Why Don’t Abused Women Leave?

It shocks and saddens me that the rate of domestic abuse in Australia is as prevalent as it is. When I created a private support forum for domestic abuse on BellyBelly, I did not expect it would be as utilised as it was. How could so much abuse be going on?

The 2012 Personal Safety Survey published by the Australian Bureau of statistics revealed that 467,300 Australian women had experienced physical or sexual violence in the 12 months before the survey. Pretty staggering and sobering figures.

Australia’s 18-24 Year Olds Most Vulnerable To Violence

According to the Personal Safety Survey:

  • Women aged 18-24 years and 25-34 years were more likely, compared to all women, to have experienced violence in the 12 months prior to the survey.
  • An estimated 13% of the 1,072,000 women aged 18-24 years had experienced violence in the 12 months prior to the survey and an estimated 8.1% of the 1,625,500 women aged 25-34 years had experienced violence in the 12 months prior to the survey compared to 5.3% of all women.

This means that the women who are most likely to be starting their families or who already have children are at the highest risk of experiencing violence, most likely in the family home.

Why Aren’t These Women Leaving?

The first thing most people think is, ‘why don’t abused women leave?’ Clearly they are being hurt, some seriously, so why don’t they just leave the terrible person and move on?

Its not as simple as that – and assumptions only undermine the important role we all have to play in helping to prevent domestic violence. Some people stereotype these sorts of women as silly, unintelligent women with low self esteem. But domestic violence doesn’t discriminate.

The touching, emotional 16-minute video below answers exactly why abused women find it so hard to leave – and how you can help with the battle against the disgrace that is domestic violence. Please share and spread the word.



Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a writer, doula (trained in 2005), and a mother of three awesome children. She's passionate about informing and educating fellow thinking parents and parents-to-be, especially about all the things she wishes she knew before she had her firstborn. Kelly is also passionate about travel, tea, travel, and animal rights and welfare. And travel.

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