Why do they stay

  • They love the partner not their behaviors and feel that their partner may change
  • No resources – feels unable to leave due to financial pressures
  • The children
  • Relatives / in-laws/ friends/ ethnic / religious family members advise / pressure them to stay.
  • Can’t leave because of a disability
  • Partner threatens suicide or harm to others (including pets)
  • Low self-esteem and isolation – nobody else would ever want them / they won’t make it by themselves
  • Has been repeatedly told that no one will believe them
  • Doesn’t want to split up the family
  • Has been told that the abuse is their fault
  • They believe that they deserve the abuse
  • They are full of guilt and shame

How can I help my friend or loved one?

  • Believe them when they tell you that they are abused!
  • Don’t be afraid to let them know that you are concerned for their safety.
  • Help them recognize the abuse and that abuse is so much more than just being hit (verbal, emotional, sexual, spiritual, financial).
  • Tell them what you see happening is not normal and that they deserve a healthy non-violent, non-abusive relationship.
  • Listen to them, non-judgmentally, provide them with #’s to their local shelter, lawyers or crisis line; offer to accompany them to appointments with police, lawyers, shelters etc.
  • Offer to keep important papers and possessions stored for them so they can leave at a moments notice.
  • Don’t force them to leave before they are ready and trust their instincts to know when it is safe to leave.
  • Don’t tell them how bad their partner is or what a “loser” their partner is because in effect they will only hear you saying what an “idiot” and a “loser” they really are for choosing that person.
  • Be safe with your help. The time leading up to their leaving their partner and when they actually leave can be a very stressful and dangerous time.
  • Ask for help if you don’t feel prepared to help them or are uncomfortable.
  • Remember: You might also need support. Domestic abuse effects family and friends as well. Call Cantara Safe House at (403) 793-2232 to talk.