Hippo Manchester
August 11, 2005

 Navigation

   Home Page

   Hippo Nashua

 News & Features

   News

   Features

 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note

   Boomers

   Pinings

 Pop Culture

   Film

   TV

   DVD

   Books
   CD Reviews
   DVD Reviews

 Living

   Food

   Wine

   Grazing Guide

 Music

   Articles

   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts

 Arts

   Theater

   Art

 Find A Hippo

   Manchester

   Nashua

 Classifieds

   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad

 Advertising

   Advertising

   Rates

 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo


Dear Sherry,

There have been a couple of letters lately about abusive relationships. I was taught when I was young that you never let anyone lay a hand on you. I just donít get why these women donít leave. I know thatís a question that people ask all the time Ö but I really donít understand what would make anyone stay with someone who would hit.

- Barri

Dear Barri,

I think itís safe to say that most women who have been hit have said the same thing you just said. It is obviously different when you find yourself in those situations.

I did some volunteering for an organization that helped women out of these relationships. One thing to remember is that most women arenít hit or verbally abused on the first date. Clearly, weíd all leave after that. Itís a slow progression. Often, by the time the abuse escalates, the victim is enmeshed in the relationship. She might own a home with her abuser, she might have children with him, she may be financially dependent on him. And obviously, sheís emotionally invested. All of those factors make it more difficult to leave.

Another reason why women might not leave the abusive relationship is that the nature of these relationships tends to be cyclical. A violent incident happens, then things calm down. The relationship feels safe again and it feels like there is hope that things will improve. Just like a ferris wheel, the ride goes up and then down ó then up again. The victim usually gets just enough of the good stuff to stay and believe that things will change. Without some kind of intervention (police, therapy, etc.), things rarely change.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. Contact her via e-mail at sah103@hotmail.com.