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Women in Abusive Marital Relationships Thesis Statement Even though most people think it is inappropriate to stay in abusive marital relationships, some women still prefer not to leave and endure all kinds of pain because of several reasons. Outline: I. Women in Abusive Marital Relationships A. Relevance of the Issue B. Cases of abused women in several parts of the world. C. Purpose of the Research II. Reasons why most women choose to stay in abusive relationships A. Emotional Connection B. Financial Dependency C. Fear D. Family Values and Social Acceptance E. Love for spouse III. Reasons why most women choose to leave in abusive relationships A. Realizing physical abuse B. Recovering from emotional abuse C. Independence/freedom D. Domestic effects on children



Women in Abusive Marital Relationships

In the United States, a woman is battered every nine seconds by her male partner (Women in distress, 2010). It is frequently neglected that women are being abused in relationships. They say it is only a womens issue. However, it is a fact that it does not only affect women but likewise their fathers, brothers and even their children. It is a societal problem, hence, it should not be neglected (Richards, 2001a). Women abuse does not only happen in one part of the world. 19 % of women were victimized by their intimate partners in the United States in 2003, a greater rate than men which is only 3 % (Annan, 2000). In the Philippines, 1,100 to 7,383 cases of women abuse were reported to the Philippine National Police (PNP) from 1996 to 2004. Women violence is happening at an alarming rate. According to UNIFEM, 6 out of every 10 women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime around the world. The purpose of this research is to cater awareness about women in abusive marital relationships in order to make proper actions to provide adequate solutions regarding this serious societal issue. Even though most people think it is inappropriate to stay in abusive relationships, some women still prefer not to leave and endure all kinds of pain because of several reasons. It is not because these women like to be abused that they prefer to stay. To have a clearer understanding on this, let us first analyze and understand the reasons why most women choose to stay in abusive relationships. And then, let us comprehend why there are some women who choose to leave in abusive relationships. Although women are aware of the great dangers they can get when they continue to stay in abusive relationships, they still believe that it is better to stay because of several reasons. First

and foremost, women are emotionally weak. Second, they are financially dependent from their husbands. Third, they fear their male partners. Fourth, they give importance to family values and social acceptance. And lastly, they still love their male partners no matter what. One reason why some women choose not to leave is because of emotional factors and connections. Most abused women blame themselves for all the bad things which are happening in their family. They think that it is also their fault why their male partners are abusing them. Guilt hinders them from leaving their abusive male partners. They become emotional that they do not want to leave their male partners no matter how cruel they are to them. Moreover, other contrasting feelings such as embarrassment, fear and love for the abusive partner are also felt. They carry with them their hopes that someday, their abusive partners may change directions and may end their abuses. Likewise, their self esteem is destroyed and so they no longer believe that they can do anything on their own (Githinji, 2011). Aside from emotional factor, one of the biggest reasons why most women choose to stay in abusive relationships is because of financial dependency. Many women who are abused by their male partners are completely reliant on the abuser for financial and economic support (Moore, 2011). They usually think that getting through after they desert their husbands is a hard thing to do (Peck, 2005). Most women if not all are plain housewives. It means that they do not earn something because they have got no job. All their expenses are from their husbands pockets because the male partner is usually the one who takes care of the familys finances. They are likewise hindered by the fear that: if they attempt to leave their husbands, they would not survive because of the lack of financial resources in order to start with. In the cases where there are children, most women think that it would be better to sacrifice for the sake of their childrens future. If abused women leave their homes, the education of their children will be compromised

because of the incapability of the mother to send her children to school due to financial problems (Richards, 2001b). . So she stays to put food in her children's mouths, to educate them and to take care of them. In cases where women have jobs, they fear that they might lose their jobs when their employers find out because of discrimination (Githnji, 2011). So they grin and bear it, thinking there is no hope but to endure for the sake of their own and their children's survival (Woods, 2011). Another thing is fear. Most abused women have fears in leaving their abusive husbands. They fear their abusive partners because they think that if they try to leave, it will just worsen the scenario if they get caught. Most abused women are threatened by their husbands. Threats are used as an effective technique to keep someone in a relationship, which is the goal of the abuser. A woman may have been told over and over that if she leaves the relationship, terrible things will happen to her. He may have convinced her that no matter where she goes, he will find her and never leave her alone, or he may have threatened to kill her, the children and himself (Penia, 2003). Even though they know that they have authorities to report their cases, they feel afraid because they think that it would only create more trouble (Peck 2005). It has been recently proven in a research that women who try to leave are usually followed for months and weeks and finally murdered (Githinji, 2011). Most women do not leave their abusive husbands because of family values and social acceptance. Women believe that the family should stay together for the sake of the children. They think that it does not look good for their children to have a broken family background. Many reasons why women stay in abusive relationships surround the issue of children. They want their children to grow up seeing their father (Githinji, 2011). Surprisingly, the family may refuse to believe that there is abuse in the relationship. Abusers can appear to be very charming

