Explore the underlying cause of domestic violence during Mental Health Awareness month

Often people who do not understand the dynamics of violence in a relationship are quick to say, “I would just leave” or “I would never put up with that” or “How would anyone put up with being verbally put down, threatened, hit, or even not allowed to see family.” The issue is much deeper than just leaving. Behavior patterns have been developed slowly with years of abuse. This is sometimes called the Stockholm syndrome which is a psychological response.

With this syndrome, abuse victims may come to sympathize with their abusers. It is the opposite of the fear, terror, and disdain that might be expected from the victims in these situations. Over the course of time, victims develop positive feelings toward their partner while being abused. They feel they share common goals and causes like every other couple. The victim may even begin to develop negative feelings toward the police or authorities. They may resent anyone who may be trying to help them escape from the dangerous situation they are in.

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