Fear. Often abusers threaten to hurt or kill their victim or the victim’s family if she leaves. Having been through abuse at his hands herself, she has no reason to question if he will follow through. Terrified that her bid for freedom could result in injuries to her loved ones, she feels that she has to stay to protect them.
Uncertainty. Women who have lived with abusers have a very low self esteem. Thanks to his insults, disrespect and cruelty she feels as if she is unworthy of being loved. Afraid that she will never find someone else and be forced to spend her life alone, she chooses to stay.
Children. When kids are involved a woman is more likely to stay than if there were none. She may be afraid that she can not raise them on her own if she left. He may have told her that he would not let her take them. If his abuse doesn’t spill over onto the children, she may stay because she does not want to deprive them of a father.
Finances. A large percentage of women who are abused do not hold a job outside the home. Her spouse controls the money, checking account and everything else. With no access to get-away cash, and the prospect of trying to find someone to hire her if she does leave, can be too overwhelming.
Love. As outlandish as it may sound, most of these women still love their abuser. He isn’t abusive all the time. He can be loving, sweet talking and very convincing with apologies. Flowers, jewelry and promises that the abuse will never happen again lure her into staying. Giving him chance after chance.
Dysfunction. Many women who get involved with abusers have psychological issues from a troubled past. She may have been abused as a child. She may have been sexually abused. These things may make her feel unclean and not worthy of someone better. So she subconsciously seeks out the men who will treat her as she feels she deserves to be treated.
A woman who stays with her abuser could be doing so due to one, or a mixture of the reasons above. You will never truly be able to understand unless you have been victimized yourself.