Even the most well-meaning person, if not the survivor of abuse, can ask themselves why did she not leave the situation? (Or he of course, since men are targets of domestic abuse too) After all, it’s a logical question, particularly when the target stays in the abusive relationship sometimes for decades. It’s so incredibly hard to understand if you have not lived it, but for those of us who have, there are four common reasons behind why we stay.
So very often, when we read about domestic abuse in mainstream media, we are talking about the victims. “Why did she not leave?” seems the golden standard in reporting about abuse. It really is a question we need to stop asking. Why not ask “why did he continue to abuse her?” or perhaps even more important “how can I help?”