“Why did you stay?”
It’s a question that often feels like blame to victims of domestic violence. You might as well be asking, “What’s wrong with you?”
What’s wrong is that quite often the perpetrator has set a trap.
Understanding why a victim stays in an abusive relationship is lesson No. 1 for understanding the dynamics of domestic violence. Often a partner has figured out how to control a victim to the point where it’s just as scary for the victim to leave as to remain.
In this TED Talk, author and businesswoman Leslie Morgan Steiner shares her personal experience with domestic violence.
“Why did I stay? The answer is easy. I didn’t know he was abusing me. Even though he held those loaded guns to my head, pushed me down stairs, threatened to kill our dog, pulled the key out of the car ignition as I drove down the highway, poured coffee grinds on my head as I dressed for a job interview, I never once thought of myself as a battered wife. Instead, I was a very strong woman in love with a deeply troubled man, and I was the only person on Earth who could help Conor face his demons,” she said.
For anyone seeking to better understand why domestic violence victims don’t leave, please watch this video: