It’s easy for someone who’s never been in a relationship with an abusive partner to say, “If anyone ever abused me, I’d leave and never look back.” It’s the logical response and one we all hope we would implement.
But when faced with the actual, real-life scenario of being in a relationship with an abusive partner, a partner we may genuinely love, on whom we depend financially or with whom we share a home or children, the decision to leave and never return is often easier said than done. Not only is it hard to live through such a scenario, it’s also difficult to be an outsider, watching a loved one go back even once to a person who abuses them.
So, what can we do when someone we know makes the decision to return to an abuser? for starters, the last thing a support person should do is pass judgment. Bottom of Form
“Think about it: Does this person really want to be with an abusive partner?” Spoiler alert, the answer is no, says Moore. “There’s an underlying reason they return.” They may be financially dependent on the person and unable to find a job, or they may need a place to live. They could be a victim of stalking or psychological abuse and afraid for their safety if they don’t return. If you want to be truly supportive, “First, find out what obstacles they may be facing, then encourage them to try to overcome them.”