Anyone that knows anything about domestic abuse will recognise that the reason someone stays is infinitely complex. I appreciate that this # has done the rounds on Twitter but I had to be careful of what I was tweeting at that time.
For ease of writing, I’ll put my reasons into a list. The order is purely based on what I put first as opposed to based on importance.
Nowhere else to go.
The hope it would get better.
Not wanting to be a single parent again.
Fear of what might happen if I left.
How would I cope alone?
The shame of people knowing my marriage had broken down.
Fear in general. Would he kill me?
That maybe it was all in my head.
Being so dependent on this person that leaving was not an option.
Had nothing left and summoning the strength to leave was almost impossible.
The notion that families stick together through thick and thin and we got married in the eyes of god – this was drummed into me.
That it would be me saying I had failed.
I left several times before I finally left.
I didn’t love him.
A charity helped me. They have me strength and showed me that I wasn’t going mad.
His abuse was getting worse and darker in nature.
I found a little diamond of strength in my soul that said ‘enough now, this ends’.
He was arrested but released without charge – forcing me into a dangerous situation where my only option was to get myself and the kids out.
It was emotionally killing me and I couldn’t take anymore.
I had lost my identity and craved for it back.
I wanted a better life for my children, even if it has meant putting them in temp accommodation and me relying on benefits.
The desire to be in charge of my own life and my own body.
And I have to say, I have never missed him or felt broken hearted. There has been no sense of shame, in fact I felt empowered. It took my over four years to leave so I’m not trying to be smug here. Many women can’t leave and the Government has done a good job of making it virtually impossible for them now. This is why refuges are so important. I had family to help me, not everyone does.
If you are thinking about leaving, keep safe. It is a very dangerous time. Seek out help from specialist agencies but do so in a way that he cannot find out. Use someone else’s phone or computer etc
Life on the other side of abuse isn’t easy, it can be quite lonely and people don’t understand what you have gone through. I was stalked for a while too. It’s worth it though, worth it for the freedom and the release from worry. Utilise any services you can to make yourself safe and rebuild your life.
I’m with you, I’m here for you.