and likable to outsiders (Penia, 2003). Women are pressured to stay despite of the violence against them because of the religious or cultural beliefs of some families (Penia, 2003). Furthermore, when some women leave because of domestic violence, they suffer a social stigma from their peers as being irresponsible. In order to avoid the feeling of being an outcast, they simply stay in the relationship (Woods, 2011). Another thing is the love of women for their male partners. Love is not something which disappears so quickly. Sometimes, no matter how harsh the person is, you continue to love him/ her. That is simply why most abused women choose not to leave because they still love their husbands (Heart 2 heart, 2010). Most women think that the abusive nature of their partners is just an expression of showing how they love them. There are times when women are blinded by love that no matter how drastic things may get, they will never leave their husbands because they love them. He may even 'love' her so much that he will threaten to kill himself whenever she tries to leave him and make herself a new life without him. (Richards, 2001b) A woman usually wants her relationship to work and is willing to hang in there waiting and hoping things will improve. She may believe the promises and explanations her partner offers and may feel she can't simply give up on the relationship because of a "few problems" (Penia, 2003). Despite of the many reasons why women choose to stay n abusive relationships, there are still those who think that they should leave in abusive relationships. Abused women realize that they should not be abused. They learn how to be brave enough to fight for their rights as women. Some women are able to realize physical abuse, recover from emotional abuse, long for freedom or independence, and think of the effects of their situations to their children. Abused women realize that they do not deserve to be physically abused. They finally realize that they have certain rights such as here in the Philippines, the Violence against Women

Act, and the Magna Carta of Women. They are also able to realize that their physical pain may serve as a great evidence to prove that their male partners are guilty of abusing them. Women realize that safety is the top priority. Violence is never acceptable and that there is no excuse in the world for violence, constant nit picking or verbal bullying. Women also learn that if they are physically frightened of their abusive partners, then they make sure other people are close by when they finally split (Getting the courage, nd.). Another is when a woman recovers from emotional abuse. But recovering from emotional abuse does not only happen in an instant. Boosting self-esteem is a hard thing to do especially when you have just been emotionally abused. Self-esteem completely affects our lives. When a woman has finally recovered from emotional abuse, her self-esteem is boosted. She does not take all of her partners hurtful words seriously. She no longer blames herself why her male partner is hurting her (Barrs, 2009). Women finally realize that an abusive relationship is not a relationship at all. A true relationship is mutually supportive and encouraging. You don't attack one another's personalities, and hurt ones emotions (Getting the courage, nd.). Another is when abused women are tired of being dependent from their male partners. Abused women become tired of being abused. They get to realize that they need not to sacrifice and have fears. They are not blinded anymore by their husbands excuses. Abused women want to be free from different kinds of abuses and sufferings. They want a normal life again. They become strong and brave to face all the consequences of leaving their abusive husbands. The women now want to become independent and free (Marriage Divorce, 2010). They are finally awakened from being brainwashed into thinking that they cannot function without their abusive partners. They make the thought of finishing their agony in the hands of their abusive husbands. They remember that they are not a punching bag or someone to be 'put straight' by anyone else

and that it is already time to escape the abusive relationship because they have been made to feel inadequate, useless and fearful (Getting the courage, nd.). Last is when women become concerned of the effects of their situations to their children. When children are greatly affected, abused wives want to do something in order to get them out of the situation. Research shows that A young girl who witnesses her mother being abused has an increased chance of being in an abusive relationship as an adult. A young boy who grows up watching this type of behavior is much more likely to become an abusive partner himself. Women do not like this is a cycle to continue in her own children (Ocala, 2002-2011). They realize that children become greatly affected in an abusive relationship situation. Children are traumatized by witnessing violence in their family. Both men and women who come from abusive homes may come to view the violence they have witnessed as normal, and carry it into their own relationships as adults. The abused woman will often leave because she realizes her children are being adversely affected by living in an abusive atmosphere (Penia, 2003). To conclude this, there are equal reasons why some women choose to stay or leave in abusive marital relationships. Leaving in an abusive relationship is never easy. A woman must make up her mind if she will just endure all kinds of pain or fight for her rights. Even though some people cannot understand why abused women still prefer to stay, abused women think that they know what is best for them. The reasons why they should stay make more sense for them. These are mere reasons as to why some women choose to stay or leave in abusive marital relationships. And some may even be unable to articulate just why they do stay and suffer or just leave. The truth is, unless we speak from personal experience or close connection to the issue, we can never really know. And that is why it is best to offer help and understanding without prejudice or judgment.

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