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We may be afraid to leave if we believe our immigration status is dependent on the "good will" of the batterer.
If we have been living with abuse for a long time we may be so worn down emotionally that we simply can't imagine a way out. I was given little pills to relax me and told to take things easier.
EVERY WOMAN DESERVES TO HAVE HER STORY TAKEN SERIOUSLY.
Children who do not see their mothers abused but who hear her screams and crying, the abuser's threats, sounds of the impact of fists hitting flesh, glass breaking, wood splintering, or cursing and degrading language do witness the abuse.
People whom we turn to for support--clergy, police, friends, family--may be uninformed about battering and may not take the situation seriously.
We may know about the existence of shelters for battered women but may feel that moving to a shelter in a new neighborhood or city will cause too much upheaval for us or for our children (who may have to change schools while we take shelter).
It is easy to understand how we might find ourselves in relationships with men who abuse us verbally and physically. Many men who batter grew up witnessing their fathers abusing their mothers; they may well have been physically or sexually abused as children.
They often came of age in families where male dominance was never questioned and where physical punishment "in the name of love" was accepted.
Children of battered women are very likely to be battered themselves.
They live in constant fear and are often torn physically and emotionally between their adult caretakers: they may develop severe physical and emotional responses to the violence, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.