When you talk about domestic violence, the first thing that comes to most peoples minds is one being beaten to a pulp by their bitter half. However, in most cases there are several things that happen before one ends up lifeless and it doesn’t happen overnight. So what exactly drives a woman to stay with a man who has shown signs of being violent?
Before he starts with the beatings, most men work on a woman’s self esteem. They abuse her emotionally and over time her self esteem is eroded and she feels worthless without him. Once he realizes you are beneath him and dependent on him, the physical abuse now sets in.
Society. Growing up, most cultures nurture the girl child to play the ideal wifely role once they are of marriage age. Most girls are taught to obey their husbands and stay put no matter what. “A real woman has to persevere and take care of her home,only the weakling walk out” they are told. “If a man slaps you, its because he loves you or you have done something to upset him,” other elderly women chime in. When this lady finally gets prince charming and they tie the knot, no matter how abusive he is, she replays what she was told growing up and instead of acting to save herself, she starts blaming herself for her husband’s wrong doing.
Social status. He may be filthy rich, someone influential in the society or just a common John in the neighborhood. But after bragging to friends and relatives that you’ve left the singles club and since society tends to look down on single women, some women will remain in an abusive relationship to have the “Mrs” tag and to be valued in the community. If kids are involved,some may stay because “the kids need a father figure in their lives.” If I leave, how will I raise them? What will I tell them when they ask after their dad?
Financial security. Whether dating or married, if he has been providing all or most of her financial needs, some women may get comfortable even if she is working. That fear of starting out on her own without any fall back plan in case of financial difficulties make some women to endure all kinds of cruelty.
Fear of being alone. After months or years of being used to his company in the house, some women may find it hard to walk away and be alone. Most of them ask “who will fix something in the house when its broken?” “Whom will I turn to when I just need someone to listen to me?”
Walking out of a troubled relationship is not easy. Friends may advice you, but until you make your mind to do it, it doesn’t matter how many times they drag you away you’ll always stay for another round of beating.
So what can you do to avoid being another statistic of domestic violence?
- Know your self worth and never allow anyone to treat you lesser than you deserve.
- Empower yourself and other women around you financially. This way if things are not working out, you can take that bold step knowing you’ll be able to take care of your finances.
- Fall hopelessly in love with yourself before dating.