Abuse and by-standers

I had a boyfriend once who said to me after watching a TV show about abuse survivors, “why did they not just leave, I would have”. This statement really makes me angry because it is a mentality that some people have having never gone through it.


Abuse survivors don’t start off with being abused. Everything seems normal at first and the abuser starts off slow. They may want you by their side all the time or regularly check in with you multiple times during the day.


From there abusers can get worse. It can start with denigration, isolation, and controlling finances. By the time you realize what is going on you have no connections to anyone outside and your afraid of what will happen. If the abuse turns violent it can lead you to fear for your life. It can make you afraid for your life if you stay and if you leave. Often not knowing what would happen if you left causes such concern that you stay just because you don’t want to find out what would happen.


By this stage in the abuse some of the following thoughts can go through your head:


1.   If I go to the police and they don’t believe me, I am dead.

2.   Even if I left, where would I go, they have all the money.

3.   If I leave, they will find me and kill me.


I am telling you this to try and give you an idea of what abuse survivors have gone through. I know because I have been through it myself. Multiple times in various different ways.


So, I am making a plea to the world, do not judge abuse survivors for not leaving sooner. Until you have been in an abuse situation you do not know what it's like and the bravest thing an abuse survivor can do is leave, often leaving with nothing but the clothes on their back.


If you are in an abusive situation no matter the type of abuse, I urge you to seek help. You can do this at times when your abuser is not around, maybe speak to your boss, a teacher, a neighbor or google support. Most importantly stay safe.


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