One reason behind such a woman not leaving an abusive relationship could be fear. The abused women may be fearful of the consequences that she might have to face in the case of her partner finding her out and giving her a lesson after she has left (Chantler, 2006)[i]. Such women who refuse to move out of the relationship are said to be weak and absolutely victimised and it is said they keep coming up with such tactics that would keep themselves as well as their children safe from any harm. However, actually the women are not fearful as it is normally assumed.
They are not self-deprecatory or delicate. They indeed had been victimised, but in most of the cases they had substance and a sense of personal power which they reflected through their strong opinions. Such women need outside professional help in standing up for themselves, and taking an action. If they remain in dread of being found out by their violent partners they would never move forward or go against their partner. It is important for their fear to be minimized in order to save them.
Although there have been improvements regarding the way the battered women are being responded to ever since 1990s, the finding out about the dynamics of the stay-leave process of such females has been started just recently (Lerner & Kennedy, 2000)[ii].
Researches have also been conducted into the subject of battered women returning to their partners after having left the relationship. Different studies have arrived at various results and the range of the percentage of such women is quite large – from 18% to 74%. Such women do try to leave their abusive relationship but later just return to it; and in fact, the number of times such women return are an average 3-4 times (Walker, 1994)[iii].
[i] Chantler, K. (2006). Independence, dependency and interdependence: struggles and resistances of minoritized women within and on leaving violent relationships. Feminist Review(82), 27-49
[ii] Lerner, C. F., & Kennedy, L. T. (2000). Stay-Leave Decision Making in Battered Women: Trauma, Coping and Self-Efficacy. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24(2), 215-232.
[iii] Walker, L. E. A. (1994). Abused women and survivor therapy: A practical guide for the psychotherapist. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
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