Why domestic violence victims don't leave

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Aames

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Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« on: January 25, 2013, 07:12:49 PM »

 today I ran across  a lecture from a survivor of Domestic Violence  -- and her story is powerful - yet also all too common.

Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why domestic violence victims don't leave

http://www.ted.com/talks/leslie_morgan_steiner_why_domestic_violence_victims_don_t_leave.html

It's worth the view -- and may provide some perspective to those who stay - as well as to those who wonder why
people in that situation don't just leave.

"Don't ever offer up facts for consideration where small minds and angry villagers are concerned. They don't like having their myths busted or their war-parties interrupted."

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CGisNuts

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 08:41:11 PM »
I'm going to check it out, but if I could just throw in my 2 cents.

Isolation:
the abuser makes the victim feel isolated, maybe even scared of the outside. This is on a deep level that can't be changed with reasoning or thinking. Once they cut off their support system, the victim really has no one to turn to.

The abuser may be in control of resources, and cut the victim off from resources.

They also "watch" the victim, so in a way you always feel like you can't do anything without being found.

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Janedoeisbroken

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 09:51:37 PM »
I downloaded this to watch it when I am a tad less raw. I love TED series and I know this one will be just as amazing as the rest...as soon as I can watch it without tearing up.

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Terpsichore

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 05:37:46 PM »
I'm going to check it out, but if I could just throw in my 2 cents.

Isolation:
the abuser makes the victim feel isolated, maybe even scared of the outside. This is on a deep level that can't be changed with reasoning or thinking. Once they cut off their support system, the victim really has no one to turn to.

This is me!!!! My abuse is not the physically obvious kind so no one seems to think I need help but I know I do b/c emotional, psych. and related sexual abuse is just as bad and some say even worse.

I want out but have no where to go if I leave and so far I have not found a realistic and longterm way (No degree or relevant work history, no transportation or money that he does not control plus no employment) to create one for myself......YET.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 05:41:42 PM by Terpsichore »

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Melody

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 07:28:08 PM »
No only are you isolated but sometimes like in my case you have been groomed so you really have no way out. My family refused to help me. The shelf turned me down because the abuse was not obvious. It is possible that someone has tried and was unable to get out without help.
I got out because he wanted a divorce.

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Aames

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 07:34:27 PM »
Grooming and isolation are a huge part of the abuse cycle, no doubt.   There is no quick fix and no easy way out, when an abuse
victim has been systematically stripped of their person-hood.    I think that's the wisdom inherent in this video. 
Because the speaker was there her self - she  doesn't scream "leave leave leave!"  as if it were just a simple decision to
one day open the door and walk through it.   She truly understands that there are barriers - both tangible and intangible
to finding a safe escape route. 
"Don't ever offer up facts for consideration where small minds and angry villagers are concerned. They don't like having their myths busted or their war-parties interrupted."

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Melody

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 08:37:37 PM »
As a culture ther needs to be better education as well as back up for getting out.

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peachie

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 02:49:44 AM »
Just to share on this line of thought:

I stepped into a trap of isolation. I was with him many years, we were happy, we made love eagerly, and had candle lit dinners years into our marriage, we worked together on projects, we played together. We smiled glowing smiles at each other at the supermarket...and then I moved to my husband's homeland, not knowing he had a plan of isolation for me.

He was going to help with the language, introducing me to people, making sure I had a place to garden, to create...He painted the picture I wanted to see.  He had been studying me for years of our marriage, and had planned the strategy very carefully.  All of a sudden, I was a resident, not a citizen, I was on a co bank account but he was the primary, because he was the citizen, he never helped me with the language, trying to keep me from classes, and refused to speak the language to help me practice.   It snowballed one month into my new "home" relocation.  They can move quickly when they have been planning it for years.  I have an education, I am strong, and strong willed, it can happen to anyone that trusts their partner and relinquishes total control of all situations.  People can hide their controlling ways and reveal them very swiftly. 

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lobster777

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 07:25:33 PM »
In the case of BPD, though, I think we start thinking, "Well, it's a mental health problem.  He can't help it.  And now he's getting therapy and promising to change."  So that adds to our confusion and our guilt about leaving.

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Spouse2012

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 01:16:24 PM »
Thanks for the link. I think also, that the passive aggressive progression of the same behaviors is even harder to see at first.

