Abusive Relationships

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Love and Safety
I had an elder friend who, at the time, was 19 years old. Her name was Monica. She was an impressive, independent, strong, young woman who would have never seemed like a target for domestic violence. She became trapped in a perilous relationship where she was the vulnerable prisoner. She seemed so strong that surely she had the strength to leave. I pondered on her situation multiple times and came to the conclusion that there must have been some logical explanation or reason why she hadn’t left. I couldn’t figure it out… so I asked her. People stay in abusive relationships because of conflicting emotion, reliance on the abuser, and pressure.

“It’s a love hate relationship.’’ Monica answered, “Just because I want the violence to stop doesn’t mean I want the relationship to end.” If a person you love tells you they’ll change, you’re going to want to believe them. Calm and apologetic demeanor comes after the abuse, also known as the honeymoon phase. The individuals tend to go through denial about the abusive behavior, come up with excuses, and make promises about future behavior. Nearly 80% of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser (Liz Claiborne Inc. study conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited; February 2005.) Also, someone can be afraid of what will happen if they leave the relationship. For example, their partner might have threatened the victim so they may not feel safe leaving. Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup (“Why Victims Stay.”). What if someone tells you that if you leave him or her, they would hurt you or your family? What would you do? Instinctively, you would do whatever it is for your well Spicker 2

being and the safety of your loved ones. “The reason you should leave an abusive relationship is because if you don’t, you could end up hurt. Most of the...
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