It’s easy to tell someone to leave their spouse at the first sign of abuse, but in many cases the situation is much more convoluted and complex than simply packing your bags and moving on with your life. Many people who have not been in an abusive relationship wonder why others will stay despite beatings, verbal abuse, and a life of fear and control. Unfortunately, leaving – or even telling authorities about abuse – can be extremely difficult, both for psychological reasons and logistical reasons.On average, an abused spouse will attempt to leave six times before successfully exiting their relationship. 

Reasons Many Find It Impossible To Leave:

•    The abused spouse does not have economic support outside of their relationship.
•    The abused spouse does not have a place to live if they leave.
•    The abused spouse fears physical retaliation if they leave.
•    The abused spouse does not want to break up his or her family, or fears they will lose custody of their children to their abuser.
•    The abused spouse does not want to make things more difficult for his or her children, emotionally or financially.
•    The abuse spouse has become socially isolated from friends, family, and community after years of control and abuse.
•    The abused spouse may be hesitant to leave the geographical area where her abuser is located.
•    The abused spouse lacks job skills or job connections.
•    Because of emotional abuse, the abused spouse may be completely controlled by his or her abuser.
•    The abused spouse may suffer from debilitating depression or anxiety.
•    The abused spouse fears the legal battle head and fears the courtroom process.
•    The abused spouse may fear the unknown – he or she may not know of another kind of life.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington