"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.
Fear / threats of murder or suicide
Abuse may get worse
Threats to “out” partner
Love / hope for change
Embarrassed / ashamed
Lack of resources
Culture / family / religion
Don’t know it’s abuse
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