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Why Is It So Hard to Leave Abusive Situations?

by Hope Martin 2 months ago in support
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Getting To The Light Series

It can be hard to leave abusive situations. A lot of times, some people don't even realize they are being abused - or believe it. And when that denial ends and it's time to leave, there could be other reasons why a person doesn't 'just leave.'

I will admit, I used to be one of those people that when I would talk to someone being abused, I would experience moments of frustration: "You know you're being abused, why don't you [i]just leave?[/i]." I had to experience it myself before I was able to stop asking other abuse victims this question.

My mom would get mad and she'd ask me. "Why? Why can't you just leave?" And a lot of times I wouldn't have a decent answer for her. I didn't know. That was the worst part about it. I didn't understand why I couldn't just leave. It would frustrate her too. And everyone else. I wasn't financially dependent on this person. We weren't married and had no children together, and my child wasn't really an issue other than the fact that he had been in her life since she was born... but she was just one or two. So it was a cop out, an excuse for me to stay.

I wasn't happy. I hadn't been happy in a really long time, and did I actually believe it would ever get better? I seriously doubted it. So WHY couldn't I leave?

Looking back, I still have a hard time putting my finger on why I needed my narcissist ex so badly at the time. He didn't contribute hardly anything to the relationship. I didn't even have comfort when I needed it. There was so much I still have a hard time understanding. So in an attempt to help people understand why an abused person may not be able to leave I have created this list of reasons.

Why it may be hard to leave abuse:

1. Kids are complicating the situation.

If you have children with your abuser, leaving can be legally intimidating if your abuser uses your children as emotional weapons against you. Sometimes threats of taking the children away will keep someone with an abuser.

2. Financial dependency.

Some domestic abusers use financial abuse as a way to keep their victims under control. A lot of abusers will make sure you lose your job or prevent you from working. They will be in control of all financial issues, or they will use you and your money keeping you financially drained on their needs so that you cannot gain financial freedom.

There are always ways to make money. Even things like referral links (check out the links at the end of my article - my chime link is in there. If you sign up and deposit so much money, Chime will give us both $100...)

3. Trauma bond could have you feeling lost and worthless.

For a lot of people, like me, the trauma bond is enough alone to keep someone confused enough to stay with someone. There were too many reasons why I thought I needed my ex-abuser, including low self-esteem and low self-worth to start. My ex-husband had destroyed my self-worth. So I settled for abusive people repeatedly, because I felt like I couldn't ever attract someone better.

4. Not aware you're being abused or in denial of being abused.

For me with my ex-husband, and my ex-narc, I wasn't even aware I was being abused until someone pointed it out to me (My mom). It took being spelled out to me before I finally went; "oh... Yeah, that makes sense." Then it took a while for me to come around and accept the reality of the situation. That's the subtle technique that a lot of narcissists or mental abusers do - they warp you mentally so that you don't even realize you're being abused until it's too late.

5. Fear and doubt.

Whether that fear is aimed at being alone, or fear of consequences if you leave, fear of starting over. Fear and doubt are huge reasons why victims cannot leave their abusers. And it's a lot harder to fight yourself and your mind than it is a physical barrier.

6. Nowhere to go, or feeling like there is no support.

An abuser will isolate their victim, and leave them feeling alone. They will sneakily make you cut off your connections to families and friends so that you feel like you are alone. When the time comes when you realize you need these people you haven't spoken to, you may find yourself feeling like it's too late.

If you are feeling this way, reach out to the people you used to trust. Tell them what is going on, and I would be willing to be you are not as alone as you think!

7. Abuser keeps seeking them out.

An abusive person is all about their control over their victim. The ability to keep the victim from leaving or the ability to make them forgive them and take them back repeatedly is a test of control. When you do decide to leave, the abuser will seek you out and tell you everything you need to hear to take them back. This will include things such as: "I love you so much, I miss you, I need you."

Most people will end up going back to their abuser after leaving at least 3 times. It's hard, but if you go no contact, and refuse to give in, you can escape them. If they show up at your work, have someone else deal with them don't answer the door or your phone when they call and get a restraining order or order of protection if you have to.

8. Victim feels obligated to help their abuser or is hopeful things will get better.

An abusive person who uses emotional and mental abuse tactics may promise to 'get help' or 'they will get better' as a way to placate. They may also tell the victim that 'they make the abuser a better person," and 'they can only get better with you," because their victim is their "motivation." They may also make promises to have things 'go back to the way they used to be." Before the relationship got bad. These kinds of manipulations will keep an abused victim with the person who is abusing them.

As you can see, leaving an abusive situation isn't as easy as "grab your bags and go."

So that is why it can be hard for abuse victims to 'just leave.' Remember if you are in an abusive relationship remember you are not alone and reach out if you can. And to those who may know and care about someone who may be in an abusive relationship, remember to just love them through it. The most you can do is be there to jump into action when they are ready to leave. It's hard to sometimes get them to see the light, but keep trying, no matter what.

Chime referral link: (Sign up, and direct deposit $200 or more within 45 days - and you will get $100 from chime)

If you are in an abusive relationship and you need help - contacts are listed below!

National Domestic Abuse Hotline:


My YouTube channel:

Here is a link to my published fiction novel called Memoirs of the In-Between

Our eBay store:


About the author

Hope Martin

Hello to everyone who ventures here!

I am a professional writer, and this is where I blog for personal pleasure.

To See all of my content:

To hire me as a freelancer writer email: [email protected]

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