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5 reasons women stay in abusive relationships

09 February 2015, 15:31 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi - It is hard to walk away from a toxic relationship especially when it is one that is yet to involve physical violence. Abuse manifests itself in a lot of ways can be insults, disrespect and disregard of your or your feelings.  Taking you away from what you care about; family, friends and relatives. Controlling and manipulating you but physical violence is the one that stands out. Those in such situations have a harder time getting away because there is much more involved than getting up and throwing caution to the wind. Because you do not want to and end up in the streets either.

Some women stay in abusive relationships because they are dependents. Some women stay in abusive relationships because they have nowhere to go. Some women stay in abusive relationships because they have no one to help them. Others stay because they do not know how to move away from it. Others stay because more is at stake than just them. As much as we talk about various bodies that are there to help, or a refuge for the women. It is much trickier and more grey than we care to admit and harder to decipher. For the women that are in abusive relationships, here are a few steps that can help you get started.

When you are dependent

It is much harder to get up and leave when the abuser is the one that controls the finances, so you save money secretly.We are not talking about women who are single but women who also have their children to think about and have there elderly parents who are also taken care of by the same man. It is understandable that you will not know how to get away and be able to support your family (your children)

It may be from the limited household expenses or the money allocated for you to run errands, just look for a way to get money that will help in the beginning while you look for alternatives for when you are on your own. Small withdrawals can work over a period of time too when you share an account.

Have a safe place to go

In Kenya, I am yet to hear of really good shelters for women, we may hear about organizations like FIDA but the knowledge we have of them is that they are just part time help. You will go, they may help you lawyer up and maybe find a job for the time being. It is not a given that they will be a 24/7 solution to your problem.It may also be a situation where the abuser chases you out of the house in the middle of the night or threatens to do so. Do not walk out and end up in the streets at unsavory hours. Look for a place you can rely on for you to go immediately you leave. Somewhere the abuser cannot easily reach you. It may be a friend’s place, or a relative.

Have proof of what is happening

Sometimes an abuser has two faces, the one they show you in private and the perfect one that they show outside. People can be two sided like that. At times you may even try to talk to someone about what you are going through and no one believes you. It is best if you have a confidant that you can rely on to back up your story. Have proof that your partner is abusive; it may be photos or videos whichever works. It will not only help to explain your situation to someone but it may help when you have legal issues such as divorce or custody proceedings.

Talk to someone about it

As women we can at times be very prideful and vain creatures. So we choose not to tell anyone about what we are going through until it is too late. We may also be embarrassed because we do not want to spoil the perfect image of our oh-so perfect relationship that everyone idolizes. Keep quite long enough and you may end up in a much worse situation.

It always happens again

Once a cheat, always a cheat and so once an abuser, always an abuse. Character can be hard to change especially when you tell someone of their flaws and they immediately become what you want. People know how to cover up and an abuser is one who can easily change for the time being until you do something else to set them off. Then they emerge gain. Be someone that is able to easily walk away and not cheat yourself that they have changed because it will happen next time and it will be in a much more difficult situation.

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