Why it’s difficult leaving an abusive relationship 

Having an abusive partner can do a lot of damage to you and your self-esteem. It’s also easy for someone who is not in your situation to ask “why don’t you just leave?” – without realising how hard it is. Here are 5 reasons why it’s difficult leaving an abusive relationship. 


Leaving an abusive partner is not easy because your life might be at risk and the abuser might threaten to cause more harm to you or your loved ones. Many of the femicide cases that made it to the news were of women who tried to leave their abusive partners, and unfortunately – they didn’t make it. If you are afraid, although it can be difficult it is important to find help. An abusive partner is still a huge threat to you even in the relationship. I’ve linked to helpful numbers at the end of this article. 

The ride or die mindset

Many people believe that abuse is normal in relationships and that their partner being abusive doesn’t mean that they don’t love or care for them. This ride or die mindset is dangerous and toxic because your partner can definitely love you without causing any harm to you. 


Usually, when someone reports abuse, they’re most likely going to be asked what they did that led to them getting assaulted. This is called victim blaming – another reason why people stay in abusive relationships. I mean, if people justify why you got abused in the first place, then you might not see a reason to leave your abuser. This type of thinking is harmful to you. It’s never your fault if your partner abuses you. 

Blaming yourself

Abusers are very manipulative and they might convince you that it’s your fault that they’re hurting you. This makes it easy for you to believe that you did something wrong and you deserve to be punished – which is not true at all. You deserve a loving, healthy relationship – no matter what. 

Hoping that they’ll change 

Loving someone means that you want the best for them, and sometimes leaving them during difficult times might feel like you’re giving up on them when you should be sticking around to help them change. Remember, it’s difficult to change an abusive person’s behaviour if they don’t want to change. 

Society has normalised domestic abuse which makes reporting it hard for the victim. Someone who is being abused needs all the help they can get and outside judgement just makes it more difficult to leave. If you know someone who is being abused, instead of showing judgement, show your support by being #DoneWithSilence. If you. Or someone you know, is being abused you can contact the following numbers for assistance: 

POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse): 011 642 4345/6

Stop Gender Violence helpline: 0800-150-150

LifeLine South Africa: 0861-322-322

SAPS: 10111

Remember, if you or a friend need someone to talk to, you can speak to me for advice or help here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).