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" Battered women do not remain in the relationship because we enjoy the battering. Battering often escalates at the point of separation, and we may actually feel safer staying.If we have children, we may feel that we won't be able to support ourselves and our children if we leave.Some were physically or sexually abused by the same person who battered their mothers.Under these circumstances, it is easy to understand how we might come to believe the degrading and harmful messages we have received about ourselves.People whom we turn to for support--clergy, police, friends, family--may be uninformed about battering and may not take the situation seriously.

Battering happens to women of every age, race, class, and nationality.It is easy to understand how we might find ourselves in relationships with men who abuse us verbally and physically. Many men who batter grew up witnessing their fathers abusing their mothers; they may well have been physically or sexually abused as children.They often came of age in families where male dominance was never questioned and where physical punishment "in the name of love" was accepted.EVERY WOMAN DESERVES TO HAVE HER STORY TAKEN SERIOUSLY.Children who do not see their mothers abused but who hear her screams and crying, the abuser's threats, sounds of the impact of fists hitting flesh, glass breaking, wood splintering, or cursing and degrading language do witness the abuse.The effects of growing up in the midst of domestic violence can be devastating for children.

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