1. They feel they aren’t in need or it doesn’t apply to them. They may be unaware what they are experiencing is intimate partner violence.
2. They aren’t ready yet. It is a lot to admit to yourself much less another human being. To say it out loud makes it real. They may be in denial or think since the cycle is in a resting or honeymoon phase it will continue to improve and simply go away.
3. They are desensitized. Their fear meter has been immobilized. They’ve been here before, and they are still alive. Their mental model is their past experience, not what could happen in the future. They have no reason to believe now will be different, less safe until it is.
4. They don’t trust you. They are used to keeping secrets, putting up smoke screens. They may fear you will not keep it confidential, that you will disclose to or confront the aggressor and jeopardize their safety, or that you will force them to take action.
5. They are in need, they are ready, they are afraid, they trust you, but they don’t understand they have options and what those options are.
© Copyright 2011 Shameless Survivors/Lisette d. Johnson All Rights Reserved
2011 Shameless Survivors