domestic violence, myths, internal factors, external factors


This paper reviews published literature on the myths associated with domestic violence, the internal and external reasons why women return to their abusers, and resources available to them. Social stigmas that exist claim women stay in abusive relationships because they enjoy the attention and that women deserve the punishment inflicted due to their lack of action (Policastro & Payne, 2013). The consequences of these stigmas involve feelings of unworthiness, less social support and discouragement from seeking assistance (Meyer, 2016). Internal factors include emotional attachment, forgiveness, and childhood sexual abuse while external factors are based in economic dependence; each of these contribute to an increased difficulty of leaving an abusive partner. A rapid triage assessment tool provides risk factors for returning to a shelter; using this can support intervention to make sure a woman is self-sufficient upon leaving (McFarlane et al., 2016). Using creative activities in counseling, such as the wheel of wellness and roles activity, helps women look past their abuser and focus on personal healing. Further research should be conducted on the reasons women return and the effectiveness of current social services available.

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