It is tough to tell...
I have been asked so many times about domestic violence.
The question I get asked most is:
Why don't abused women leave?
Sometimes people are truly interested, and want to understand and perhaps help.
But, so many times, the person asking the question, is being condescending, judgmental and rude.
The rude people person says things like:
"Well, if it was me, I'd just leave."
"Women who don't leave must be stupid, sick or lazy. They deserve what they get."
As someone who has overcome abuse, I beg you, please don't say insensitive things like that. Your feeling of moral superiority is not helping the woman. You are getting any "points" for looking down on the abused woman.
Comments like that? Contribute to why some abused women do not leave.
Abused women sometimes don't leave, for a variety of reasons:
Feeling that they deserve abuse.
In denial that they are being abused.
Unable to immediately provide for themselves or their children.
Lack of health insurance.
Fear of being found and hurt, or even killed, for leaving.
Being told that something is wrong with them that they cannot just deal with it.
Their abuser is nice and/or responsible to others, and seemingly only abuses them.
Being in love.
Not having a healthy self esteem.
Feeling like a failure.
...and hundreds of other potential reasons...
So, if a friend, a co-worker, or a family member comfides that they are experiencing abuse...or if you hear of someone being abused...be patient, be kind, ask what you can do to help, or refer them to numbers or resources, that could possibly help.
Treat the abused women with the same kindness, compassion and respect you would use if it was your daughter, mother or wife.
And please, save your self righteousness, judgment and impatience for another time.
On behalf of recovering abused ladies every where, thank you!