Why domestic violence victims don’t leave

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“Why doesn’t she just leave?”

It’s a question that people ask all the time of women that are living with an abuser: living in a relationship shrouded by domestic violence.

I have asked that question myself of other women, “Why doesn’t she just leave him?”.

Yesterday I found the answer. I was surfing YouTube and I found this powerful video and I had to share it with you. (Please watch the video below)

In America, one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Similarly, in Australia, one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them.

So I had to share this video because statistics show that YOU know someone who is in or has been in a violent relationship. Maybe YOU are living with domestic violence yourself.

I had to share it because knowledge is power and if we understand the process of how women fall into a violent situation from which they struggle to leave, we can figure out how we can help and support them. 

I had to share this video because the speaker, Leslie Morgan Steiner, is a courageous, intelligent, beautiful woman and her story while heartbreaking is also so inspirational. Leslie goes through the step-by-step process of how women come to find themselves in a violent relationship and why they don’t leave. But she also shows that victims of domestic violence can rebuild their lives and go on to have happy, healthy relationships and create a joyous life.

I ask YOU, please share this with other women. As the statistics show, chances are YOU know someone who is in an abusive relationship. YOU may not know it, they may not realise it. As Leslie says, she didn’t think of herself as a battered wife…even though she was viciously beaten weekly and had a gun put to her head numerous times.

By sharing this video post, a woman somewhere may see it and it may help give her the courage and confidence to leave an abusive relationship herself.

Remember, abuse survives only in silence.

Mel xx

Melissa Histon

Photographer, philanthropist, adventurer, blogger, avid permitter and social changer, Melissa Histon is a woman on a mission to make a real difference to the lives of women globally. Melissa spent 10 years working in the corporate world before leaving to establish a successful photography business. After experiencing a number of life-altering events, Melissa created The Sista Code in May 2014 with a dream to see women empowered, happy and connected. Whether it's building a house for the homeless in Nepal, interviewing inspiring women from around the globe, or creating events and campaigns to support sistas escaping domestic violence, Melissa knows that true change can only happen when we all stand together and boost each other.


  1. Michelle

    August 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I was seduced and charmed and isolated too, by a narcissist who started out adoring me and sharing stories and asking all about my family and childhood. He was charmingly convincing to not only me but my family and friends too. Over many years he slowly started undermining me, criticising me, controlling me, lying to me as he serial philandered. I didn’t know he was abusing me. I loved him. But the police told me he was an emotional abuser, and that that alone, without physical abuse, is actually Domestic Violence. There is a great blog by Dana on her website “Narcissists Support”. Thank you for sharing this. It is valuable education.

    • Melissa Histon

      Melissa Histon

      August 6, 2015 at 1:59 am

      Thank YOU for sharing your story and feedback. The more people talk about their experiences, the more women who are caught in the domestic violence web will know they are not alone and have the courage to take the steps to get of that situation! Mel xx

  2. Julie

    May 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    This is such a powerful video and my heart goes out to her for what she has endured. So many people just can’t understand why women / men stay in these relationships….
    For the last 7 years I have been in a relationship where not a day goes by that I haven’t felt like leaving. My story is very different. There are no bruises or physical signs of abuse. Mine has been a story of emotional abuse which over a long period of time your self esteem and confidence slowly evaporate before you even realise it has happened.
    Our relationship used to be fabulous. Everyone envied the love that we shared and wanted what we had but over a period of time all that was just for show in front of others. My life at home was completely different. It started with the isolation from friends, then proceeded to devaluation and got to the stage where I no longer felt worthy of anything. So why haven’t I left?….I have a beautiful daughter whom I love with all my heart and the thought of him having her for overnight access and long periods of time scares me so much that I thought I could persevere until she was grown up but I have finally realised I can’t. I am hoping today is the start of a new and beautiful stage of our lives. I realise that the worst thing that I can show my daughter is that this type of love is acceptable and what she should aspire to when she is older. I have to trust in the process, and know that she will be protected. Making the break is the hardest part. I know that life is going to get better.

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