People stay in abusive relationships for many different reasons. Following are some examples of why a woman* may stay:
- For the children: Women may believe that any father is better than no father at all.
- For financial reasons: She may have no financial resources of her own or job skills. If she has children, it becomes more difficult to leave without access to affordable housing, transportation, etc.
- Fear of retaliation: When a woman makes a decision to leave an abusive relationship, her chances of being seriously hurt or killed increase 75%. Many times she has been told by her partner that if she leaves, her partner will hunt her down and kill her and the children.
- Religious reasons: Many times a woman will stay in a relationship because of religious beliefs. If she leaves or divorces her partner, her religious community may ostracize her.
- Family pressure: She may stay because of family pressure. Her partner may have convinced her family that everything is good in their relationship. That problems are her fault. It may also be that her family of origin also has experienced violence—so it may be considered a normal part of relationships. She may hear things such as "you've made your bed now lie in it" or "we've never had a divorce in our family"
- Love: Many times a woman does not want the relationship to end. She loves her partner; she just wants the violence to end.
* CAEPV knows that partner violence can happen to anyone, and that victims or perpetrators of partner violence can be either male or female. However, current statistical information indicates that most victims are women. We have used pronouns that reflect this information for readability and simplicity's sake.