Self-Defense & Violence Prevention Blog

news and commentary about security, self-defense, and topics like violent crime prevention and bullying

Getting Abuse Victims to Help Themselves

Trying to stop domestic violence can prove very hard, namely because victims often fail to report the abuse and leave the abusive place or relationship. Victims protect their perpetrator for various reasons, some include self-blame, psychological dependence, and fear.

Women who leave an abusive husband have a greatly increased chance of getting killed by that partner, so perhaps they have some justification for protecting their abuser.

To get the victims out of these abusive situations, we need to make it favorable for them as much as possible. We need to provide high-quality shelters that have enough resources. Additionally, these shelters need to protect the victims from their abusers, perhaps even hiding the victim’s identity or location from the public. Additionally, the victims need to be offered a pleasant and permanent alternative life. Many victims depend on their abuser. For example, we need to make sure that battered women can support themselves if they leave their abuser. Many cannot, and thus must stay with their abuser.

What do you think? How do you suggest that we get abuse victims to help themselves and get out of the abusive relationship?

By | October 8th, 2007 | SHOW COMMENTS (2)


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2 Responses

  1. Faith says

    Great article on a subject that is very close to home for me. My mother suffered 21 years of abuse by my father, I married an abuser, and now I’m afraid my daughter has done the same thing.

    My greatest suggestion for helping these women would be to support and encourage them as much as possible. Simply telling a women she deserves better or she should leave that man is not the answer – she has to see this for herself and her friends and family can help her mainly by showing her the good strong qualities that she has.

  2. Joanne Factor says

    As a self-defense instructor, I’ve worked with many women who’ve left abusive relationships. In addition to increasing resources available to women trying to leave their abusers, I think there are three other key points to decreasing abuse.

    First, educating women on what abuse looks like in the beginning. That controlling behavior and verbal slams aren’t just “the way he is.”

    Second, really believing that we deserve better. Abusers uniformly erode their victims’ sense of self-efficacy, self-trust, and self-empowerment. The road back to self-worth is rocky, and those on that path need support from family and friends.

    Finally, abusers commit abuse in part because there are no significant negative consequences. More and more men are indeed stepping up, organizing to tell other men that abuse is not OK. Social consequences need to evolve to make abuse a less attractive behavior.


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