If the domestic violence is so bad why doesn't he/she just leave?


Many ask this question. Below, survivor of 17 years domestic violence, Deb Thomson, sheds light. Reasons can be varied and complex from situation to situation. And, there’s more to Deb’s story than what’s below. But reading this is starting point in understand why some people stay in abusive relationships.


“This book is an attempt to explain what is perhaps the unexplainable: why the abuse I was subjected to didn't compel me to leave particularly in the beginning, when it should have been so much easier to leave. Most people outside of abusive relationships, will wonder why a person who is being abused stays in such a relationship and, when or if they leave, why they sometimes return.

I can only say that Wayne exerted a form of brainwashing on me which caused me to believe that staying was the best and only option available to me at the time. Coupled with that belief was my natural introversion, naivety, social anxiety and shyness around others, all of which left me vulnerable to an unscrupulous man with mental problems of his own.


While I chose to remain, he also chose to continue abusing me, and regardless of whether I stayed or left, nothing mitigates or excuses his reprehensible behaviour. Having mentioned mental illness I will reiterate that having a mental illness IS NOT AN EXCUSE for abusing another. The mental illness may, though not necessarily so, exacerbate the need to abuse but it is not the driver of abuse. The reason abusers abuse is because they need to control and have power over their intimate partner.

Abusers choose to abuse and they have no right to abuse under any circumstance.

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