Many of us have viewed the Janay Palmer video. So often in domestic violence cases, the woman and/or victim is often rendered invisible and silent. Rather than acknowledge the abuser, I wish to focus on the survivor of spousal domestic abuse.
One question that I have often heard in various circles and read online since the release of the video is, “Why didn’t she leave the marriage?” Female survivors of domestic violence are often stereotyped, judged, and misunderstood. The safety of silence, fear of blame, judgment, denial of financial resources, safety of children, and losing one’s life are immensely powerful reasons as to why the abused remain rooted within this cycle of violence.
I found this powerful TED video Leslie Morgan Steiner, a survivor of domestic violence. She tells the dark story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explaining how we can all help break the silence.
“Because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is to kill her. Over 70 percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she’s gotten out, because then the abuser has nothing left to lose.”
Please comment if you find Leslie’s story helpful.