YWCA Sonoma County

Understand the Cycle of Violence

Why We Stay

SURVIVAL: Fear for myself and my children’s safety if I leave.

ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE:Can I survive on one income?

FEAR: Of being alone, fear that I cannot cope with home and children by myself.

PARENTING: Wanting the support of another parent for the children.

RELIGION: Pressure to keep the family together.

FAMILY: Extended family pressure to keep the family together.

LOYALTY: If my partner had cancer, I would stick by him/her.

RESCUE: If I stay, I can “save” my partner and help him/her “get better.”

FEAR OF HIS SUICIDE: Partner says he/she will kill her/him self if I leave.

DENIAL: “It’s really not so bad.”

LOVE: I love my partner, and he/she is quite often loving and lovable when he/she is not being abusive.

IDENTITY: Many people feel that they need a partner in order to be complete.

SHAME, EMBARRASSMENT AND HUMILIATION: I don’t want anyone to know.

LOW SELF-ESTEEM: After years of being criticized by my abuser, I believe that it must be my fault, I must deserve it, I will never find anyone better, “a little love is better than no love at all.”

SEX ROLE: “That’s just the way men/women are.”