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practicingacceptance

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 02:51:49 PM »
good TED talk, thanks for sharing Aames.

my situation was similar except i didn't know i was being groomed and verbally abused until it reached the physically violent stage many years later. i am out now (33 years later) because i ran for my life. i did everything at the time to expose him so he would stay away from me. now i live in FOG but i am alive and recovering slowly.
i am also financially devastated and have no one that can help me (his control and isolation maneuvers). the psychological damage is never seen. it actually would have been easier if there were those physical signs to get others to believe it.

this topic is tragic and i truly think survivors need to come out for their own empowerment and to help others keep away, get away from abusers. this is the only way the cycle ends.

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SolarFlare

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 12:52:30 AM »
Very well done talk.

DV is horrible. And as she stated, it's dangerous to leave. Very dangerous.

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Janedoeisbroken

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 09:36:14 AM »
I think it's interesting that like me she viewed her life not as the victim of abuse but as a woman with a troubled man. It's taken me a lot of time to come to terms with the fact that my life wasn't normal.  Leaving my husband was dangerous for me the first and second time I tried. The second time I had no doubt that he would kill me. After two and a half years of stalking I finally saved him the trouble and tried to commit suicide.

This time I realize my fears aren't that he will still want me but the exact opposite. I've done a lot of soul searching as to what part of me is so broken that I care but all I realize is that it's such an enmeshment of emotional needs that you get caught up in it.

I hope I'll have the strength to end things sooner rather than later - I'm ready for a life centered on peace.

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tdell1973

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2013, 01:56:25 PM »
Going to throw in my 2 cents here. It is dangerous when you leave, but just because you leave doesn't mean the abuse stops. :( Especially if children are involved. They will always find you, even in a safehouse.
 I am certainly not trying to deter anyone who is looking for safety, just speaking from experience.

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freetobeme63

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 01:54:49 PM »
That was an awesome link. I watched it and am sending the link to others who need to see this video. Thank you so much posting the link. It is an eye opener. I didn't for the longest time see my ex as an abuser. I saw him as a troubled man who I loved and who loved me who just needed my help, understanding and nurturing. I finally woke up but I see I really need to see this video. It really does help to understand the steps that the abusers take to get you hooked in and prepped for the abuse they plan out for you.

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delilah

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2013, 05:14:19 PM »
In the case of BPD, though, I think we start thinking, "Well, it's a mental health problem.  He can't help it.  And now he's getting therapy and promising to change."  So that adds to our confusion and our guilt about leaving.

This is exactly what I start to think. A month ago, my neighbors called 911 in response to my screaming for my bpd boyfriend not to kill me or himself. He was intoxicated and psychotic and going for the kitchen knife drawer. It was probably a dramatic act meant to illustrate just how horrible he felt (because of me, or course) but I panicked and ran. He isn't physically abusive but verbally abusive and unpredictable. I have no emergency plan that will work b/c he destroys the phone, won't leave, won't let me leave and threatens suicide. Does this qualify as domestic violence? He doesn't isolate me or control me any other way other than I'm afraid of these occasional episodes. Last one was 9 months ago.

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freetobeme63

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2013, 12:51:00 AM »
I am not an expert and I know I am new to this forum but if he is causing you to be afraid for whatever reason than that is abuse.
This is exactly what I start to think. A month ago, my neighbors called 911 in response to my screaming for my bpd boyfriend not to kill me or himself. He was intoxicated and psychotic and going for the kitchen knife drawer. It was probably a dramatic act meant to illustrate just how horrible he felt (because of me, or course) but I panicked and ran. He isn't physically abusive but verbally abusive and unpredictable. I have no emergency plan that will work b/c he destroys the phone, won't leave, won't let me leave and threatens suicide. Does this qualify as domestic violence? He doesn't isolate me or control me any other way other than I'm afraid of these occasional episodes. Last one was 9 months ago.

