1. Why don’t you just leave?”
The most common question survivors get asked and the one behind which immense pain is hidden. Leaving an abusive relationship isn’t as simple as walking away. There are many things a victim has to consider before taking this step such as their children, finances, housing and more. Leaving an abusive relationship is the most dangerous time for a victim.
2. “Relationships aren’t perfect. All couples have problems.”
Absolutely, no relationship is perfect. However, abuse is never part of a healthy relationship, whether this is physical or emotional abuse. This isn’t a couples’ problem, rather one-sided hurtful infliction of power and control. A victim who is in an abusive relationship isn’t seeking perfection, but rather respect, dignity and a life free of abuse.
3. “How can you let him treat you like that? I would never let this happen to me.”
Another harmful response is to blame and stereotype the victim. Domestic violence is a global issue and is not bound to any particular types of people. It can happen to anyone.
4. “He always seems so nice though! He really doesn’t seem that way to me.”
Victims of domestic violence are often embarrassed by what is happening and this is another phrase that doesn’t help the victim’s suffering. Perpetrators of domestic violence aren’t usually abusive in public and perfectly pleasant to everyone else around them. They can be very charming and well-liked by others, which can be blinding.
5. “I never liked him anyway. We all told you something was up.”
Even though you may have sensed something was wrong, abuse can build overtime for a victim. Perpetrators of abuse don’t suddenly become abusive, it’s a slow, blinding and complex process that happens overtime and can be hard to believe.