When does a Victim stop being a Victim?

This depraved world is saturated with abusers of every dark & demented shade. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, mental abuse- you name the crime and there is no shortage of eager criminals within the categories I just named. It is a very sad reality that faces us every day.

Those of us who abhor these abuses and heinous acts, labor to free the victims and bring their abusers to justice. We offer shelter, protection, and comfort to the abused. We cry with them, we get angry with them, and we strive to love them back to a state of serene human health.

But all too often, the abused, especially women caught and incarcerated in domestic violence, once freed from the evil clutches of their nightmarish situation, cannot imagine themselves deserving of a life absent of pain and degradation…and they return to their abusers, convinced he really does loves them.

Research proves that on average, an abused woman will leave her abuser and return to him up to seven times before finally leaving for good-if she isn’t killed by him first.

To normal, unabused people, that statistic sounds ludicrous, but to the abused, it’s just what she knows; it’s the only form of attention she’s accustomed to receiving. It’s what the abused deserve, according to them.

However, there are those instances where a sane, intelligent woman realizes what is happening to her is wrong, understands she does not deserve to be treated so miserably, accepts the help of friends who want more for her, and yet… she returns to her abuser anyway.

When does a Victim stop being a Victim? When they become a volunteer. Victims become volunteers when they willfully return to the hellish nightmare they were freed from. And it’s gut wrenching to watch it happen. But it’s a dreadful common occurrence.

To add insult to injury, the abused woman will oftentimes bite the hand that tried to free her from her prison. She will attack the very people who are trying to help her. Why? I don’t have that answer but I can say that it’s incredibly disheartening when it happens. It hurts those who opened their hearts to her.

How do I know about this, you ask? It happened to me and my partner. We tried to help a woman escape the dismal reality of her abused world. We gave her safe shelter, food, clothing, money, and love- Yes, we lavished love upon her in the hope she would see the difference in the two worlds she straddled.

It didn’t work. All of our efforts went unappreciated. She turned on us and bit the hand that held the keys to her freedom. And we are very saddened by it. It’s a painful thing to have to sit back and watch her return to the hell we snatched her from.

How many times had she left her abuser only to return? We don’t know the answer except to say, apparently, it wasn’t 7 times. And that is very unfortunate. We can only hope this person can finally leave her tormentor before he takes her life in a fit of rage. And to hope for such a dim salvation feels incredibly hopeless to us.


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