Dating previously abused women
In various settings, such as health care, marital therapy and family court, professionals often fail to ask about abuse.
Or, if they hear of the abuse, they blame victims for triggering it or don’t believe them.
Fortunately, professional training is available on how to respond to domestic abuse, from programs for clergy to judges to law enforcement.
Both show that, in addition to the obstacles described earlier, these partners are often reluctant to report the abuse for two reasons.
I am a social work scholar whose research focuses on the problems of dating and domestic violence.
My colleague Deborah Anderson and I, as well as other researchers, have published reviews of many studies of the barriers women face in leaving abusers. Not surprisingly, lack of material resources, such as not having a job or having limited income, is a strong factor.
In the meantime, it takes little or no training for professionals, or anyone else for that matter, to validate victims’ experiences and thus help them build the inner strength to leave.
We can do this by repeating what Jennifer Willoughby said recently to victims: “Please know: It is real.