Understanding why men stay in abusive relationships or remain silent...
Do any of these questions sound familiar? "Why don't you
leave if it's that bad?" or "How can you let this happen?" or "If I was you I wouldn't put up with that." or how about the king of asinine questions... "
Why don't you just kick her out? "
By asking those questions or making those statements, friends and family members are re-victimizing us. Not having been abused, they have absolutely no idea what it's like to feel totally worthless and ashamed.
Their self-esteem has not been stomped into the floor. They have not been clawed, stabbed, slapped, punched, kicked in the groin, humiliated and degraded. They do not understand how the whole process of abuse gradually deteriorates soul and self... piece by piece.
Only those of us who are being abused can understand why we've stayed. We have a million reasons why we can't stay and million reasons why we can't leave.
Why battered men don't leave or remain silent:
Fear of having a 911 call turned around: If a man is being
battered and trying to protect the kids, and he calls 911, all too frequently he is the one who ends up being arrested. At a minimum, he may experience problems getting the police to believe that he's been assaulted or that he needs police
"Men are also less likely to call the police, even when there is injury, because, like women, they feel shame about disclosing family violence. But for many men, the shame is compounded by the shame of not being able to keep their wives under control. Among this group, a "real man" would be able to keep her under control.
Moreover, the police tend to share these same traditional gender role expectations. This adds to the legal and regulatory presumption that the offender is a man. As a result, the police are reluctant to arrest women for domestic assault. Women know this. That is, they know they are likely to be able to get away with it. As in the case of other crimes, the probability of a woman assaulting her partner is strongly influenced by what she thinks she can get away with. " -
Murray A. Straus - Family Violence