In learning about domestic violence, that is a question that always comes up.
The below is an excellent article on women who don’t leave an abusive relationship and is very much worth reading in it’s entirety. It is an opinion article, and while I may not agree with every point, several good points were made. A couple of good points they make is that to even ask the question is a subtle way of blaming the victim for the abuse. If they hadn’t stayed they wouldn’t be abused, right? They were asking for it right?
However, the reasons a woman stays in the relationshiip can be very complex, and while everyone may not agree with the reasons they are real and valid for the person in the relationship. To place the blame on the victim for not leaving, is to excuse the abuser. After all if the victim left, there wouldn’t be anyone to abuse, right?
Domestic violence is a criminal act, and is not ‘excusable’. They are actions that can and should be punishable by law. Blaming the woman for staying with an abusive person is like blaming a rape or mugging victim for being where they were when they were attacked. Maybe it was an area that was not known for crime, or maybe it was a ‘bad’ part of town. Maybe they lived or worked there. Are they to blame for being attacked?