"Why don't you just leave?"

Leaving an abusive relationship is not easy, nor is it always safe. Before we tell a friend being abused to “Just leave,” we must ensure their safety and readiness to make that decision.

Learning why someone stays is a major part of being a supportive friend.



Why Stay?

  • Isolation

  • Fear / threats of murder or suicide

  • Abuse may get worse

  • Threats to “out” partner

  • Love / hope for change

  • Embarrassed / ashamed

  • Lack of resources

  • Normalized violence

  • Culture / family / religion

  • Don’t know it’s abuse

  • Victim blaming

  • Financial dependency

  • Gender expectations

  • “Can handle”

  • Immigrant status

  • This may be their first relationship

  • Adults / parents may not know they’re dating

  • Teen relationships are seen as “puppy love”

  • Violence isn’t taken serious

  • In Hawai’i, teens lack confidentiality and rights

  • Must be 18 to file for a TRO


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