is a way out. There is a way to peace, safety and satisfaction.

1 thought on “Domestic Violence: Why women stay. A guest post by a Women’s Center community member.”

  1. Hi i appreciate your post. I also experienced Domestic violence as well as rape. Since the tragedy of my life forced my very private quiet life into the public eye by him in order to shame me, I have decided to embrace the public bit by bit to take back what belongs to me and my identity. I refuse to allow any person to make me feel ashamed for being alive and loving someone who did not and, was as I learned harshly, incapable of loving me back and respecting me. I love life and have no vendetta against men. I do find that with the topic ” why does a woman stay” It is so complicated and highly individual. i have met and helped many other women who have experienced this devastating violence. And there are similarities but so many different reasons that are all valid for why it is hard to get away quickly. I agree whole heartedly, that unless a person walks in a woman’s shoes, they have no idea how hard it is and complex. For me, there were a multiplicity of reasons that were complex and intricate. If someone actually wants to know and asks me, I will share my personal story. I am also interested in listening to others stories and concerns too. I agree let’s have more compassion regarding why don’t women leave. laming the victim seems non-productive to me. When will people be collectively fearless enough to address the perpetrators of this behaviors directly and hold them solely accountable for their chaos and violence long before we go to court or a funeral because another woman has died due to this violence. How many bruises, broken bones, black eyes, strangled necks (like mine) until women are unconscious or dead, or called denigrating names, monies stolen and spent, alienated from country and family… much before we stop blaming victims and asking them why do they stay when trapped. How long before people ask themselves why are we too cowardly to hold abusers to task as a community and say NO WAY ?? !!! , You won’t hurt and attack women here, we do not support this?!!! How long before we ask as a community why do you do this? Why won’t you stop? to the abusers. I say HOLD ABUSERS ACCOUNTABLE !!!

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