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Why do victims return to or stay with abusers?

  1. Fear - The abuser may threaten the safety of the victim, children, pets, family or friends if the victim were to leave them. The victim may be afraid of what the abuser will to to his or herself if they were to leave.
  2. Low Self-Esteem - The victim may be so used to being put down that they believe the abuse is their fault or that they deserve it.
  3. Money - The victim may stay for financial support as they may not be able to financially take care of his or herself or any children if they were to leave.
  4. Children - The victim may not want to "break up" the family or they fear the abuser will take away their children or harm them when the victim is not around.
  5. Control - Some victims believe they have control over the abuser's actions if they cooperate and do everything the abuser wants of them.
  6. Hope for Change - The abuser may promise to stop the abuse and change their ways and the victim may be holding onto the hope of that being the truth.
  7. Pressure from family and friends - Family and friends may not be supportive or believe the victim when they tell them that abuse is occurring. Family and friends may even be worried about what would happen to them if the victim were to stay in their home.
  8. They don't know help is available - Abusers may isolate their victims from family and friends to gain more control. The victim may feel like there is no one they can go to and also may not be aware of any help that is available in their community.