When we hear stories about domestic abuse, they seem to always be stories of victory—of those who survived some abuse in their past. Why don’t we hear about it in the present tense? Why don’t we talk about it as an ongoing issue rather than a thing to be ‘left’ and ‘moved on’ from? The majority of online advice focuses on how to leave an abusive partner or how to heal after you’ve left, but that’s not realistic for many victims. If you are being abused by your partner and you are reading this right now, you are incredibly brave and you are not alone.
The very nature of domestic violence is that it often escalates gradually over time. Then, before you know it, you’re in a relationship marked by abuse, isolated from your friends and family, with no end in sight. On average survivors attempt to leave seven times before leaving for good. Leaving any relationship is hard. Abuse isn’t going to make it any easier, in fact it makes it harder since there are even more obstacles to leaving an abusive partner. So it’s entirely understandable if someone isn’t ready to do that yet.
Staying with an abusive partner does not make you hopeless. It does mean that you need and deserve ways to keep yourself safe.
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