Filling a need

Experts say a domestic abuse victim will, on average, try seven times to leave an abusive partner before making that final break.

What makes it so difficult to leave someone who hurts you?

Robin Cleeland, chair of the social work department at Dalton State College, says psychological factors can make it difficult. But she says that practical reasons can also make partners, especially women, reluctant to leave an abuser.

“There have been studies that ask victims why they remained. And what they say is lack of money. Lack of a place to go. Sometimes a perceived lack of support from police. Lack of support from medical people,” she said. “There’s a fear of harm to one’s self of children. They worry he will find her and hurt her. It’s especially difficult in a relatively rural area to find a new residence where you can’t be found. At least, that’s the perspective of many victims.”

That’s why the Dalton area is fortunate to have the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center, which provides free shelter, child care, crisis intervention, safety planning, support groups and health and mental health services for victims of domestic violence.

No one should have to stay with an abuser because they fear homelessness or even greater violence if they leave.

The center’s hotline is (706) 278-5586.

If you are in an abusive relationship and want out please give them a call. And if you know someone who needs help, give them that number.

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