Sunday, February 24, 2013

Why don't domestic violence victims just leave?

By Philip Copitch, Ph.D.

Why don't domestic violence victims just leave? This is a very common question I am asked when I talk to groups. On the surface it sounds logical. If you are being hurt by a spouse, get out of the relationship. It sounds so easy, but people are complicated, and relationships are between people.

In this 16 minute video, a victim of domestic violence gives us insight into the real life problems she experienced.

Her number one message, which I whole heartedly support, is talk to others about the violence. Violence in families lives in the darkness of family silence.


Leslie Morgan Steiner was in “crazy love” -- that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. Steiner tells the dark story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explaining how we can all help break the silence. (Filmed at TEDxRainier.)
Need to talk? 
National Domestic Violence Hotline- this site has lots of solid information.
  • Be safe: Computer use can be monitored and it is impossible to completely clear your search history. If you are afraid your internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer (many public libraries offer computer access), call your local hotline, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224
  • How can I help a friend?
More info about violence: Injury Center: Violence Prevention (CDC)

Statistics concerning domestic violence:

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report is a publication of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
Get this free PDF download.