Why Women Remain In Abusive Relationships And What


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  • In order to gain a better understanding of why women remain in abusive relationships every explanation that could impact that decision must be examined and then once this is determined preventative measure can begin to be created and implemented. Some women in abusive relationships are convinced that they have no choice but to remain with their abusive partner.
  • There are many factors that contribute to a women’s decision to leave their abusive partner and more research is being conducted on the factors that encourage a women to leave. As far as intervention is concerned, a recent study concluded that only 42 percent of women that have been hit once have sought any form of intervention, such as calling the police or staying in a shelter (Herbert et al, 1991).
  • There are so many children everyday that witness violence within their home. They are raised in hostile environments where they live in fear for themselves and for the mothers. Often times the violence can spill over onto the child by either the father or even sometimes the mothers.
  • Exposure at most ages can result in post traumatic stress symptoms and a greater risk of violent behavior in the future. Studies of murders, child abusers, and violent spouses show a correlation between exposures to violence as a child and being a violent adult, the exposure to violence provided a “role model” for violence (Herbert et al, 1991).
  • Why Women Remain In Abusive Relationships And What

    1. 1. Brandy A. Simpson Argosy University Why Women Remain in Abusive Relationships and What are the Risks Factors Associated with Children Gaining Exposure to Violence Through Parental Conflict?
    2. 2. <ul><li>What factors cause a woman to remain in an abusive relationship? If the abused woman has a child, what kind of effect does exposure to the violence have on the child? These are two questions that remain without a clear and defined answer although scientists have recently become interested in the widespread cases of wife abuse, trying to find a commonality on why this behavior is accepted by so many women. </li></ul><ul><li>Does race play a role? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the women’s age play a role? </li></ul><ul><li>Does culture play a role? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the existence and number of children make a difference? </li></ul><ul><li>How does economic status impact a women’s decision? </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>What lead women to the decision to leave an abusive spouse? </li></ul><ul><li>Research suggests that women that have been in violent relationships in the past are more likely to leave a current violent relationship (Strube & Barbour, 1984). </li></ul><ul><li>Minority are more likely to leave abusive partners then Caucasian women because minority seem to have more stable support systems and higher levels of self esteem (Strube & Barbour, 1984). </li></ul><ul><li>A wife will leave her abusive partner when she can no longer believe her husband will change and can not continue to forgive his violence. </li></ul><ul><li>The less dependent the wife feels and the more resources she has available, the more likely she is to leave her husband (Gelles, 1976). </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Other victims of domestic violence are the children that witness it </li></ul><ul><li>Defining and measuring children’s exposure to violence is key in the research of children living in violent homes. </li></ul><ul><li>Children exposed to violence often display apprehensive, aberrant, withdrawn, and nervous behavior (Osofsky et al, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Osofsky et al, (2004) states that the behaviors that exposure to violence leads to is dependent upon the age the child is when the trauma occurs, the child’s personality, and environment. </li></ul><ul><li>More research must be conducted on hoe exposure to violence, particularly domestic violence, affects children and what factors encourage children’s resilience. </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>It is possible for children to gain exposure to violence from the womb; a fetus can be affected by the mothers terrorized state (Holden, 2003). </li></ul><ul><li>Infants and toddlers who witness violence show signs of increases irritability, immature behavior, sleep disturbances, emotional distress, fear of being alone, and regression(Osofsky et al, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>Preschool and school aged children exposed to violence are less likely to explore and play and show less motivation for exploring their environment (Osofsky et al, 2004). </li></ul><ul><li>School aged children who have witnessed some sort of violence have a hard time staying focused on school work because of thoughts regarding violence. </li></ul>
    6. 6. This research topic is very important as it not only provides a greater understanding of domestic violence and it’s impact on children but with greater knowledge of this subject more action can be taken to create preventative measures to decrease the incidence of domestic violence. As a result of exploring this topic more in the future, we will be able to develop more accurate theories as to why women remain in such relationships, thus bringing us closer to preventing more and more children from witnessing, being a victim of, and possibly even participating in violent and abusive behaviors and relationships.
    7. 7. In conclusion, the topic of why women remain in abusive relationships is the first question that has puzzled researchers for sometime but in addition to this question consideration must also be given to how exposure to domestic violence impacts the children that witness it. Women stay in abusive relationships for a variety of reasons, with the result that children involved become exposed to violence at an early age.
    8. 8. References Wolfe, D., Korsch, B. (1994). Witnessing domestic violence during childhood and Adolescence. Implication for pediatric practice. Pediatrics, 94(4), 594-600. Retrieved on September 16, 2009 from Academic Search Complete. Mbilinyi, L., Eldeson, J., Hagemesister, A., Beeman, S. (2007). What happens to children when their mothers are battered? Results from a four city anonymous telephone survey. Journal of Family Violence, 22(5), 309-317. Retrieved on September 17, 2009 from Academic Search Complete. Gelles, R., (1976). Abused wives: why do they stay. Journal of Marriage and the Family , 38(4), 659-656. Retrieved on September 19, 2009 from ProQuest. Giles-Sims, J. (1985). A longitudinal study of battered children of battered women. Family Relations, 34, (2), 205-210. Retrieved on September 16, 2009 from Proquest. Herbert, T., Silver, R., Ellard, J. (1991). Coping with an abusive relationship. Journal of Marriage and Family, 53(2), 311-322. Retrieved on September 14, 2009 from ProQuest. Holden, G. (2003). Children exposed to domestic violence and child abuse: Terminology and taxonomy. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 6(3). Retrieved on September 18, 2009 from AcademicSearchComplete. Osofsky, J., Rovaris, M., Hammer, J., Dickson, A., (2004). Working with the police to help children exposed to violence. Journal of Community Psychology, 32(5), 593-606. Retrieved on September 19, 2009 from Academic Search Complete. Strube, M., Barbour, L. (1984). Factors related to the decision to leave and abusive Relationship. Journal of Marriage and Family, 46(4), 837-843. Retrieved on September 19, 2009 from ProQuest.