Leaving an Abusive RelationshipDomestic Violence
If you are in a domestic or family violence situation the decision to leave is often a difficult one.
There are many obstacles that can stand in the way of a woman trying to leave an abusive relationship that must first be overcome to achieve safety.
Talking about some of these factors with a support worker can help to assist you in overcoming these barriers.
Some of the reasons it may be difficult to leave may include:
Fear for safety
- Fear of what he will do when he finds out you have left.
- Fear he will carry out a threat to harm or kill you, your children or others.
- Fear he will carry out his threat to commit suicide or self-harm if you leave.
- Fear you won’t be able to take care of yourself and the children alone.
- Fear that associates (friends or family) of your partner will be looking for you
Isolation from others
- Fear of being alone or that no-one will understand or help you.
- Fear of being rejected by family and friends.
- If you are in a same sex relationship, you may fear you will be “outed” or no one will believe you.
Pressures about the children
- You believe children need two parents and don’t want to raise them alone.
- Fear of being deported or that your children will be taken out of Australia.
- You believe you cannot give the children the same lifestyle they are accustomed to.
- Fear your children will be taken from you by a welfare agency or children’s services.
Promises from your partner
- You believe that things will get better.
- You believe that no one else will love you.
- You believe others will think you are stupid for staying as long as you have.
- Your partner may agree to get help but fails to follow through
- Your partner may apologise and show emotions to get you to stay
- Your partner may buy you gifts as a way to try to make up for the abuse
Pressures from cultural or religious communities
- You want to try to keep the family together and live up to your religious commitment to remain with your partner.
- You are concerned about shame from your cultural or religious community
- You are concerned that your cultural or religious community may not understand or be supportive of your decision to leave
Pressure from family and friends to stay
- You might feel ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated and you don’t want anyone to know what is happening.
- You are financially dependent on your partner for shelter, food and other necessities and you don’t know how you would cope alone.
- You have no income to support yourself
- You are unsure if you are eligible for any government payments
- You fear you may lose your children in a ‘custody’ battle.
- You are worried about going to court and having to tell what has happened.
Concerns for safe housing / accommodation
- You may not have a safe place for you and/or your children to stay
- You may be on a lease and concerned about leaving in case of damage to property or breaching your lease.
- You may need to leave the area for safety reasons
- You may have concerns about paying your rent or mortgage on your own
- You may have concerns about how to get your personal belongings out of the property
- Your children might not want to leave the family home and you may have concerns for their safety if they were to stay with your partner but you were to leave
Concerns for pets
- You have pets in your current accommodation and are unsure what to do with them
- You are concerned that if you leave the house and leave the pets behind that the violence may then be directed at your pets
- You are concerned that your pets may be neglected or abused if they are left behind