Some Barriers To Leaving An Abusive Relationship

There is a common misconception that people can just leave an abusive partner

The fact is there are so many practical and psychological barriers to ending a relationship with or leaving an abusive partner

It takes so much courage to leave an individual who possesses an intimidating or controlling behaviour.

Leaving an abusive partner can be quite dangerous and women are at the greatest risk of homicide after separation or leaving the relationship.

It is important that you plan your departure safely and work with specialist support organisations  if you are planning to leave an abusive partner,

Here are some of the barriers to ending a relationship with an abusive partner….

People might be concerned about their safety: There is a genuine fear of what the abuser can do to them or the children if they attempted to leave.

Self Denial: There is a tendency to accept the situation and believe ‘it’s not as bad as it seems’

Cultural Influence: There is a tendency to stay for cultural reasons which may be harmful in the long term

Shame: There’s a feeling of shame and embarrassment because they were not successful in their relationships.

Low self esteem and confidence: Individuals could think that the abuse is deserved and believe it’s their fault for those actions. There’s also an assumption of not finding love elsewhere if they leave or end the relationship.

Feeling Of Guilt: The abuser creates a sense of guilt and manipulates individuals to think and accept the blame for their own abusive behaviour.

Financial dependence: People may not be able to support the rest of the family (including children) independently if they left or ended the relationship.

Loyalty: People are devoted to their abusers regardless of their actions. It may be as a result of cultural, religious, traditional factors…….

Loneliness: There are times when people are just scared of being alone.

Hope: There is a sense of hope that things will change or improve with time

Lack of support: There is absolutely no one to turn to for help and support

Love: There is a possibility that the individual still loves the abuser despite their  actions

Possible Change: Individuals believe they can make the abuser change

Gender roles: Women may normalise abusive behaviour from men because he is a man – ‘that’s how men are’. She may believe it’s the woman’s role to put the needs of others first.

Family pressure: There is an intense pressure from family members and friends to make the relationship work.

Religious/community beliefs: There are times when people are under pressure not to break up the family. There is also the thought of wanting the children to be raised by both parents.

If you are in an abusive relationship and requires an urgent response or needs in-depth support please contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247, the Men’s Advice Helpline on 0808 801 0327 or The National LGBT Helpline on 0300 999 5428.

You could also find support organizations using our ONLINE DIRECTORY