Barriers victims face when escaping

Published 2:43 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2018

By Angela Roughton

Community Advocate

Inner Banks Hotline

Victims face many barriers when trying to leave their abuser and find safety. When it is a viable option, it is best for victims to do what they can to escape their abusers. However, this is not the case in all situations.

Abusers repeatedly go to extremes to prevent the victim from leaving. In fact, leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence.

Additional barriers to escaping a domestic violence relationship include but are not limited to:

  • The fear that the abuser’s actions will become more violent and may become lethal if the victim attempts to leave.
  • Unsupportive friends and family
  • Belief that two parent households are better for children, despite abuse
  • Knowledge of the difficulties of single parenting and reduced financial circumstances

In addition to individual obstacles victims face when escaping violent relationships, society in general presents barriers. These include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of support to victims by police officers and law enforcement who may treat violence as a “domestic dispute” instead of a crime where one person is physically attacking another person.
  • Reluctance by prosecutors to prosecute cases. Some may convince the abuser to plead to a lesser charge, thus further endangering victims.
  • Despite the issuing of a restraining order, there is little to prevent a released abuser from returning and repeating abuse.
  • Reinforcement of clergy and secular counselors of “saving” a couple’s relationship at all costs, rather than the goal of stopping the violence.
  • Some religious and cultural practices that stress that divorce is forbidden.

If you need assistance seeking safety and breaking barriers call 252-796-5526!!

Inner Banks Hotline, a private, non-profit organization, is at 507 U.S. Highway 64 East (beside Family Dollar) in Columbia.

Thrift Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Friday. Donations are accepted in the back in the open carport.

The 24-hour Crisis Line number is 1-877-429-5526.