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Why do victims of domestic violence stay?

Victims of domestic violence often refuse to leave, even though they have a chance to do so. Why do they tend to stick around when people on the outside would often assume they'd be looking for a way to get out?

The answer, according to one woman, is that they are in love. Naturally, this can make any domestic violence case far more complicated. When people have a relationship, it's hard to know if they'll even want to testify against one another or talk to anyone about what is happening.

This women told her story to help illustrate her point. She was in her early 20s at the time, she'd just gotten out of college, and she had her first job. She was young and successful, and she said this not to brag but to show that anyone could be in a situation like hers. It does not matter if they fit a cliche mold or not.

The woman had a boyfriend. She felt they were soulmates, that they were meant to be together forever. He had a handgun, though, and he'd threaten her with it. He'd take it out and point it at her, putting it against her head. Because she loved him, she didn't leave, and she didn't tell authorities.

The whole thing was even more complex because, in most ways, the young man was the loving boyfriend she wanted him to be. He was nice to her, he cared about her, and he was involved in her life. He loved talking to her and spending time with her. He thought she was very smart, having gone to Harvard, and he really told her how much he appreciated her.

As this shows, these cases can be very complex. Anyone who has been accused of domestic violence must know about his or her legal options in Colorado.

Source: Ted Talks, "Why domestic violence victims don't leave," Leslie Morgan Steiner, accessed July 18, 2015

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