It only takes one incident to change your life for a life time. Seems to me pulling for a knife is right up there with life changing (in a moments notice) episode a person would not want to be in. Dramatizing ? Really? Gonna go that far to dramatize? My ex dramatized with a fist to my face (three punches) and I hid in my house for the better part of 2 1/2 weeks waiting for the bruising to heal. Had to try to hide as much of the bruising as I could with make up so I could go to work. I had been working in my hometown as a professional for years. All the attorneys and parlegals new me. I worked in the courthousing in several counties and worked along side them. I had friends that I worked with and talked to regularly but who didn't know who or what I wasing involved with at the time. Hell I didn't either. I thought he was troubled in a big way. I actually thought I could help him. I loved him. I thought he loved me to. Two years into the "connection/affliction" and I had gone down hill big time.I was taken crap that there is no way I would've take as an adult. I had been cheated on and manipulated before but never to this extent. This was never ending chaos. A few good weeks for a hellacious week (the cycle). I am rambling an I apologize. But I am still fixing damage he did to my home. I am still trying to work out the damage to my selfesteem. I am still working at getting every ounce of him out of my head. Today was a bad day. I have had some great me days but today is a bad day.

My point here is if someone put your life in danger why do you want to spend one second of your life with that person? Why do you think you owe him that? What has he done that your life is worth so little? Think of yourself and your family. You must have family who loves you and needs you? Who is he to decide your life is worth so little?

Take care of you. Protect your. In one second your life could be totally changed for the worse or ended just because someone could not control themself, and not just your life but your families lives. 

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ellenbee

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2013, 09:56:06 PM »
The one common thread here is the feeling that we feel we can "help" them, that the "good side" that they first showed is the real side and that the "bad" side that comes out later on, is one that is not permanent and will not last and that we can "change" it.
From personal experience I can say that we cannot HELP them. Only they can HELP themselves and in most cases they are beyond help.
These people don't get better. These people don't suddenly wake up one day and realise their terrible abusive behaviour, apologise and then be normal. All that will happen if you stay is that you will find yourself more trapped, more isolated, more dependent and less able to stand up for yourself.
And if there are kids at home, please be aware that it is considered child abuse if a kid witnesses domestic violence. You may know that your partners behaviour is bad but your kids don't.  I think alot of people don't realise this!
The kids don't like it, it scares the crap out of them, they would do anything to make it stop but they assume this behaviour is normal.
So our daughters can go onto have abusive relationships when they get older and sons can begin to abuse their partners and so the cycle continues.
For your sake and your children's:
1. Get support-friends/family/womans organisations
2. Make a plan-using that support
3. Leave and use as much support as you are given.

Yes it can be dangerous to leave, this is why you have to speak to a professional to get help, advice and encouragement on how to best do this as safely as possible-surely it must be more dangerous to stay?
Best of luck to everyone xx
 

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delilah

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2013, 08:51:27 PM »
I had a thought of why I even think about staying after the last incident with my bp boyfriend. I don't have kids so no one witnessed the scene but me.  If I had kids in the house, I would never let him back into my life. I need to treat myself like a child I would protect. Instead, my pattern is to "be strong", minimize the incident, and forgive b/c he is "sick." And it's not until I tell a friend and see their reaction that I realize it's totally unacceptable behavior and that I'm "sick" to accept it. We're not married and we have no kids. It should be easier for me to walk away but it's not. It's like there's no way out with him. He won't accept that I want out, he doesn't hear me. He says he'll never drink again, goes to AA and sees a shrink BUT I don't think I need to risk another episode just to prove it.

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practicingacceptance

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Re: Why domestic violence victims don't leave
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2013, 10:58:02 PM »
I had a thought of why I even think about staying after the last incident with my bp boyfriend. I don't have kids so no one witnessed the scene but me.  If I had kids in the house, I would never let him back into my life. I need to treat myself like a child I would protect. Instead, my pattern is to "be strong", minimize the incident, and forgive b/c he is "sick." And it's not until I tell a friend and see their reaction that I realize it's totally unacceptable behavior and that I'm "sick" to accept it. We're not married and we have no kids. It should be easier for me to walk away but it's not. It's like there's no way out with him. He won't accept that I want out, he doesn't hear me. He says he'll never drink again, goes to AA and sees a shrink BUT I don't think I need to risk another episode just to prove it.

sounds similar to my situation years ago (before daughter born). yes, he is sick. no, you cannot stay strong unless you start taking caring of yourself. do you go to ALANON? if you fear he is dangerous, trust your instincts and prepare an escape plan. i consider myself a lucky one to be out now but i allowed the abuse to do irreparable damage to me and our daughter.