I can and do answer this questions with three 4 letter words.
Victims have fallen in love with a person that in the beginning was wonderful. They fell in love
just like any other "normal" relationship. The batterer took this love and turned it into dependence. The battererer slowly
began to eat away at the victims self esteem and use a very powerful form of mind control. The batterer keeps the victim on
an emotional roller coaster, they never know from one minute to the next what is going to cause the next explosion. The victim
is in love and wants to make things better, make things work. After time the victim looses the ability to see love has
turned into complete control.
The victim hopes the batterer will change, that things will get better, that she will never be hit
again.The victim gives into this hope and gives up family, friends, vehicle, job, education, and anything else the batterer
deems necessary in hopes of making this relationship work. The victim hopes the children don't know what is going on. The
victim hopes that if she listens more, keeps a cleaner house, wears baggy clothes, never goes anywhere alone, cooks better
meals, doesn't wear makeup, the violence will stop and things will get better.The victim hopes if she is better (after all
everything is her fault) she will deserve to be treated better.
The victim fears the violence will not stop. The victim fears the violence will get worse. The victim
fears the children will become involved. The victim fears the batterer will run away with or worse hurt the children.
the victim fears being alone. The victim fears starting over. The victim fears living on the streets. The victim fears starving.
The victim fears what others will say. The victim fears what the church will say. The victim fears not having money, friends, relatives,
transportation, job, education, identification, insurance, or anyone to turn to. Most importantly the victim FEARS..... IF I LEAVE HE WILL KILL ME AND OR MY CHILDREN
Relationship With Batterer:
*If the baterer holds a prominent position in the community, the victim may doubt her
ability to make herself heard or believed.
*If the batterer is the primary wage earner, the victim may question her ability to
provide for herself and her children.
*The victim may still love the batterer; If she has children , she may have concerns
about seperating them from their father and raising them alone.
*The baterer may blame the abuse on substance abuse issues or job stress, leading the
victim to believe that if these problems can be solved, the domestic violence will end.
* The victim may fear losing custody of her children. A recent study shows that 70%
of the cases in which a father requested some form of custody, he was successful.
* The victim may believe it is in the children's best interests to live in a two parent
* Batterers are capable of manipulating children to plead "just let Daddy come home!"
*The Victim may be without financial resources if she leaves, and may not have marketable
*Batterers may deny the victim access to money or financial records' batterers may also
prohibit victims from working outside the home or may interfere with victim's attempts to gain or maintain employment by refusing
to allow victims to go to job interviews or by harassing victims at their workplace.
The victim knows her batterer, and may have good reason to fear he will follow through
on his threats against her or her children if she leaves. It is estimated that a battered woman is 75% more likely to be murdered
when she flees or has fled than when she stays-extensive safety planning is thus essential.
*If the victim grew up in an abusive household, low self esteem or the belief that her
experiences are the norm may bolster the batterer's attempts to maintain power and controlover her.
*if the victim has had prior negative experiences with the court system, she may be
skeptical of its ability or willingness to offer assistance,
*If the police have failed to resond to 911 calls or if they have minimized her fears
and concerns and downplayed the violence when responding to past calls, victims may see little value in contacting them after
further incidents of violence.