#domestic abuse, #narcissism, abusive relationships, mental illness

Social Rules and Stigma Keeps Victims in Abusive Relationships

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Society has conditioned us to stay in abusive relationships. The marriage vow is “for better for worse” and this mentality is often used by the churches and the families of victims, to send them back into the abusive relationship. 

I have clients that have told me about pastors and counselors that have told them that relationships are 50 – 50, and if there is something wrong it is equally both partners’ responsibility. These victims are given some kind of advice about how to be a better partner, and then sent right back to the dangerous person rather than getting the support they need to leave the abuser. 

Families and friends of victims are often the same way. They remind the person about the commitment they made, and that “everything is not always roses”. They have no idea what it is like to live in an abusive relationship, or how mentally dangerous these abuser are. 

Physical abuse always escalates and the compliance of the victim with the abuser does not stop the abuse. It does not matter how much the victim tries to please the abuser. That is not the reason the partner is abusing them. It is not because they are not a good partner. 

Relationships that are emotionally and mentally abusive are just as dangerous. Victims of these relationships cannot prove they are being abused, and their reality is confused. Many suicides each year happen due to this kind of abuse. Accidents happen due to sleep deprivation, and illnesses occur in the victims because of the stress. 

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4 thoughts on “Social Rules and Stigma Keeps Victims in Abusive Relationships”

  1. A really good awareness piece. It is so true that this happens. Very sad topic, but people need to understand that if there is abuse you should get to safety and stay away.

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  2. You are exactly right. Pressure I felt from church and family kept me in an abusive relationship for years. All the rhetoric you hear about how marriage is hard work and takes all this effort kept me believing that if I just tried a little bit harder, I could make it work. After two decades, I finally got out, not because the relationship was hurting me, but because it was hurting my children.

    Like

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