The question of why does she stay is an interesting one. The victim is often asked this question while the victimizer is rarely asked, why does he batter, abuse the victim?
The research indicates that most victims of Domestic Violence, by far, are females and subsequently their children. We will refer to DV-V’s, in this article as female. Domestic violence occurs across all demographics with varying degrees of frequency, destruction and/or lethality. The reason domestic violence victims remain in relationships of family discord is a varied as there are victims. One of the reasons, and we will discuss a few more with each issue, is that very often, she is dependent upon the abuser for financial support, and/or she is committed to her religious belief governing family life and staying together.
The abuser very often uses these and many more strategies to maintain his control over his victim. The abuser, according to Lundy Bancroft, author of Why Does He Do That? “is one who makes the victim feel devalued. He may do this through verbal abuse and mental cruelty; through pressuring, hurting, or humiliating her sexually; through controlling the money; through cheating on her or giving lots of flirtatious attention to other women so that you feel like less; by focusing only on his own needs and ignoring hers (emotionally, sexually, financially, or in other ways); by using coldness and withdrawal when he doesn’t get his way; by turning her into a servant; by chronically ignoring his responsibilities so that she is stuck taking care of things; or through violence and threats. Devaluation and domination take many different forms.”
After years of this kind of accumulative abusive behaviors, it renders the victim believing that she is the problem and that she needs to, through it all, keep the family together. Her futile assessment of his behavior and this repetitive familial pattern of violence is the result of his careful and intentional manipulation of her emotions and circumstances. In between his highly violent actions or threats of highly violent incidents, victims very often believe that this time, is the last time. And, he knows that she believes that. On the other hand, his thoughts are only of himself and what serves his purposes.
Next we will discuss the impact of family violence upon children.