The Psychology of Trauma

Domestic Violence

What are the practical reasons that battered women stay?

Although this is less true now than it was several decades ago, on a purely practical level it is often very difficult for a battered woman to leave her abuser. Inadequate financial means, inadequate legal protection, and lack of support by family and/or clergy can all hinder a battered woman’s escape. Although there is now much greater public awareness of domestic violence than there was in previous decades, battered women still may not have the resources or support they need to survive on their own, particularly if they have children. Additionally, battered women have good reason to fear for their safety or for the safety of their family. Batterers often threaten to kill the woman or to harm her family if she leaves. These are not idle threats. Murder by an intimate partner is the most common form of female homicide and the point of separation is a particularly dangerous time.


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