Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

Staying in an Abusive Relationship

Caution sign with no words on it, peeling paint...some people choose to stay in an abusive relationship

Staying Is a Choice You Can Make

Staying in an abusive relationship is a choice some of us make. But when you’re staying in an abusive relationship, you won’t find much support from your family or friends–if your abuser hasn’t isolated you from them–or even domestic violence helping agencies. People who would like to support you also want to see you free of abuse. When loved ones know you won’t leave the abuser, they get frustrated and might withdraw. When helping agencies see you aren’t leaving, they place their resources on people who are leaving. This makes staying in an abusive relationship lonelier than anyone can imagine.

When you are isolated and lonely because you’re staying in an abusive relationship, your mental health quickly goes downhill. Depression, anxiety disorders, and stress disorders like PTSD and even psychosis can develop in isolation. These mental illnesses and disorders serve your abuser because they make staying in an abusive relationship seem more necessary than it is.

If you haven’t looked up information on depression or PTSD, it is time to do that. Then talk to your doctor about it. If your doctor diagnoses you and you agree to treat the mental illness, maybe your perspective on staying in an abusive relationship will shift. Maybe it won’t. But, with treatment, at least you will be able to think more clearly and better protect yourself from the abuse.

I’m Staying in an Abusive Relationship, and That Is That

This page isn’t about convincing you to leave your relationship. This section of our website is about acknowledging that some people choose to stay in abusive relationships for myriad reasons.

If that’s you, then let’s work together to see that you stay as physically and mentally healthy as possible while living with abuse. Let’s try to help you heal the daily abuses to your mind and heart as best we can. One way, the best way, to heal daily abuses is to avoid them. Get a bit of control over how you handle abuse when it happens by downloading Domestic Violence Safety Plan: A comprehensive plan that will keep you safer whether you stay or leave. As the title says, it is safety planning for when you’re staying in an abusive relationship, too.

Remember, staying in an abusive relationship is dangerous to your mind, soul, and body. These relationships always get worse, never better. But women and men throughout the centuries have lived in abusive relationships their entire lives (it’s true, but we do want you to get out of this abusive relationship!). So if you change your mind, we’re here for you: Get verbal and emotional abuse help online.

Things to Do When You’re Staying in an Abusive Relationship

Featured image by Nathan Dumlao