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Changing Perspectives, Asking the Right Questions

24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 208.343.7025 24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline: 208.345.7273 (RAPE)

Be the change, colorful hand writing on paper, lifestyle change conceptual imageWhy does he or she stay?

Most men and women who have not experienced abuse by an intimate partner often proclaim that if their partner ever abused them they would not put up with it and they would make the choice to end the relationship and leave. Furthermore, many of these same people will express confusion and even frustration as to why others in abusive situations don’t just leave. A common question we hear from friends and family members of victims of domestic violence is “Why doesn’t he/she leave? Why do they stay?”

What we need to do, to enact revolutionary change in our community and help cure the epidemic of violence is to change the question we’re asking. We need to change the way we think and speak about the subject of domestic violence.
Asking why an individual stays with an abuser places the burden of guilt and responsibility for the abuse on the victim rather than where it belongs, on the abuser. The question should not be why they stay, but rather why does someone who claims to love and care for their partner hurt them physically and/or emotionally.

It is understandable to feel frustration when it appears that someone you care about stays in a situation that harms them. Reframe that frustration to why this treatment occurs. We all need to take this frustration and change our perspective on the situation and ask the right questions.

Rather than asking why they stay and seemingly submit to the abuse or why they continue to go back, the best option is to be there for that individual, even if from a distance. Telling someone you care about them and you are concerned is the best way to help a victim get to the point where they are ready to leave. Statistics indicate it takes a victim an average of seven times leaving their abuser before they leave for good.

For someone experiencing abuse from their partner, it is never as easy as just leaving when the abuse starts. It is a cycle that grows overtime, often without the victim even realizing it is occurring. As the abuse increases in frequency, severity and type – it tends to become normalized in the traumatized mind of those upon which it is inflicted. When the episodes of abuse are combined with periods of “honeymoon” calmness, the wrongness of the situation is not clear and apparent to the victim.

Furthermore, the questions we need to ask ourselves are “how can I help?”, “how can I educate myself on domestic violence?”, and “what can I do to change our culture?” When we start to be there as a support system for survivors and as educators spreading awareness around the issue we can help break the cycle and end domestic violence. Changing our perspectives and asking the right questions is a great place to start.

Not #WhyShe/HeStayed but #WhyHe/SheAbuses. Embrace it, talk about it, share it.

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EVENTS

Jul 11

2022

WCA Mission Tour

Join us for a 35 minute virtual tour to learn about our mission of safety, healing and freedom through the stories of clients and the impact of our services. The WCA Mission Tour aims to inspire and educate about the complexities and realities of domestic abuse and sexual assault, both here in the Treasure Valley […]

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Jul 28

2022

WCA Mission Tour

Join us for a 35 minute virtual tour to learn about our mission of safety, healing and freedom through the stories of clients and the impact of our services. The WCA Mission Tour aims to inspire and educate about the complexities and realities of domestic abuse and sexual assault, both here in the Treasure Valley […]

learn more

Oct 02

2022

SueB 5k 10k 2022

On October 2, 2022, we celebrate the 13th annual SueB 5k 10k at noon After two years of racing virtually, we invite you to join us IN PERSON to raise awareness about domestic abuse, while memorializing the life of an individual who has brought so many people together. The SueB 5k 10k provides a space […]

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Oct 12

2022

Witches Night Out at the Village

Mark your calendars for Witches Night Out on October 12, 2022 from 5 – 9 p.m. Wednesday, October 12 we will be celebrating Witches Night Out at The Village at Meridian, hosted by Meridian’s Centercal Properties and its marvelous merchants. Several sponsors help make the evening a resounding success, raising funds for the WCA’ clients’ […]

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Oct 28

2022

Healing Begins with Hope

WCA Healing Begins with Hope Virtual Outreach and Fundraising Event When: October 28, 2022 As the WCA celebrates 112 years of changing lives, we would like to invite our community to mark their calendars and save the date! The event will be an opportunity to learn more about the WCA’s mission of safety, healing and […]

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