Safe-House and Services for Battered Women & Children - Shepherd's Rest Ministries, Inc.
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Domestic Violence

 

Reasons why men abuse and batter women and why the women don't leave the relationship. Domestic violence, abuse and battering should not, and does not, need to happen.

 

WHY MEN ABUSE AND BATTER WOMEN

 

The question, “Why do women stay in a violent relationship?” is often answered by the victim being blamed. Victims of abuse and battering often hear statements like: “you must like it or you would leave.” or “you’re just one of many women who love too much.” or “you must need to be treated badly.” or “you must really have low self-esteem.” But the truth is that no one wants to be or enjoys being abused or battered. Their emotional state or self-image does not cause them to want to be in a violent relationship.

 

A woman’s reasons for staying in a violent relationship are more complex. Making statements about her strength of character does not explain why she stays. It can be dangerous for a woman to leave her abuser. More problems can be caused for the woman if her abuser is in control of all of the economic and social status of their relationship. Leaving could mean she will live in fear for her life, the loss of custody of her children or loss of financial support. She may even be afraid of harassment at work.

 

While there is no profile for the “typical woman” who will be abused or battered, there is documentation on what generally happens once the violence begins. Abused and battered women will experience embarrassment, isolation and shame. She may not leave the violent relationship immediately because of the following reasons:

 

  • She realistically fears that the violence will escalate and may become fatal if she tries to leave.
  • She may not have the much-needed support of her family and friends if she leaves.
  • She knows how difficult it will be to be a single parent with reduced financial support.
  • She may still be experiencing good times, love and hope mixed in with the manipulation, intimidation and fear.
  • She may not know where to get help or have access to a safe place and support.

 

Some women may believe that getting a divorce is not a viable alternative. Many women have been taught and believe that a single parent family is unacceptable and that a violent father is better than no father. Many women have been taught that they are responsible for making their marriage work. Many women believe that a failed marriage means that they have failed as a woman. Many women were taught that their identity and worth is dependent on her getting and keeping a man in her life.

 

Being isolated by a jealous or possessive abuser may cause a woman to lose touch with her family and friends. She may have even isolated herself to hide the signs of being abused or battered from the outside world. Isolation may have contributed to her sense that there is nowhere for her turn. A woman may rationalize the violent behavior by blaming alcohol or drug abuse, problems at work, stress, unemployment or anything else that comes to mind.

 

A woman is rarely abused or battered all of the time. There may be periods of non-violence. During the non-violent phase her abuser may fulfill her dreams of romantic love. She may be lulled into believing her abuser is basically a good man. She may believe that she should hold on to her “good man”, reinforcing her decision to stay in the relationship. She may believe that her abuser is basically good until he lets off steam because something bad happened to him.

 

Do you see yourself using any of the above rationalizations? If you do, do you really want to live the rest of your life in fear of the next violent outburst? The violent circle won’t change. Make plans to get out and stay out. Do it now before you end up dead.

Facts About Abuse

 

  • Battered women report 4 million incidents of Domestic Violence yearly.
  • 30,000 battered women go to hospital emergency rooms each year.
  • Battered women seek 50,000 orders of protections each week in and effort to stop abuse.
  • 35-40% of all homeless families in major cities are fleeing domestic violence.
  • 70% of child abuse is committed by the man of the house.
  • 70% of the child homicides in NYC occurred in households where the mother was also being abused.
  • 60% of all female homicides are due to Domestic Violence.
  • It cost 3-5 billion dollars a year in medical care to treat women of Domestic Violence.
  • 70% of battered women report that their abusers also abused their children.
  • 50% of all the children in foster care are there because of Domestic Violence.
  • 85% of women in substance abuse programs are victims of Domestic Violence.
  • 80% of all murders and serious injures are inflicted on women when they try to escape.
  • A boy who grows up in a home with Domestic Violence, is 100 times as likely to be an abuser as an adult.
  • 65% of pregnant teenagers are incest survivors.
  • Domestic violence is a crime.
  • Domestic violence occurs among all races, ages, and religious. It happens to people of all educational and income levels.
  • Researchers estimate that 3 to 4 million women are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands or partners