A survivor’s perspective on why domestic violence victims don’t leave abusive relationships
Leslie Morgan Steiner is independent, well-educated and resourceful, and she never saw the violence in her relationship coming. She fell in love with a smart, funny man who adored her. He endeared himself to her with constant attention and compliments. He confided his deepest secrets to her, including the physical abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his stepfather. They were soul mates, life partners and, soon, husband and wife.
When he moved her away from friends and family in New York City to an isolated New England town, she saw it as his attempt to escape the high-pressured world of Wall Street. She didn’t see that he was cutting her off from the people who could have helped her see that the relationship was spiraling downward into manipulation, fear and total control.
Remarkably, for years Morgan Steiner never considered seeking help or leaving because she never saw herself as a victim. Instead, she saw herself as a strong woman who could and would put up with abuse because she was the only person in the world who was capable of helping her partner conquer his demons. Only after an incredibly savage beating, did she finally open her eyes.
Morgan Steiner was caught in the emotional trap of thinking she had to endure suffering to prove her love. The idea that the love of a good woman will “save” a troubled man has been around forever. Women are still attracted to loving a “bad boy,” and unfortunately, there is high potential for abuse in such relationships.
At the Ms. Molly Foundation, we are working to help victims become survivors. We raise funds and collect personal care items for domestic violence shelters across the country so victims can find safety and begin healing. The Foundation also raises awareness to help victims recognize the signs of an abusive relationship. Here are a few:
- Does your partner attempt to isolate you from family and friends?
- Does your partner have to know where you are, who you are with, 24/7?
- Does your partner text or call you at work constantly, checking up on you?
If you need help, want to learn more about America’s most under-report crime, or you want to support the Ms. Molly Foundation, visit our website.
To find a shelter near you, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799−SAFE (7233).