Some people are often scared to leave abusive relationships, but why?

Often the reasons are fear, embarrassment or love, according to loveisrespect.org.

People are fearful about leaving a relationship because they are worried about what they’re partner might do to them if they decide to leave.

Some can be embarrassed to leave an abusive relationship because they are worried that they will be judged because they were involved with someone abusive, even if it really wasn’t their fault.

People can also stay in abusive relationships because they don’t want to leave their partner. They remember the good times they had and have this lingering hope that the person will change.

Hailey Reynolds was a young adult who was also scared to leave her abusive partner. (Names have been changed due to the sensitivity of the topic).

Things were going well for a while until she noticed some big warning signs.

“He pressured me into the first time we had sex,” said Reynolds. “One time I told him I wanted to dye my hair and he told me that he won’t let me because he liked my hair the way it was. I wasn’t allowed to hangout with my friends without him there.”

But she stayed.

He finally took her to a party that consisted of some of his friends and pressured her to get drunk. She agreed because in her mind, they were in love and if you love someone, you do what they tell you to do.

“He handed me a cup of what looked like beer and I had some,” said Reynolds. “I’ve had alcohol before and two sips of beer does not knock me out, but I felt really sleepy so I went to go lay down on a bed. I woke up to him forcing himself on me.”

He then proceeded to rape her.

“The next day I told him about what he did and he told me that no one would believe me,” said Reynolds. “I was so scared of leaving him that I stayed and he [raped me] a couple more times.”

Eventually, Reynolds left her partner. But after the relationship ended, he proceeded to send her death threats and show up at her apartment and workplace.

“I finally filed a restraining order and haven’t been bothered since,” said Reynolds.

Fear can be the cause of a lot of extensive abusive situations such as this one.

Reynolds describes some of the warning signs she feels she should have been more aware of:

“I would say warning signs are when they become to controlling over other aspects of life that bring you joy such as friends and family, when you notice yourself asking them if it’s okay to dye your hair,” said Reynolds. “There is definitely a difference between asking someone’s opinion and asking for permission. Like, it’s your hair, not theirs.”

Recognizing when respect is present and when it is not is a huge help in detecting an abusive relationship or whether the relationship will turn abusive.

It’s important to think of yourself, your needs and your wants, especially in the beginning of a relationship.

If your partner does not express interest in what you want or try to make life happier or easier for you, you are not with the right person.

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