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Abusive Relationships: Reasons Why People Find It Hard to Leave

“Why doesn’t she/he just leave?” That’s the question most people ask when they hear of someone in an abusive relationship. In fact, many victims don’t understand why they are still in the relationship.

Earlier this week, a lady on social media disclosed how she has been suffering from an abusive relationship with the popular Nigerian rapper, Lil Frosh. She talked about how she left the relationship at first but Lil
Frosh begged her till she came back. So many people blamed her and asked why she remained in the relationship.

Relationship is an extremely complex situation and it takes extraordinary courage to leave an abusive one.
We need to stop blaming the victims for staying and focus on helping them leave their abusive



Some factors weigh on the victim’s decision to leave any abusive relationship. Here are some reasons why victims find it difficult to leave.

Fear of leaving: Most victims fear that their violent partner’s action might become lethal if they try to leave the relationship. They are scared the abuser would go after their friends and family. Some may be concerned about their ability to live independently.

Hope for change: Many people hold on to an abusive and unhealthy relationships because they believe as time goes by, their violent partner will change. Some think their partners are probably going through tough
times and things will get better eventually. They go to church or mosque to pray to God for a positive change in their partner’s life.

Financial factor: Victims may be financially dependent on their abusive partner. In fact, some victims might have been unable to keep their jobs or own a business due to their abuser’s control. Some even had all their money and assets collected from them by their abusive partner. This factor can make it seem impossible for someone to leave an unhealthy relationship.



Isolation: Many of the victims of an abusive relationship are isolated. They have no one to turn/talk to. They had already been separated from family and friends. Sometimes, the partner isolates the victim emotionally
by giving them the option of either picking their family/friends or the abusive partner. The abuser believes the victim’s family and friends are a threat to the relationship.

Low self-esteem: Most victims of abusive relationships have low self-esteem. They are controlled and hurt by their partners. Abusive partners accuse and harass their victims, leading to confusion, doubts and
self-blame. They attack the victim’s sense of self and identity, causing despair. Abusive partners wear their victims out.

Social stigma: Victims find it difficult to admit that they’ve been abused. They are scared of what the response of the public might be. They fear the society may blame them for the whole situation. They are
afraid of what their family and friends may think or say.

Ignorance: Some victims have never been in a healthy relationship and they don’t know what it feels like.
Some grew up in a house where their father abused their mother and she didn’t leave him. Furthermore, some traditions and cultures are also in support of domestic violence.

Many victims leave and return to their abusive partners several times before finally leaving them. By understanding the barriers that prevent these victims from leaving their abusive relationship, we should
begin to empower and support the victims to make great decisions and to hold the abusers accountable for their unspeakable behaviour.



As a student, if you are in an abusive or unhealthy relationship, it’s time for you to speak up. Report to the
school authority or at least, the closest lecturer to you. If you have a friend that is experiencing an abusive
relationship, speak up for the person so that you’ll not blame yourself if something bad happens to them.


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