Domestic Violence, Uncategorized

Why She Doesn’t Just Leave by Mina R Raulston

One of the most common questions people ask when domestic violence is discussed is, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be posting about the many reasons why a woman, or a man, doesn’t “just leave’.

For this first post, I’m going to start with a response I heard from a survivor in a video for a domestic violence awareness training video with our local shelter.

In the video, we learned that the woman lived in an apartment complex with her abuser (not sure if they were married or not). They were constantly fighting and one day she and the man were in the parking lot, and he was making quite a spectacle about mistreating her verbally and physically. Another tenant taped them. He gave the tape to the apartment manager and proceeded to insist that the couple be evicted because they were disturbing the peace of the complex. The interviewer asked the woman the predictable question. “Why didn’t she just leave?”

I loved the woman’s response. “Why should I have to leave? He is the one who broke the law. I was the victim of his assault. He should be the one to leave.” And she is right. That’s what society seems to forget. Whether it is a stranger on the street or the person you share a home with when one person physically assaults another person its a crime. Assault is against the law. The person who commits the assault should go to jail. The victim should not have to leave their own home and go hide somewhere to be safe.

Now, I know from experience this is not always possible. So, my future blogs will discuss other reasons why a person experiencing abuse do not “just leave”.


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