Everyone tells domestic violence victims, “Just leave. Why are you staying? Why don’t you just leave?” This can be incredibly infuriating for domestic violence victims because, of course, they want to leave, but there are reasons to stay, or at least to not leave immediately.
The advice also overlooks the fact that even for those that do leave, research shows that over 90% still have some type of ongoing abuse.
How does abuse continue?
Often, abusers take over the finances, so the first way they continue their abuse is through economic abuse. They cut their victims off immediately. Then, they freeze credit reports, blocking their victims from getting new credit, or they do whatever they can to hurt their victim’s credit score, like maxing out credit lines, applying for loans, etc.
Another form of abuse is legal abuse. This occurs when an abuser makes false allegations of abuse against their victim. They want the law on their side, and they want the ability to maintain control.
What about kids?
St. Petersburg victims who have kids with their abusers may see some form of abuse involving children. This could be parental alienation or economic abuse by manipulating child support or stealing your child’s stuff (forcing you to rebuy items, sometimes, multiple times).
It could also be through manipulating child custody with false accusations not following the custody order exactly, and emotional manipulation, like purposely missing important events (and blaming you) and making promises that they then push to you to keep. Again, this is about control, and they will get it in whatever way they can.
What is the key?
To be clear, in abusive relationships, you need to leave, but it’s wise to leave with a plan. Indeed, that is how you should leave, after making an escape plan with your friends, family and your attorney.