The other day, someone sent me a link to a story about a man who was accidentally let out of jail. He had been previously accused of beating up his girlfriend. When he was let go by the Cook County corrections department, he of course went home and again beat up his girlfriend. I was asked by someone, purely out of curiosity, if this woman could sue Cook County for their big screw-up.
The answer is that she can’t because the two events are far removed from each other. But I want to know why she is still dating him at all.
Now every case is different, and I of course don’t know the extent of their relationship. Maybe she’s been trying to leave him and he hunts her down. Maybe he never beat her in the first place (highly unlikely given this article). It’s a challenge for some women to escape the cycle of violence certainly and no matter what is happening she nor anyone deserves to be bullied and abused.
But with all that said, I get calls all of the time from women who get the crap kicked out of them repeatedly, call the cops and then come to me to try to find out how to get the charges dropped. Most want to pay for a lawyer to defend their abuser. I’m not walking in their shoes, but it seems a little odd to me.
For my wife and I, we’ve discussed that cheating is a deal breaker. I imagine if I abused her or she did so to me that would also lead to divorce, but we haven’t even discussed it because it seems so out of the realm of possibility for us. But the question I have, why isn’t domestic battery a deal breaker for so many other people?
How many times do you need to be punched in the face before you decide it’s not a good situation for you? Can you really love someone that treats you like garbage? What is the tipping point to walk away?
I’m not asking these questions rhetorically. I really don’t understand how someone can stay in such a lousy situation. We have a friend in Chicago that is trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship. My wife and I both think she should get a divorce, but I can somewhat understand our friend’s response that she is in love, doesn’t want to break up her family and doesn’t want to give up on her marriage.
To me though, while emotional abuse is awful and I can see how it could be as bad as physical abuse, once things do get physical there is no good reason to stay together. There clearly must be though as my unscientific polling of cases to my office leads me to believe that at least half of the victims of domestic battery don’t leave their partner, at least not the first time it happens.
If someone has a better understanding of this than me, I’m all ears. My job as an attorney isn’t to question the women that call me to find a lawyer for their abuser. They aren’t reaching out to me in order for me to tell them that they are nuts (and I tried that approach once and it didn’t end well). I’d simply love insight as to what is going on in their minds.
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