Domestic Violence Why Victims Stay

Victims stay in abusive relationships for many reasons. They do not stay because they "want to be abused." Fear is a major factor. The victim may fear:

  • More Severe Abuse or Retaliation
  • Harm to Job or Reputation
  • Stalking
  • Charging Abuser with a Crime
  • Court or Police Involvement
  • Abuser Harming Children, Pets, Family, or Friends
  • Destruction of Belongings or Home
  • Abuser Committing Suicide

Other Reasons the Victim Stays:


  • Few Job Skills
  • Limited Education or Work Experience
  • Limited Cash, No Access to Bank Account
  • Fear of Poverty

Pressure from Community of Faith & Family

  • Family Blames Victim for Violence
  • Family Expectation to Stay in Marriage at Any Cost
  • Family Denial of Violence
  • Religious Leader May Tell Victim to Stay and Pray
  • Religion May Disapprove of Divorce

Guilt/Self Doubt

  • Guilt about Failure of the Relationship
  • Feelings of Personal Incompetence
  • Loneliness

Concern for Children

  • Fears Losing Custody of the Children
  • Believes Children Need Two Parents
  • Fears Abuser may Charge Them with Kidnapping
  • Fears Abuser may Abduct or Abuse the Children
  • Concerns about Whether She/He Can Care for & Support Children on Her/His Own

{Source: Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence}