How do I decide whether to leave my abusive partner?

Only you can know what’s best for you. Statistically speaking, very few abusers stop being abusive. For some, leaving is a powerful way to regain control of their lives. For others, leaving can further complicate their situations. Abusers often make terrifying threats to shut down the possibility of leaving (threatening self-harm or suicide, or threatening to hurt us or our loved ones). Social, economic, and political factors play significant roles as well: for instance, sharing a lease and other costs of living, depending on your partner as a caretaker, being undocumented, or sharing the same social circle all may make it near impossible to leave.

Know that whatever decision(s) you make about leaving are not binding — circumstances may prevent you from leaving in one moment, but that does not mean that opportunities to leave will not arise in the future (and vice versa). Know that leaving can be an option, even if it may not seem that way at times.

Repeat to yourself over and over that YOU are not responsible for your partner — not for his choices, her mistakes, or their abuse. You (and perhaps your abuser) may harbor hope that he can recover from addictions, depression, you-name-it. But your partner is ultimately responsible for making that happen, not you.

Source: Know Your IX

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