Day 2: Why women stay in violent relationships

Posted on 26 November 2000

Why do women stay in violent relationships?

"Have you ever been so frightened that you couldn't move? That's what it's like to be trapped in an abusive relationship." Numbed by your fears of escalating violence and economic survival, and unable to fix the problem, how do you leave?

At WAO we have found that in recent years, more and more women do not choose to stay in violent relationships, but instead lead independent lives. This is a result of the strong support and opportunities created by the community for women, so that they can lead safer lives. More than half of the women were able to go on and lead independent lives. In 1999, out of the 120 women who sought shelter at our Refuge, only 24% returned to the abusive situations.

But, generally many battered women do not give up hope that their partners or husbands will change. Most times the husband or partner will promise to change. In fact some men are exceptionally loving, attentive and kind after a violent incident, …until it starts all over again.

Women continue to love. It is the beatings they want stopped.

No matter what their decision is we must support and understand their plight.

A poem dedicated to women everywhere.


What Women Do

WOMEN have strengths that amaze men. They carry
children, they carry hardships, they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.

WOMEN have special qualities about them. They
volunteer for good causes. They are childcare workers, executives,
attorneys, stay-at-home moms, biker babes and your neighbours.

They wear suits, jeans, and they wear uniforms. They fight
for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice. They are in the front row
at Parent Teacher Associations. They vote for the person that will
do the best job for family issues.

WOMEN are honest, loyal, and forgiving. They are
smart, knowing that knowledge is power; but they still
know how to use their softer side to make a point.

WOMEN want to be the best for their family, their
friends, and themselves. They cry when their children excel and
cheer when their friends get awards.

WOMEN are happy (or cry) when they hear about a
birth or a new marriage. Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They have sorrow at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong
when they think there is no strength left.

A WOMAN'S touch can cure any ailment. They know
that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart. She can make a
romantic evening unforgettable.

WOMEN come in all sizes, in all colours and shapes.
They live in homes, apartments and cabins. They drive, fly,
walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. The heart
of a woman is what makes the world spin!

WOMEN do more than just give birth. They bring joy and hope.
They give compassion and ideals. They give moral
support to their family and friends. All they want back is a hug, a
smile and for you to do the same to people you come in contact

WOMEN have a lot to say and a lot to give. The beauty of
a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries,
or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen
from within her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the
place where love resides.

The beauty of a WOMAN is not in a facial
mole, but true beauty in a WOMAN is reflected in her soul. It is
the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and
the beauty of a woman with passing years-only grows!


Related links: Day 1

    • Read more about the meaning behind the 16-Days.
    • See Rutgers University's 16-Day Website.
    • Back to 16-Day News Index.

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