Why Didn't She Just Leave?

A common question domestic violence victims hear is, “Why didn’t you just leave?” The answer can be complex. In the United Kingdom, those advocating for victims of domestic violence are worried that recent cuts to government services and stricter eligibility rules for benefits are making it even harder for domestic abuse victims to overcome obstacles to leaving. Jess McCabe, a freelance correspondent for Women’s eNews, wanted to understand the impact of these government policies. In 2014 she interviewed domestic violence survivors across England. In this series she shares their stories, unmasking financial difficulties faced by domestic violence survivors and how these difficulties might keep them from leaving abusive relationships. McCabe also explores other obstacles that stopped these women from leaving the moment the abuse started and what made them realize the time had come to walk away. During this time she also updated a Tumblr on her findings.

No One Was There to Help, Despite Flagrant Abuse

There is a certain bitterness against her parents, looking back. “When I was lying there in a pool of blood and covered in scratches. I do feel a bit like they let me down.” The third of three brief interviews with survivors about why they didn't leave after the first incident of abuse.

Why Doesn't She Leave? Here's What They Say

It took her nine years to finally leave. Confusion was a big part of the delay since this, after all, wasn't an obviously aggressive bully. This was a man who seemed at first to worship her. The first of three brief interviews with survivors.